Government

Letters to the Editor

Update from Councilman Loughlin: Changes Coming to Downtown Westfield

Westfield Councilman Keith Loughlin

Downtown Westfield is a great place for shopping, dining, arts, and entertainment. Like all retail destinations, Downtown Westfield must and will continue to evolve to remain vibrant and co-exist with online shopping.
 
Under the leadership of Mayor Andy Skibitsky, our town council is working to ensure that Downtown Westfield continues to be the best shopping destination in New Jersey, as it was recently recognized by Gannett New Jersey. The Mayor’s Downtown Task Force was formed in July 2016 to identify factors within the town’s scope of authority and develop recommendations to promote economic development and sustainability. This Spring, the Mayor's Task Force issued a report with several recommendations.
 
As chairman of the Westfield Public Safety, Transportation and Parking Committee, I am happy to report that we have already implemented many of these changes. Parking is now FREE before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. in downtown metered spots. We added a parklet to extend the sidewalk on Elm Street for additional dining and public space. New on-street parking meters will accept credit cards, coins, tokens, smart cards and pay by app, and offer 15 minutes of FREE parking at the push of a button. We are adding 15 minute FREE “express spaces” on Quimby Street (adjacent to Central Avenue) for takeout orders or quick errands. We are also expanding the parking lot across the street from the post office to include a section of Lenox to increase the number of parking spaces.
 
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Our council also updated downtown zoning laws to make it easier to do business in Westfield. We now permit arcades, paint-and-sip establishments, A-frame sandwich board signs, basements to be used for retail use, walk-up windows for food service and ground-floor office use for buildings along North and South Avenue.

More changes are coming soon as we work together to keep Downtown Westfield a premier destination, and I encourage you to contact me at kloughlin@westfieldnj.gov with your thoughts on downtown or any other issue I can work on.

Keith Loughlin
Westfield Councilman, Fourth Ward
Follow Keith on Facebook & Twitter

 

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