Middlebury Better Block

On July 30, 2016, we transformed the intersection of North Arlington Street and East Market Street in Middlebury, Arkon, Ohio into a walkable, vibrant district. Community-built installations included outdoor seating, temporary plazas, food trucks, kids’ play areas, community garden, live entertainment, and improved bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

With the bike lanes in place, we were able to focus on the rest of the activations, which included renovating a drive-thru bank into storefronts for local businesses, including a coffee shop and a water ice vendor. With some donated fabric, a few staples, some handy volunteers, and a few hours, we were able to do just that. The team also created crosswalks, which were made permanent.

There’s now a connected database of involved citizens who are passionate about and dedicated to Middlebury. “The planning committee formed a cohesive and enthusiastic community itself—one that was and still is focused on improving the Middlebury community,” community organizer with Neighborhood Network of University Park Marissa Blewitt says. “Most of the planning committee has committed to participating in the “What’s Next” committee, which will no doubt use the momentum from the Middlebury Better Block to inform policy, investments, and community engagement in the neighborhood.”  

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