Friday, July 20, 2012
Residents Brainstorm Algonquin Downtown Changes
"The Downtown will be very different after the 31 bypass goes through," planning consultant Ron Lanz told the assembly. "You can do things (on Main Street) that you could never do when IDOT controlled it."
Traffic consultant Stacey Meekins from Sam Schwartz Engineering said even under current conditions, traffic congestion isn't as bad as interviews and comments suggested. However, she said, " The perception is so bad it's coloring the perception of Downtown."
Market expert Bridget Lane of Business District, Inc., said according to her studies of nearby population Downtown could viably support 150,000 to 200,000 square feet of retail and commercial space--a good thing since that's about what's already there. Less than 10 percent of residents go to other downtown areas now, Lane said.
A 38-page report of consultants' findings will be posted here later today: http://www.landvision.com/algonquindowntownplan/
Residents got to put their two cents--and more--into the planning process when groups marked up aerial maps of the downtown area to show what ought to go where. Recurring suggestions included tying the Village's Arrowhead subdivision to the rest of the Downtown, putting in good sidewalks south toward Edgewood Drive and adding some sort of water recreation facility to the Downtown riverfront.
One group brainstormed an Army Ranger-style cable and pulley thrill ride from the top of the bluff to the Fox's eastern shore but admitted it probably wasn't practical.
Another Downtown planning meeting will put all the ideas together in about two months.