Thursday, August 17, 2006

Downtown Streetscape Design Charrette


Central Business District (CBD) Street Resurfacing and Streetscape Program
Public Information Session #2
Design Charette

The Centre – Heritage Ballroom
100 Symphony Way
Elgin, IL 60120
August 17, 2006
7:00 p.m.

Join the City and representatives of the design team (TranSystems and DLK Civic Design) to help shape and develop concepts for the Central Business District (CBD) Street Resurfacing and Streetscape Program.

This meeting is the second meeting in a series of public meetings that will be held throughout this project to provide an opportunity for property and business owners, tenants, residents, and other interested stakeholders to be involved through the design and construction of this exciting five-year program. The first public meeting was held on July 27th and provided general information of the project along with an inventory and analysis of the CBD from a surface and appearance perspective.

The purpose of this second public meeting is to present initial concepts for streetscaping options developed by the consultant team. A brief presentation of these concepts will be given followed by a breakout working session. Your comments on these initial concepts will aid the design team in progressing these concepts into final design and construction. We hope that you can join us for what promises to be an exciting, collaborative, and informative workshop.

Project Background
The City is currently experiencing considerable redevelopment of its older downtown Central Business District (CBD). With the numerous redevelopment efforts that are taking place, the need to repair, update and enhance the sidewalks and streets has become evident. It is envisioned that the improvements would include the replacement of sidewalks and curb and gutter with new ones that include paver streetscape accents, planters with irrigation, decorative street lights, street furniture, additional street trees and repaving of the streets.
The look would be similar to that found on Douglas Avenue, Grove Avenue, and Symphony Way around the The Centre. In addition to the above work, the underground utilities will also need to be reconditioned. The water main and water services in the CBD are old, buried deeper than necessary due to street grade changes over the years and not easily repairable. The storm and sanitary sewers have been inspected and repaired in the past but also need to be evaluated and any recommended repairs addressed. Lining of all sewer mains is budgeted for 2006 by the annual Public Works contract.
To oversee the CBD Improvement Project, the City of Elgin has engaged the services of TranSystems and DLK Civic Design to provide design services for water main and water service replacement, streetscape amenities construction and street resurfacing. Both the surface and underground work will have a high impact on the residents and businesses in the area. For this reason, construction will need to be well planned and executed in order to maintain reasonable access during construction. The general plan for the program is for the utility work to occur the year before the surface improvements. The project has been laid out such that surface improvements would begin in 2007 and be concluded by the end of 2011 construction season. In order to maintain this proposed schedule, the underground utility work for the first year of the surface improvements must be done in 2006.
Because of the impact on the residents and businesses in the area, the consultant team will provide a substantial public relations/information effort during the course of the project. This will likely include frequent public meetings, newsletters, updates and project status reports via mailings/handouts and on the City’s website during design and construction of the project.

1 comment:

The Elginite said...

Just a few things they might consider:
1 - Angled parking
2 - Brick streets
3 - Bicycle racks
4 - Pocket parking
5 - Non-light-polluting street lights
6 - Large plant containers as buffers between street & sidewalk

Perhaps it would have been better though to hold off on major streetscape improvements until the residential projects in development are completed. Once residents are moved in, observations of actual street usage can be made rather than just predictions.