Expect to see Downtown Waco like you never have before this summer. Expect more color, more activity, more fun. It’s going to be the Summer of Downtown!
The Downtown Waco Public Improvement District is undertaking a two-month wayfinding and placemaking project that is intended to help people find parking downtown, help visitors find their way around downtown and give locals a reason to come back downtown. All the initiatives included in the project are largely art-based, providing the added benefit of helping to beautify downtown.
The Summer of Downtown initiatives and interventions include: putting signage on the (free)public parking garage at 4th Street and Franklin Avenue; opening up more free public parking for the summer and creating a pedestrian walkway down 6th Street that flows from Webster to Austin Avenue, helping those less familiar with Waco find their way into the core of downtown. And last but definitely not least, we are creating a pedestrian plaza on 7th Street between Austin Avenue and the alley to the south, making that pedestrian plaza a fun and inviting place for everyone to enjoy and holding small events there all summer to bring people downtown again and again.
The Downtown Waco PID is working closely with place branding firm Civic Brand and the City of Waco on this project and PID staff will be calling on its many partners to help make 7th Street, especially, a special place for everyone for the next two months. Guided by the concept “A space. An idea. An experience.” The PID staff hopes to create spaces downtown this summer that delight locals and visitors alike, while solving problems at the same time.
Summer of Downtown: FAQ
Who is paying for this Summer of Downtown project? The Downtown Waco Public Improvement District is funding all these initiatives and the PID is funded by downtown property owners.
Will 6th Street be closed? No, it will not be closed, but some parking along the street will be eliminated.
You’re eliminating some parking spaces? Yes, but we are also introducing at least twice as many new parking spaces by making some private lots public for the summer.
Will 7th Street be closed? Yes, but only between Austin Avenue and the alley to the south.
Are these changes permanent? No, this is a two-month project. During that time, we will collect data to determine if these initiatives were helpful to downtown.
Is the paint that will go on 6th and 7th streets permanent? No, it is chalk paint and we worked closely with the City to choose an ecologically safe paint.
How can the public be part of this? Come help us paint 7th Street from 5 to 7p.m. Wednesday, June 23. Come back for the project kickoff and Opening Night of 7th Street on Friday, June 25, 5:30 – 7:30p.m. And keep coming back and hanging out all summer!