As New Lenox looks to revitalize its downtown, village trustees want to make sure a new study on the area actually leads to change.
Last week, the Village Board approved a contract with Houseal Lavigne Associates to conduct a study of the Route 30 corridor, a 2.5-mile stretch that extends east on Route 30 from the Interstate 80 ramp to the .
From 2004 to 2006, an advisory group created the Route 30 Corridor Revitalization Plan, which aimed to identify problems with the area and ways to enhance it for the future.
In the revitaliation plan, which was published in 2006, the advisory group writes that the corridor has a "lack of achitechtural character ... and a lack of pedestrian friendliness." It called for more cross-access between businesses, fewer curb cuts, more sidewalks and bike paths and improved landscaping and parking lots.
But since that plan was published, nothing was done and the area has changed significantly. Enter the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, which is responible for producing a regional plan for land use and transportation. CMAP gave New Lenox a $60,000 grant through its Local Technical Assistance Program, paying in full for the work of Houseal Lavigne Associates.
"We've had plan after plan," trustee Ray Tuminello said. "I just want to see something come to fruition."
Village planning administrator Robin Ellis said this will "take it to the next step" and be a more detailed plan. She also hopes the village will work more with the property owners along Route 30.
"This was very real," trustee Annette Bowden said. "It's not something we're going to put on paper and do in 20 years, because in 20 years things will change again."
In a 2004 workshop, the advisory group asked various questions about the area. Read a few of the questions below and leave your responses in the comments section.
- List three new private-sector projects, uses or developments you would like to see undertaken within the Route 30 Corridor study area.
- List three new public-sector projects or improvements you would like to see.
- What would you not like to see take place in the corridor study area in the future?
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