Reading recent articles in the PNR pertaining to the upcoming election one would get the impression that SOS is simply a small group of people whose main purpose in life is to change Beacon avenue from one-way to two-way. Nothing could be further from the truth.
SOS is in fact a very large coalition of business owners, members of local associations and town residents who have much wider concerns than simply traffic flow on Beacon.
This group, organized through the efforts of Richard Talbot, was spawned from the mayor’s intransigence with respect to leading the charge with the downtown business community toward mitigating the threat of big malls popping up on our doorstep. SOS and its membership felt differently and through their efforts, were instrumental in forcing the mayor and council to flip flop on their hands off position and form the downtown revitalization task force.
Not withstanding this welcome initiative SOS hope that they may continue to play a role; influencing the task force and town with their ideas and strategies.
SOS is proposing for example, longer store opening hours, new gateway signage, waterfront enhancements, property tax incentives, architectural standards and many more to improve upon the towns strengths and attractiveness as a tourist destination and place to live.
Changing the one-way portion of Beacon back to two-way was just one of many ideas debated by the SOS membership who, based on the evidence of similar findings in other communities facing similar problems, believe it would aid in improving exposure and access to retail outlets.