April 11 Downtown E-News

Results from Public Idea Meeting

1st Meeting Shows Need for Public Spaces Downtown

The results from the first of four public workshops designed to gather public input about the Future of Downtown Bismarck have been compiled; they’ll now make their way to the Downtown Master Plan Committee and City of Bismarck Leaders.  The community was asked to complete a short response sheet following a presentation about Downtowns/Urban Development from consultants at Crandal Arambula.   Here are some of the top ideas and goals YOU want to focus on for the future development of Downtown Bismarck:
1. Create a Public Square or Gathering Place.  Over half of all respondents put a public gathering space as a top priority for the future growth of Downtown Bismarck. The Downtowners’ own survey, completing today April 11, also shows this as a top if not THE top priority.
2. Ensure a Pedestrian Friendly and Walkable Downtown. Many of the surveys mentioned the usability of the Downtown for walkers.  Walking around next to busy streets, people want slower traffic and a more pedestrian friendly walking experience in the Downtown.  This enables them to experience the Downtown in a safe and relaxed manner.
3. Develop a Downtown Parking Strategy that Maximizes Existing and Future Ramps. No surprise that parking was also a key focus from the public meetings.  Mainly suggestions on making the current ramps more user friendly and adding additional structures.  There were also some thoughts about marketing the ramps, ramp design, ramp locations, and incorporating underground parking for new construction.
4. Strengthen the Downtown Shopping and Entertainment Experience. As the Downtown grows, a more comprehensive mix of uses arises.  Respondents wanted more retail, entertainment, and most of all sidewalk dining.  Currently sidewalk dining is frowned upon.
5. Increase Downtown Housing. Something the Downtowners have been working on and the Bismarck Renaissance Zone has also put high on their is list is Downtown housing with a mix of sizes and prices.  Making our Downtown into an 18 hour a day, 7 day a week hub is key to moving the city center to the next step.
6. Introduce More Greenery Into Downtown Streets. Not much has been done for street aesthetic improvements since the 1970s, and a small effort in the late 1990s/early 2000s.  Respondents wanted more greenery, trees, landscaping, flower baskets and general natural improvements for street appeal. Green spaces, pocket parks and “parklets” were high on the list.
7. Encourage Biking Downtown.  The evolution and growth of our Downtown will mean finding new ways to get visitors and workers Downtown that doesn’t involve parking a car.  Bike lanes and transit would help offset the number of cars coming Downtown but increase the number of visitors.
8. Improve Traffic Access In and Out of Downtown. Improving the way patrons get in and out of the Downtown was in the top half of list.  Suggestions on removing the Chancellor Square one ways, street parking configuration, street lane configuration, and traffic flow patterns were all suggested improvements.
Although this is just the beginning of the Downtown Master Planning process, the tone and goals are being identified.  The community is thinking big, wanting to grow the Downtown, and taking it to the next level. Three more public meeting are scheduled. To participate in the study or read the full report, visit www.downtownbismarckstudy.com.


Downtowners Member Survey- We Want Your Feedback

Rate Downtown Bismarck

Survey Expires April 12

As our Downtown Master Plan continues to progress, shaping the future of Downtown Bismarck development, we’d like to know how you our members rate Downtown Bismarck.  The link below is a short 10 question survey designed to gauge members thoughts on Downtown Bismarck as it is NOW and what you feel will be important for the city center in the FUTURE.  This survey is open to any of our membership, whether you are the business owner, or work at a member organization.  We’d love a lot of feedback, so forward this newsletter on to employees in your organization.  Any member who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing to win a Toasted Frog Gift Certificate!  Visit this link to start the survey now: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y9HQQWL

Downtown Bismarck Updates

News & Updates

— Former Dog Day Studio space on Main Ave has a new tenant, A Creative Outlet will be open for their first event in early May.  Find them on Facebook at “A Creative Outlet”.

–The Downtown Master Plan is underway.  If you’d like to sign up for reminders and updates regarding the plan, visit www.downtownbismarckstudy.com.

–The Cowan Bldg development continues on the corner of 4th and Broadway. The sidewalk in front of the building will be closed during construction (south side of the block).  The sidewalk could be open by June.

–Quiet Rail Zones are moving forward at 3rd, 5th and 12th Streets in Downtown Bismarck.  At the Feb 26 City Commission meeting, the engineering firm SRF entered into their contract with the city to install the extra safety measures and work with the Federal Railway Administration.

–If you are considering a downtown development or renovation of a Downtown building, the CORE Incentive Programs are once again available through the City of Bismarck.  The CORE Programs currently active are Façade and Signage Grant, Housing Incentive Grant, Technical Assistance Bank, and Sidewalk Subsurface Infill.  The programs are designed to encourage reinvestment, rehabilitation, and new development in the Downtown area.  For more information contact the Downtowners or Jason Tomanek at the City of Bismarck at 701-355-1849.

– The Bismarck Parking Authority is offering free evening parking in the 3rd and Main Ramp from 4pm to 2am daily.  With all the new activity and nightlife in Downtown Bismarck, the ramps allow the public to enjoy the city center and not have to search for street parking. *How the After Hour Complementary Parking Works: Use the entrance to the 3rd & Main Ramp on 3rd Street.  Pull into the ramp and pull a time stamped ticket.  The arm will raise and allow the car through to park.  When exiting the ramp, simply use the hourly lane and deposit your ticket in the slot, the arm will already be raised to allow the cars to exit. There is no leeway on timing.  If you enter at 3:59pm or exit at 2:01am, the customer will be charged the normal hourly rate.

Downtowners’ Association

Member News

You can find all our members information at www.downtownbismarck.com

-Member Tricia’s Bakery  will be featuring Special Guest Saturday and showcasing a different vendor they carry each Saturday.  You can find all the details and when your favorite vendor will be showcased by going towww.triciasbakery.com.  Tricia’s Bakery is located on Broadway Ave between 4th and 5th Streets.

-Member Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals will be hosting the Great Plains Young Professionals Summit in Bismarck May 30-June 1.  To see the itinerary or to register for the summit visit www.gpypsummit.com.


What’s Shakin’ Downtown?

Events Downtown

April 12-13
Dakota Garden Expo
Bismarck Civic Center

April 12
Belle Mehus Auditorium

April 13
Great American Bike Race
Century High School

April 20
Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Presents:Three’s Company
Belle Mehus Auditorium

May 2-10
Dakota Stage Presents
Marcus is Walking

May 4-5
Northern Plains Dance Presents
Little Mermaid


-Celebrate Record Store Day April 20 with Downtown Bismarck’s own Rhythm Records.

-Send all member news and events to Kate@downtownbismarck.com