Share your design ideas for Slingerlands

Residents of New Scotland Road in Bethlehem are invited to participate in a series of three unique meetings hosted by the Town's economic development and planning departments designed to create a new pedestrian friendly Slingerlands.

The area under consideration for major changes encompasses 72 acres along New Scotland Road between Cherry Avenue and Mahar Road.

Your input will be considered by consultants engaged by the town to create an area of town we can all be proud of, wrote Supervisor Theresa Egan in a letter to New Scotland Road residents and developers.

"When the planning document is complete, we hope to have a blueprint and a set of design guidelines showing how New Scotland Road could look as a traditional, pedestrian friendly, mixed use town center where residents can live, eat, shop, stay and play," wrote Egan.

The meetings, which begin Aug. 31 inside town hall, are called Slingerlands Hamlet 'Charette'. They will take the form of a pre-1900 exercise in France where architectural students were given a design problem to solve within a brief period of time. These students would then rush themselves and their almost-completed drawings from the studios to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in the back of a cart called a 'charette.' The students completed the design drawings on the way to the school.

"Out of this planning session will come a concept for how this should evolve," said economic development director George Leveille. "We think these meetings will be stimulating."

Some ideas that may come from the three scoping sessions, according to the Assistant Director of Economic Development Michael Morelli, could include new curbing and sidewalks, new lighting and a place for people to live, work and recreate all in one location.

"It's referred to as a new urbanism," said Morelli.

The first meeting, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in room 101, will help develop the desired character people want to see for the hamlet. The second and third meetings to be held Sept. 14 and 15 at 9 a.m. in the town hall auditorium will function as design meetings where an illustrator will show different ideas on how New Scotland Hamlet could be developed.

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