Lebanon looks to improve public square

Lebanon looks to improve public square (Image 1)

City leaders are hoping to make the public square in Lebanon safer and more pedestrian friendly.

In a public meeting Tuesday, Wilson County and Lebanon officials discussed changes that include lighting, landscaping and safety features.

Rick Smith was struck by car last November and that's when city leaders decided enough was enough.

“I was about three quarters of the way through the crosswalk when the car [clipped] me from behind. [I] never saw, never heard him, just felt it coming all of a sudden,” Smith recalled.

He continued, “[It] broke my left leg [and] injured my shoulder.  [I had] head injuries.  My head came through the windshield of the car so it was a dramatic day to say the least.”

Business owners agree the square is in desperate need of a makeover.

“The customers come in rattled and upset and it's not good for anyone,” Helene Cash told Nashville's News 2.

The improvements include adding more signage, a better traffic flow and an overall facelift.

“We're working to make these buildings historically correct with the colors, the storefronts, the awnings, just for that once again [feeling] it's a very inviting, vibrant place,” Michael Manous, the architect for the project, said.

Because it's a safety issue, the state will pick up the majority of tab.  The city will play for lighting, irrigation, brickwork and landscaping.  A tax increase is not planned to pay for the improvements.

“Once it happens it will go very, very rapidly and I can see us standing in a completely renovated public space by this time next year,” Manous said of the project.

Lebanon is also looking forward to the opening of a historic arcade, similar to the one in downtown Nashville, as well as the reopening of the Capitol Theater.

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