By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 5, 2019
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- The City of Valdosta is one step closer to safer foot traffic near downtown.
On Wednesday, city crews will begin a new sidewalk project on North Patterson Street from downtown, running towards Valdosta State University.
The city will be expanding the downtown streetscape from Magnolia Street to Gordon Street, adding sidewalks, landscaping and trees. Staff said it's meant to expand the downtown feel to VSU's campus, while making it safer and easier for pedestrians and bikers.
"This is one of the gateway entrances to the city," said Kevin Tolliver, Engineering Project Manager. "The ultimate desire is to make it more pedestrian friendly, commercial friendly, business friendly."
Goodtime Jr. Music Shed is located downtown on Patterson Street. Owner Alphonso Johnson Jr. said he hopes the safer walk will bring in more foot traffic.
"To be able to walk down here would be a wonderful plus as well, especially if you don't have transportation," Johnson said. "That's a wonderful walk, it's good exercise and then at the end of your exercise you got good music."
The Music Shed hosts live music on the first and third Friday of each month. It's one of the businesses spurring progress downtown. As the area continues to grow, organizers hope the streetscape investment keeps that progress moving forward.
"The downtown, I think, has been struggling for a long time and this is going to be a big boost," said Matt Flumerfelt, trumpet player for Goodtime Jr. Music Shed. "If they make it that much more attractive with the trees and sidewalks and just a much nicer facade, I think it's going to really boost business and make it a more enjoyable place to come."
The project totals around $300,000, most of which is coming from the state.
Construction is scheduled to begin Wednesday and take about four months to complete. City staff said there will be some lane shifts and traffic changes during construction, so drivers are asked to be cautious and to have patience throughout the process.