West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta has just released the results of a community conversation the borough held back in May on residents' satisfaction with the county seat. Among the positive feedback: West Chester residents like the borough's diversity, "lively downtown," "tree-lined streets" and burgeoning arts scene.
But suggestions for borough-wide improvement tend to reflect some quality of life issues that residents have raised over the past year. Improvements requested by residents include "addressing late night noise and bar traffic issues" (which we've written about in the past) and "fostering an ongoing relationship with West Chester University to address mutual interests" -- namely, making sure rental properties are in good shape.
Residents also suggested increasing affordable housing availability, adding parking meters that accept credit cards and improving public transportation options for going in and out of the borough. And though they appreciate the retail downtown, they're also looking for more food shopping options (preferably, a Trader Joe's) and even asked the borough to consider converting Gay Street, a main thoroughfare, into a pedestrian mall.
More than 100 people participated in the community conversation, Comitta said, and the borough will hold another conversation on Oct. 10 at the Chester County Historical Society’s Cultural Center.