Downtown Streetscape Plans Emerge

On Monday, a packed room of Village residents received news and viewed renderings for the long-awaited downtown streetscape project. Landscape architecture firm Munz Associates delivered the presentation. The Village is aiming to begin the project in spring 2013 with an 18-month construction period when crews will replace sidewalks and road surfaces. The project focuses on Broadway to Broad Street, New Main Street to Clove Avenue, and Main Street to 2nd Street. Heritage streetlamps made of dark green concrete were chosen. The street tree of choice is the Honey Locust. Individual parking meters will be removed and replaced with a digital muni-meter system. Sidewalks will include a band of brick along the curb and feature “bulb-outs” at Broadway and New Main Street in order to shorten crosswalks for pedestrian safety and convenience. Benches and decorative planters will grace the sidewalks and serve as gathering places for shoppers, diners, and residents. Oversized and decorative cast iron tree grates will surround street trees. Utility poles, a source of controversy over past years, will stay in place but crews will replace them with taller fiberglass poles in order to raise electric and phone lines above building facades. Residents raised concerns that the streetscape plan did not fully address the growing bicycling movement in the region. Some called for bike parking provisions – utilizing old parking meter poles as bike racks. Overall, the project is a step in the right direction and a welcome improvement to the Village’s downtown. It sets a clear foundation for further improvement and increased pedestrianization in the future. Some images/renderings from the meeting:

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