THANK YOU!

Thanks to the dozens of people, businesses and organizations who came together to make Better Block happen!

We can't name you all individually, but THANK YOU to everyone who planned the event, ran pop-up shops, helped build and create the event, cooked food, contributed supplies, played music, and showed up... 

The following businesses and groups deserve special thanks. 

Above all to:

  • AARP of Vermont
  • Team Better Block
  • Town of Bethel: Select Board, staff (Keith Arlund, Abbie Sherman, Kelly Hill) and the highway department
  • The BRI Team

Also to our sponsors & donors:

  • Bethel Area Rotary
  • Casella Waste Management
  • Central Vermont Insulation
  • Ultramotive Corporation
  • Dandelion Acres
  • Randolph Herald

And to the following groups, property owners & organizations that were major contributors:

  • Bethel Depot / Mimi Kevan
  • Bethel Farmers' Market
  • Bethel Forward Fest Committee
  • Bethel Historic Society
  • Bethel Public Library
  • Bethel Schools / Owen Bradley, Malia Timmerman, John Hubble
  • Bethel Village Sandwich Shop / Dave Sambor
  • Cockadoodle Pizza / Jim & Nell Fisher
  • Community Workshop
  • Green Mountain Feeds
  • Lavere Block Rentals / Kevin Barr 
  • Mills Hardware / Brad Andrews
  • Mills Laundromat / John & Bev Washburn
  • Nick & Heidi Nikolaidis
  • Peter Nikolaidis
  • The Richardson Family
  • The Silver Fern / Mark & Erin Boettcher
  • Stagecoach Transportation Services
  • Stitchdown Farm
  • vBike Solutions
  • Vermont Department of Housing & Community Development
  • VTRANS
  • Ward Joyce Design

Bethel, we make a pretty great team... 

OH, SNAP... 

Check out some great photos of the event. Thanks to all who shared images!


SO WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED?

We all had a blast at Better Block, but did it actually DO anything for Bethel? You bet. Here are some of the impacts, and where we might go from here.

  • Experimental street improvements (pedestrian island, bulbouts, crosswalk striping) reduced traffic speeds and noise. Without any enforcement, traffic went from an average of 25 miles per hour to 15, and noise went from 80 decibels (alarm clock level) to 60 decibels (quiet library level).
  • Bethel hosted 12 temporary pop-up shops and sidewalk businesses, which brought in several thousand dollars to the local economy over three days.
  • Several pop-up shops are thinking about ways to open permanent shops.
  • Groups are now talking about which ideas worked well, which could be combined with other programs, which could bring in grant funding, and which ones we should make permanent. What do you think?

BETTER BLOCK IN THE NEWS

Check out the press coverage of Better Block... [coming soon]


WHAT IS BETTER BLOCK?

The Better Block project transformed downtown Bethel... in a weekend! 

  • Better Block is a nationally-renowned process for revitalizing downtowns and blocks, starting with temporary changes and projects. 
  • Bethel was selected by AARP of Vermont to host a Better Block project in 2016 - receiving $15,000 in technical assistance and resources.
  • We're worked with Andrew Howard of Better Block, AARP and other partners to identify specific projects to test & try, like pop-up shops, temporary bike lanes and intersection improvements, benches and parklets, beautification projects and more.