Neighborhoods – A Must Read

I saw this article, 25 Ways to Enliven Your Neighborhood, when you look over the list of things to do, I think you will see many of the items that we have been working on in Dennisport for so long. A big thanks to the Dennisport Revitalization Committee as many of these photos are linked from their website.

Below are the items and some of my thoughts on our accomplishments:

1. Give people a place to hang-out

Pocket Park or Mike Stacy Park anyone?

2. Give people something to see

3. Give people something to do

Make sure you attend the “Summer Concerts Series in the Park” sponsored by the South Side Civic Association every Tuesday Night at 6 p.m in Mike Stacy Park.

4. Give people a place to sit down

Mike Stacy Park and the Pocket Park both provide tables, chairs and benches to sit and stay a spell.  Several businesses also provide benches outside of their front doors for the use of passers by.

5. Give people a safe, comfortable place to walk

6. Give people a safe, comfortable place to bike

The Dennisport Revitalization Committee has been working on a connection between the Cape Cod Rail Trail and both the village center and the Dennisport beaches. The existing zoning for the Village Center and Hotel Resort District emphasize the importance of bicycle transportation for the area.

7. Give people reliable, comfortable public transportation

The Village Center is  connected to the region by the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.

CCRTA H2O Route Serving Dennisport

8. Make the streets safe—from crime

Dennisport residents and businesses participate in the Neighborhood Crime Watch program and meet frequently with Dennis Police Department Personnel to keep the streets of the village safe.

9. Make the streets safe—from traffic

The town is working constantly to improve the pedestrian environment in Dennisport Village Center.  At present the town is working on a plan to improve existing sidewalks and to increase the amount of sidewalk area within the village.

10. Remember the streets belong to everyone—not just motorists

A bit over a decade ago a plan was presented to the Dennisport Revitalization Committee to eliminate parking along Route 28 through the center of the village.  Dennis Planning staff met with the Revitalization Committee members from that time period to discuss this recommendation.  Staff explained that on-street parking worked to slow traffic down through the center of the village thereby making businesses more visible and improving the pedestrian environment. Ultimately the Revitalization Committee rejected this concept.

11. Don’t forget about the needs of older neighbors

The Dennis Public Library, a variety of restaurants and shopping destinations are all at the fingertips of visitors to the village. The Dennis Council on Aging’s bus brings our older residents to the village on a regular basis.  The Library provides a wide variety of programs geared towards all ages.

12. Don’t forget about the needs of kids

13. Let your community go to the dogs

14. Reclaim front yards as social spaces

In a village, sitting on a park bench, whether in front of Puzzles, Toys and More, or in the park provides great social opportunities.

15. Remember the best neighborhoods, even in big cities, feel like villages

Dennisport is not a big city, and a friendly wave is always easy to find on Main Street.

16. Plan for winter weather as well as sunny, warm days

Last year’s Christmas Stroll reminded everyone that Dennisport does not roll up the sidewalks when the summer is over.  There is plenty to see and do all year round in the vibrant village. I still am hoping for a Christmas weekend chorus series using the local school choruses in the Pocket Park!

17. Don’t fear density—people enjoy being around other people

We have added significant housing opportunities in the Village over the past decade, here are a few examples:

18. Don’t give up hope—great changes are possible when neighbors get together

19. Build on what’s good in your community to make things even better

The Dennis Public Library provided the original anchor for Dennisport Village Center – bringing people to the village even before the new library was constructed.

20. Remember the power of the commons: people working together for the benefit of everyone in the neighborhood.

These pictures from the Dennisport Revitalization Committee says it all.

21. Never underestimate the power of a shared meal to move people into action

I am a strong believer in this one, and the Dennisport Spaghetti Supper was a HUGE success.

22. Start with small steps—like planting flowers

Plant a flower, paint a picture….

23. Become a community booster, watchdog, patriot

Dennisport is lucky to have a strong group of boosters on the Dennisport Revitalization Committee and the Dennisport Business Association.

24. Learn from other neighborhoods in your town and around the world

As we crafted the Dennisport Village Center Zoning by-law we looked both at the history of Dennisport as well as what worked in areas we wished to emulate. Kate Kennen helped us with some wonderful graphics which also drew upon special buildings both locally and in other towns.

25. Take the time to have fun and enjoy what’s already great about your neighborhood


3 thoughts on “Neighborhoods – A Must Read

  1. Annie K Hughes

    This has shown tremendous progress in the Dennisport area over the past few years. The community has stepped up to make this neighborhood people friendly and community involved. The addition of a few businesses has drawn more businesses and it is noticed.

  2. Donald Robitaille

    Great article, Dan, I’m guessing this was sent to everyone on the Dennis Port Revitalization Committee. If it wasn’t I’ll forward it. This will be on the agenda of our August meeting. I’m sure the merchants will love this article.

  3. Daniel Fortier Post author

    Only those who check in on the blog or through Facebook will see it. Feel free to share the link. When I saw the article over the weekend, it jumped out at me right away how much fit all we have been doing for the past dozen years in Dennisport.

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