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The Road to Somewhere: New Road Name Announced

Hope Street downtown Bristol | Mike Uchalid

The Road to Somewhere is a series of articles that chronicle the redevelopment of the former mall site with the simple start of a road. Road to Somewhere also covers community comments and political commentary.

The beginning is defined as the point in time or space at which something starts.

Why is this road so important?

After 12 years of waiting for the former mall site to get redeveloped, the City finally has reached the point to actually name a new road on it.

Hope Street downtown Bristol | Mike Uchalid

This great news for downtown Bristol.

The new road is about 1,000 feet long and contain many streetscape components including trees, brick pavers, a center median made of “stamped asphalt,” decorative lights, landscaping, granite curbing, and a bus stop location.

The road will match the current look of North Main and Main Streets. The City will also update the traffic signal at North Main Street and Laurel streets.

The Mayor’s Office released a statement that said after receiving hundreds of suggestions from Bristol residents, the Bristol Development Authority and the Mayor’s Office has announced the results of a public survey for the naming of Bristol’s newest street which runs through Bristol’s Centre Square.  “Hope Street” was the name that received the most votes from a survey that ended in October.

“We began the naming process in the middle of summer when we asked the public to suggest names and we received a great response as hundreds of names were submitted and considered,” said Justin Malley, Executive Director of the Bristol Development Authority.  “In September, we narrowed the list down to 10 names and sent out the ballot, with Hope Street being the name that received the most votes.”

Hope Street downtown Bristol | Mike Uchalid

The voting was promoted with a special video announcement that was distributed on the City’s social media channels and websites.  Residents could vote in several different ways – electronically on BristolAllHeart.com, filling out a paper ballot at the Mum Festival and Bristol Farmer’s Markets, mailing in a printed ballot that was published by area newspapers, or by mailing or dropping off their ballot to the Mayor’s Office.

“Hope conveys a positive message for those who may be patients of Bristol Hospital’s ambulatory care center, our new anchor facility,” said Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. “It is also an acknowledgment of the City turning the page on a troubled past of urban renewal, demolition and failed revitalization attempts.”

New Bristol Hospital building parking lot | Photo courtesy Mike Uchalid

The term ‘hope’ is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen,” said Kurt A. Barwis, FACHE, president and CEO of Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group. “There is no better way to describe the collaboration and planning that went into the Centre Square project and the Ambulatory Care Center. Hope Street will serve as a major artery into the heart of downtown Bristol.”

It was a close vote and the winner was determined by only three votes.  The other ten finalist names were Veteran’s Crossing, All Heart Crossing, Artery Drive, Community Crossing, Courage Court, Nightingale Crossing, Trolley Crossing, Volunteer Crossing, and Wellness Way.

The next steps for adopting the name officially will be approval by the Board of Public Works and City Council.  The road is almost complete and plans are being developed for when it will be officially opened.

Catch up on The Road to Somewhere.

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