Revitalization gets going - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Revitalization gets going

January 30, 2006

Thomasville, Georgia-- Thomasville's Madison Street project is expected to attract more businesses to the Rose City, and bring more customers to existing merchants. Right now, it's in the planning and design phase.

Madison Street, a problem street for some Thomasville merchants, like Bridal Boutique owner, Mary DeFore. "It's not very conducive to our store, or to any of the vendors around here," says DeFore.

DeFore says the sidewalks, landscaping, and accessibility aren't adequate, but that the potential is there. The city agrees, and is launching a revitalization. "It's a combination of federal funds, state funds, and then we throw in a significant amount of local money, maybe 40-percent local money," says Thomasville City Engineer, John Wood.

The city is essentially trying to make Madison Street like Broad Street. For example, Broad is packed with cars. But on Madison, there are the same number of businesses, just not the same number of cars parked along the street. "We can help the merchants that are already here. We can gain additional merchants to come down onto Madison," says Wood.

Thomasville is hoping to do that by putting in more landscaping, including on a new center median, adding parking, historic lighting, and slowing down traffic between the corners of Jefferson and Remington. How long is it going to take for them to complete the project? That's my concern," says DeFore.

Upwards of a year, at a cost of more than a million dollars. The city stresses that it will not shut down or impede the business of any merchants during the project.

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