Placemaking on Pleasant Street, Claremont, NH
The City of Claremont, New Hampshire, embarked on a transformative project aimed at revitalizing the Pleasant Street area to boost safety, placemaking, and business development. Focused on the downtown district surrounding Opera House Square, Pleasant Street, and Broad Street, the project sought to attract commercial enterprises, promote residential redevelopment, and facilitate the expansion of existing businesses in historically significant but underutilized buildings. Inspired by the success of previous infrastructure investments near Water Street, the city aimed to replicate the positive outcomes by reimagining Pleasant Street as a vibrant hub for economic development, social interaction, and community pride.
To achieve this vision, the City engaged McFarland Johnson, Inc. (MJ) who took an innovative approach to the strategic reevaluation of traffic patterns. Collaborating closely with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, MJ proposed to reroute trucks away from Pleasant Street, transforming it into a Complete Street accessible to all travel modes. The reconfiguration included a one-way traffic pattern and angled parking that freed up space within the right-of-way for widened sidewalks and enhanced landscaped areas that created inviting places for pedestrians to walk and congregate. Through extensive community engagement and collaboration with MJ’s design team of IBI Group and GM2, the project successfully transformed Pleasant Street into an inviting public space with enhanced outdoor areas, angled parking, and improved private off-street parking lots. This comprehensive approach not only increased safety but also minimized impacts to traffic and established Pleasant Street as a dynamic gathering place, fostering economic development, social connections, and community pride for Claremont’s businesses and residents.