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Route 30 Revitalization: 'I Just Want Something to Come to Fruition'

Last week, the New Lenox Village Board approved a contract to conduct a study to plan ways to improve the Route 30 corridor.

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."

Your Feedback

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.

  1. List three new private-sector projects, uses or developments you would like to see undertaken within the Route 30 Corridor study area.
  2. List three new public-sector projects or improvements you would like to see.
  3. What would you not like to see take place in the corridor study area in the future?

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Tom Lewis May 21, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Who the heck are you TOM HARRIS?
James Madison May 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM
We could have had a nice river walk but for the sewage plant. Veterans parkway was not well thought out, either. What a coincidence, they are both government projects.
Sam Kroll May 22, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Oddly enough, the only location on that strip that looks like they spent a ton of money on construction and landscaping is the Town Taj Hall. C'mon Biz owners- if Town Hall can spend significant improvement money- why can't the businesses do likewise? I say raze the whole strip and start over.
Charles Reasoner May 26, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Actually, Veteran's Parkway was planned and thought out well, except perhaps for the main building, which was overdone, imho. The problem is more complex than simply blaming our elected officials. They are beholden to us, and we want lower real estate taxes and good public schools, public services, good teachers, police, firemen, park district, library, Chicago water, and all the other services some of us take for granted. That requires more taxes no matter what you political sensibilities or ideology one has. That's just reality. Given that, it should be no surprise that large corporations with big box stores and fast food chains have become our Village planners. The end result is almost always the same for the typical subiuban 'downtown" - a congested strip of endless franchise fast food restaurants and chain stores. yea, Walmart and maybe even a Staples... Look, we even have a White Castle and Portillo's broke ground. Oh man, we have arrived! The old buildings on 30 and the old Ace Hardware mall will be knocked down and redeveloped. If the Village can fund a redevelopment plan like Orland did on 143rd and LaGrange and the real estate market continues to rebound, we can recreate ourselves in the image of Orland Park. That seems to be what most people want...an overcrowded stretch of 4-6 lanes with turn lanes and stopl lights every block every major chain store and restaurant all packed together in one cluster----.
Charles Reasoner May 28, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Before the economic Stimulus money hit, the NL plan to widen Route 30 was to do it piece meal with each section done with money from the big franchise/chains as they filled it in slowly over the course of God knows how long. I saw an orange sign about the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment plan but it was taken down right away.

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