Madison Street project should attract business -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Madison Street project should attract business

January 30, 2006

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

Madison is 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," she said 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% local money," said Thomasville City Engineer John Wood.

The city is essentially trying to make Madison Street like Broad Street here. 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," said Wood.

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 to complete the project? That's a concern, and it cold be 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.