For the last several weeks, Hudson Business Coalition [HBCi] has been working— in coordination with Hudson’s elected officials and members of our small business community— on outlining a program plan for this year’s ‘Hudson City Streets Seasonal Use.’
During today’s City of Hudson Common Council Tourism & Events Committee meeting, we publicly presented the details of that plan for the first time.
As Hudson’s business advocacy organization, HBCi believes that we have put forward a plan that would be truly beneficial to Hudson’s businesses, while simultaneously balancing the potential concerns of Hudson’s residents.
HBCi has already been circulating this plan among Hudson’s business owners and it has been met largely with enthusiasm and words of support— including by those who intend on participating this year, as well as those who don’t plan on participating, but nonetheless see the value in it.
Today, we welcomed the feedback of the members of the Common Council and Mayor’s office who were present on the call, as we continue to make refinements to the program and balance the considerations of all constituents.
Here are the non-final program details that we have put forward so far:
- The program will run from Memorial Day weekend through the beginning of November
- The concrete blocks and planters will return, for any and all food and beverage establishments that wish to participate— including sit down and take-away restaurants, bars, cafes, bakeries, and coffee shops. Businesses must supply their own tables and chairs, umbrellas, waste receptacles, etc. Businesses cannot build permanent structures, tents, etc. into their areas
- The program is open to any F&B establishments, on or off Warren St
- Each business can be allocated up to two contiguous non-handicap parking spaces immediately in front of their place of business. Additional configurations may be possible where there are two adjacent or neighboring participating businesses, provided they agree to share the space and have sign-off from any non-participating neighboring businesses, where appropriate.
- The setup would be installed by Department of Public Works (DPW) for Memorial Day weekend, and removed in early November— once it’s in, it’s in for the season
- We are working to secure a grant to help cover the costs of the program. With that said, we may ask businesses to pay a fee to help offset the costs associated with the program, again, depending upon how much money we raise from grants.
- All businesses are required to manage the upkeep of their areas for appearances, sanitation, etc. — water plants, remove garbage and debris, remove impediments in and around, etc.
- During the duration of the program, businesses must adhere to all DOT, City Code, HPD and HFD, and DPW requirements regarding sidewalk clearance, noise ordinances, etc.
In addition, we have already requested that the city forgo any fees paid by Hudson’s businesses that would be associated with lost parking revenue as a result of metered parking spots being utilized by businesses as part of this program. We hope that the city honors this request, as it will significantly lower the overall project cost and shift the burden off of Hudon’s business owners.
This is an important program for so many of our beloved Hudson businesses and HBCi looks forward to the continue collaboration with Hudson city government to reach a solution that’s manageable and agreeable to all parties.
We will continue to share out details as the program evolves in the weeks ahead. We have prepared the following Q&A, to quickly help answer any questions you may have.
Q: Is Warren St. being closed to vehicle traffic?
A: No. There is no plan to close Warren St to vehicle traffic as part of this seasonal use plan.
Q: Are the concrete blocks coming back?
A: The City of Hudson purchased the concrete blocks utilized in previous years’ iterations as an affordable way to ensure the safety of those enjoying the program. This year’s plan does indeed incorporate the concrete blocks once again. We are well aware of the concerns regarding both the visibility and aesthetics of the blocks. While we are still working through the particulars, we really do believe we have devised a solution to utilize both the planters and blocks in such a way that balances safety, cost, and aesthetics.
Q: Will there be a fee for my business to participate?
A: In short— it’s still to be determined. HBCi is working hard to secure a grant or grants to help cover the hard costs for aesthetic and safety improvements to the blocks, fixing the planters and stocking them with plants, covering the fees that would otherwise be incurred to the businesses in lieu of lost parking revenue (should the city not agree to waive this), and ideally some money for marketing the program. We hope that it amounts to enough money that businesses will not have to pay to participate.
With that said, if there ultimately is a fee to participate, we will communicate that up-front with all businesses, and work our best to accommodate everyone that is eligible to participate based on their financial considerations.
Q: Why is this program happening again this year?
A: This will be the third year that some kind of seasonal use plan is enacted in the city of Hudson that allows businesses to expand out into the streets. The first iteration was in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and was referred to as ‘Shared Streets.’ Over the years, we have closely observed what has worked and what hasn’t worked with each iteration and suggested improvements to the programs overall. This year, HBCi is taking more of a direct leadership role in planning and administration of the program, to benefit Hudson’s small business community, as we continue to compete with communities from throughout the Hudson valley and capital region for visitorship.
Q: If I don’t have a food or beverage business in Hudson, can I still participate?
A: In an effort to strike a true balance between the parking requirements of Hudson’s residents, the overall cost to administer this program, and where the most benefit could be realized, this year’s program will only be open to dining establishments.
Q: I think my business qualifies to participate, how can I find out more, or sign up?
A: You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to do so.
Photo credit: JD Urban