Jennifer Nery: ‘Most of us want the same thing’ downtown

Published: 6/4/2021 12:53:01 PM

Dear Northampton community, I am writing to rectify what I think is a misconception about the various Main Street improvement projects, both past and future.

I have attended a number of open meetings about the Main Street Redesign project (coming in 2025), and have heard there and elsewhere that much of the public thinks that a progressive approach to Main Street is opposed by the downtown small business community. This is absolutely not true.

I run two businesses on Main Street (my acupuncture practice and CLINIC Alternative Medicines, the wellness center my practice is located within). I am friends with lots of downtown business owners, and am very active with the Northampton Chamber of Commerce. Though there was much early and vocal opposition to the Main Street project in the summer of 2020, and to the redesign that’s coming down the road, the business community is by no means united in opposition to a forward-thinking redesign of Main Street.

Meetings at the Chamber have shown a lot of enthusiasm for the 2025 plan. Many business owners have questions and have shared particular concerns, but I have heard from very few who are wholly opposed to a safer, future city center which prioritizes humans over cars. Everyone in the business community I speak with agrees that Main Street needs major improvement, and is excited to see Northampton become a more welcoming destination and day-to-day community gathering place.

My business does best when people want to come to Northampton to see me and to make some other stops — to dine, run errands and meet friends. Our businesses will thrive in a downtown Northampton that invites people to spend time, to walk or bike or wheel themselves, and to browse. Supporting small, local business is not in tension with wanting a greener, more comfortable, more accessible Main Street.

Most of us want the same thing. I would love to commend the work that the group Main Street 4 Everyone is doing, and to recommend reading up on the facts and ideas they present at mainst4everyone.org.

Jennifer Nery

Northampton




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