Proposed downtown Algonquin facelift to include better pedestrian access
Downtown Algonquin may become more pedestrian friendly if village officials move forward with a $30 million facelift.
Bridges would be replaced, walkways widened, outdoor gathering spaces would be updated and streets would be reconstructed to slow down traffic.
To begin implementing those and other redevelopment project ideas, officials are considering a Downtown Streetscape Master Plan, which was created by Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. and the Lakota Group, a Chicago-based planning and urban design company.
"We're looking at opportunities to not only improve the streetscape," said Daniel Grove, associate principal at the Lakota Group. "We think of it in terms of capitalizing on the unique attributes of the downtown, putting a polish on that and highlighting that through these improvements."
The plan, including engineering, construction and infrastructure repairs, would cost roughly $30 million and would likely be phased in over several years, Public Works Director Robert Mitchard said.
Trustees will decide Tuesday whether to give staff the green light to move forward with the plan.
The project focuses primarily on Main Street from the Algonquin Western Bypass to Algonquin Road, as well as Harrison Street. Along those streets, sidewalks and roadways would be replaced with brick and clay pavers. Monument signage and archways over the road would also be added to highlight the downtown entryway, Grove said.
Additionally, the Main Street and Harrison Street bridges crossing Crystal Creek would be reconstructed, according to the plan. The roadways would be narrowed, and the walkways widened.
The Washington and Main streets intersection would also become more pedestrian friendly, with safer crosswalks and decorative features at the corners. Pedestrian alleys between buildings could also serve as connecting points from street to street, Grove said.
"We want to slow down the cars and provide a more comfortable environment that's safer for walking," he said.
Some improvements -- streetlights, benches and landscaping -- would be made to the entire downtown area for consistency purposes, he said. The plan also includes options for parking, bike access, beautification, creek stabilization and outdoor seating and dining.
"We want to think about the character of the community -- the buildings, the people, the infrastructure that's already there," Grove said. "We want something that resonates with the character of Algonquin."