fourth Street cross walk

This Better Block Project, suggested on page 37-38 of Mansfield Rising, is happening now for two-weeks on West Fourth Street between Main and Diamond.

MANSFIELD -- You’re not the only one wondering, what’s going on with Mansfield Rising?

The short answer is, we’re working on it. The long answer is there are meetings upon meetings discussing the nitty-gritty details not found in the 68-page plan.

The Mansfield Rising Plan includes overviews of 39 projects and programs (highlighted in 31 stories published by Richland Source in March) to help continue downtown Mansfield’s positive trajectory. The nitty-gritty wasn’t included, but is now surfacing.

Allie Watson

Allie Watson.

We’re talking about public art and asking the questions that matter when considering a big public art display -- one where people would walk around to view the pieces. Where would you put them? How would you affix them to the ground? How do you keep them safe from graffiti and curious climbers? Who paints them? And who pays for them? 

We’re talking about the license-plate fee funding and where specifically that should be invested in the short-term and long-term. How many trash cans are too many trash cans? Where do you put them? How can you improve major corridors into downtown? And who is in charge of improving sidewalks anyway?

We’re talking about downtown housing and could someone renovate the existing beautiful buildings into apartments, condos, or even single-family dwellings? How will the downtown change when it becomes a neighborhood? How many staircases are needed to make a building safe for fire-code? And how do we show investors this is a good idea?

We’re talking about free public Wi-Fi and how something so simple could show that we’re a progressive city willing to take the step into the future. But who owns the Wi-Fi? Where do you put the equipment? Who fixes it when it breaks? And did you know there’s a company on Orange Street that installs free public Wi-Fi for shopping centers all over the country?

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We’re talking about branding and the way we present ourselves as a city. What do we think of ourselves? What do others think of us when they visit Mansfield? What could Mansfield look like if we presented ourselves more positively? And for the love of all that is holy, can we just talk kindly about our amazing city?

Check out the Better Block Project (page 37-38 of Mansfield Rising) happening now for two-weeks on West Fourth Street between Main and Diamond. 

Walkable experiment begins in Downtown Mansfield

This is a temporary installation to show the impact of traffic-calming measures on a busy street. The next time you cross Fourth Street from the municipal parking lot to get your doughnuts, haircut, tattoo or burger notice the accessible ramp (now we ALL have access) leading to the crosswalk, which leads to a lighted alley, which leads to the Brickyard.

I thought the planning process was the sausage-making: slow, tedious, not pretty, a little awkward. Turns out, the sausage-making continues.

This Solutions Journalism story is brought to you in part by the generous support of our Newsroom Partners: Spherion, Visiting Nurses Association, PR Machine Works, Nanogate/Jay Systems, DRM Productions, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, Richland Bank, Mechanics Bank, Area Agency on Aging, and many others. To learn more about Solutions Journalism at Richland Source click the "About Solutions Journalism."

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Senior Community Investment Officer at Richland County Foundation. Allie helps donors fulfill their charitable wishes through grant making. She discovers and discusses community opportunities, projects and programs with donors and grant recipients.