Decatur Council to discuss Business 51 streetscape proposals In this 2018 file photo, road work is performed along U.S. Business 51 near the Maryland Heights Road intersection. JIM BOWLING, HERALD & REVIEW DECATUR — The future of Business Route 51 between Pershing Road and Eldorado Street tops the Decatur City Council’s agenda Monday. City staff
Decatur Council to discuss Business 51 streetscape proposals
DECATUR — The future of Business Route 51 between Pershing Road and Eldorado Street tops the Decatur City Council’s agenda Monday.
City staff will seek input from council members on what improvements they would like to see to the dilapidated stretch of pavement, which is due for a facelift from the Illinois Department of Transportation in either 2022 or 2023.
“I think the purpose is to kind of get the council’s direction on some of these alternatives that are proposed for various sections along 51, but then generally to get the public support for reducing the amount of vehicular pavement and replacing it with more green space and more pedestrian facilities, whether it’s reducing the number of lanes or narrowing the lanes,” said assistant city manager Jon Kindseth.
IDOT’s initial plan for the route was to complete a “mill and fill” of Water and Main streets, fixing the existing asphalt but making no other improvements to the street or surrounding streetscape.
City staff objected, arguing that the road in its current state is too wide and detracts from neighborhood revitalization efforts. They have expressed interest in a road diet that would reduce driving lanes, add green space and improve the overall streetscape.
Proposed alternatives for the route would limit traffic to three lanes in each direction and include accommodations for pedestrians and bikers.
An IDOT traffic study confirmed that a reduction to three lanes would be feasible.
Once the council provides a direction, the next steps would be to complete detail design and gather input from the public. There is currently no timetable for either.
Also on Monday:
Culp will replace outgoing Councilman Pat McDaniel, who is retiring after 10 years on the council. McDaniel will be honored at Monday’s meeting.
* Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe has nominated Councilwoman Lisa Gregory to serve as mayor pro tempore.
The mayor pro tem runs city council meetings when the mayor isn’t present and becomes the acting mayor if there’s a vacancy in the office.
The role has been held for the past few years by McDaniel. Gregory’s appointment will be voted on by the council.
* The council will consider an agreement with the Public Safety Training Foundation for use of their facility. This proposed agreement allows officers and future officers to use the facilities without having to sign an agreement.
The council will also consider a related agreement that will allow police officers to use a VirTra V-300 System training simulator, which puts officers in real-life training scenarios.
The agreement would allow the Decatur Police Department to have access to their own VirTra System to use for training any time of day or night, which allows even third shift to do on-shift training.
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In this 2018 file photo, road work is performed along U.S. Business 51 near the Maryland Heights Road intersection.
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