Downtown Streetscape Improvements Go to Council

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Downtown Naperville is getting a new look. At the most recent Naperville City Council meeting, city staff proposed new standards for the downtown streetscape.

“The Downtown 2030 plan identified the need to update the previous standards and to develop a plan for upgrading the aging streetscape downtown,” said Deputy Director of TED Jennifer Louden, who presented on the topic.

The goal of the updates is to provide a consistent aesthetic to the district, while also making the area convenient for all visiting downtown.

This will include widening certain sidewalks and corners and installing uniform amenities like planters and bike racks.

Some angled parking spaces will also be converted to parallel.

“Conversion of the spaces on the south side of Jefferson and the east side of Main Street will result in a reduction of approximately 13 parking stalls,” said Louden. “However, this was discussed at length with the Downtown Advisory Commission and DAC as well as staff feel that the added pedestrian benefit in these areas outweighs the reduction in parking.”

Jackson Avenue between Washington and Main will experience the most drastic change. The plan would turn this space into a “woonerf” – a space shared by vehicles and pedestrians with a flush curb and lighted archways at each end.

This was the first reading of the item before the dais and feedback from councilmembers was generally positive.

“Thank you very much and I appreciate that and I think it’s nice to see some visuals,” said Councilwoman Judy Brodhead. “I know this is the fruition of an awful lot of time spent thinking about this and planning this.”

Louden added that both the Senior Task Force and Disability Task Force weighed in on and approved the proposed designs.

For more information on the streetscape plan, the document, along with implementation priorities, check the city’s website.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.