FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Springfield and partners Better Block SGF, Downtown Springfield Community Improvement District and the Downtown Springfield Association want to find out if wider sidewalks, outdoor dining, landscaping and art installations could improve the visitor experience to downtown Springfield.
An upcoming “placemaking” demonstration Oct. 15-24 will use traffic barriers, cones and signage on South Avenue between McDaniel and Walnut streets to simulate the expansion of the curb line. A temporary mid-block crosswalk, reduction of on-street parking stalls and narrowing of the driving lanes will calm traffic while providing loading zones for business deliveries.
“The South Avenue demonstration aims to create an opportunity for the Springfield community to experience a re-imagined block of South Avenue that promotes pedestrian activity, support for local economy, safety, social connection and a quality urban experience,” explains local architect and Better Block SGF President Addison Jones.
Better Block SGF empowers individuals to reimagine and engage with the built environment in order to build a better, safer, more beautiful city, one block at a time, according to its website.
“The Downtown Springfield Association hosted two South Avenue stakeholder sessions to obtain input from business owners and residents on the proposed plans. The design of the demonstration project reflects the dual priorities of growing the revenues of local businesses while enhancing the pedestrian experience for our patrons,” noted DSA Executive Director Rusty Worley.
The City of Springfield will collect public feedback on the installation Oct. 15-29. Those interested in sharing their input can participate in an online or paper feedback survey available at locations nearby the installation. Results from the survey will help guide future planning efforts and infrastructure improvements downtown.
“This demonstration will allow patrons of downtown to see what a larger pedestrian space could look like in the downtown area,” explains City Traffic Engineer Brett Foster. “The traffic data staff plans to collect, alongside input gathered from the business community, pedestrians, motorists, and the general public will be valuable when planning future Public Works, Economic Vitality, Planning and Development and Quality of Place projects.”
The public and area businesses can expect the following traffic impacts throughout the demonstration:
- 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 15 – Parallel parking stalls will be coned off on both sides of South Avenue between McDaniel and Walnut Streets to facilitate the installation of demonstration elements. Two-way traffic will be maintained.
- 6 – 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 15 – Full closure of South Avenue between McDaniel Street and Walnut Street for a kick-off event hosted by Better Block SGF. Motorists are advised to follow the marked detour.
- Oct. 16 – 24 – South Avenue will be open to two-way traffic, with slightly reduced on-street parking and designated loading zones for deliveries.
- 7 – 9 a.m., Oct. 25 – Full closure of South Avenue between McDaniel and Walnut to uninstall demonstration elements. Motorists are advised to follow the marked detour.
- 9 a.m. Oct. 25 – South Street will return to pre-demonstration project configuration between McDaniel and Walnut Street.
# # #
For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected]