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Village Green

A village green is proposed at the site of the existing green in front of the
Stockwell Building and the Fire Station. Currently, the road is very wide and
many people have trouble crossing safely there.  The Academy School and the First
First Congregational Church are on one side while offices, restaurants, apartment
buildings, and stores are on the other side of the road.  A widened village green
will provide the community with a public gathering place in the heart of the historic village.

The following benefits are associated with this project:

  • Sense of Place/Community.  The expanded village green will function as the focal point for our historic village center and will become the defining image in re-establishing West Brattleboro’s identity and sense of place.  It will serve as a unifying and integrating open space that will encourage and enhance community interaction, activity and vitality.  This centrally located, readily accessible public space will offer leisure activities and interpretive opportunities for residents of the Village and the Town, and for visitors and motorists traveling along the newly designated Molly Stark Scenic Byway, which runs from Brattleboro to Bennington.  Signs and banners can remind everyone of the rich local history and historic buildings that still exist today.
  • Safety.  Excessive width and high speeds along Route 9 currently divide rather than integrate community activity patterns in West Brattleboro.  The expanded village green concept will minimize pedestrian exposure to traffic, reduce vehicular speeds (encouraging cycling and other means of alternative transportation) and result in greater safety for all users of both the Route 9 corridor and the village center.  These improvements and the resulting traffic-calming effects will play a major role in West Brattleboro achieving its goal of being a “walkable community”.
  • Economic Development.  The stronger village core that will be defined by the expanded green will encourage and create additional economic opportunities.  Economic development will be further enhanced by the improved ease of access by both vehicles and pedestrians.  Residents will find it easier to get around on foot and meet and chat with neighbors while patronizing local businesses.  Visitors will perceive this newly constituted village area as an ideal place to break their trip, linger for a few minutes (or hours, or days…), enjoy a meal, patronize locally owned businesses and perhaps even to open a business, to buy a home and to become part of the community themselves.
  • Environmental Benefits.  The expanded village green will reduce existing pavement and its resultant stormwater runoff and pollution, potentially improving water quality in the nearby Whetstone Brook, West Brattleboro’s primary watercourse.  Expanded open space will provide opportunities for trees and other landscaping to remove carbon dioxide and other air-borne pollutants from automobile and truck traffic.

West Brattleboro common, likely in the late 1800s.

Westbrat Assoc,
Dec 9, 2011, 6:26 AM
Westbrat Assoc,
Feb 28, 2012, 8:09 PM