Homes, Offices, Retail Stores Planned for Erie, Penn.

$51M plan would create mixed-use neighborhood

"To knock down two people a year is not acceptable," he said. "We have to do something to change the way people behave on 12th Street."

Some of that change has occurred with the recent redesign of 12th Street. Changes would also be made on Peach Street and the side streets in that immediate area.

Kim Green, the city's director of community and economic development, said motorists sometimes get off the interstate and keep driving fast through downtown Erie.

"By creating some of this traffic calming, it's going to create a natural entrance into downtown Erie," she said.

Elliott said the conceptual plan, once completed, would result in nearly $1 million a year more in property taxes and $75,000 from local income taxes from residents who move there.

Nathan S. Clark, director of public relations for Logistics Plus in Union Station, said he's happy with the plan.

"Anything that is going to bring activity and bring people back to the area is a positive thing," he said. "I think it will improve the image of Erie. Once a little bit of this is a success, I think it will grow."

Chris Sirianni, president of the Brewerie, said Griswold Park will get a "much needed face-lift," but he was also concerned about the loss of parking. The plan calls for expanding Griswold Park into the parking area next to the post office.

"I do support some expansion of the park, but the displacement of parking would be our main concern," he said.

Elliott said that despite the reduction of parking there, the overall plan creates an additional 47 parking spaces than are in that neighborhood now.

Copyright (c) 2007, Erie Times-News, Pa. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.