Ideas flowed from the stand- ing room only crowd at a public meeting Sept. 26 in Westlake Hall regarding the future of the Main Street and University Street inter- section.
Due to a water main break in early September, the city is looking to completely redo the intersection, through which near- ly 23,000 people pass each day, according to 2nd District Peoria City Councilman Chuck Grayeb.
“The city is not taking this lightly,” Peoria Public Works Director Mike Rogers said. “We need to take advantage of this opportunity and fix it right.”
While Rogers said there are no concrete plans yet, there are a few concepts the city is currently looking into for possible designs. The three proposed concepts are to keep the intersection design the same, construct a roundabout and put in a “speed table,” a raised portion of the intersection.
The focus of the meeting, how- ever, was to discover and compile constituent opinions
Increasing pedestrian safety, avoiding the diversion of traffic onto residential streets, making the intersection more aestheti- cally pleasing and improving
the quality of life and economic vitality of the area were all ideas brought to the table.
Some area residents suggest- ed increasing pedestrian safety through implementing all-way red lights and diagonal crossing or constructing a pedestrian bridge.
Vice President of Business Affairs Gary Anna said that the construction of a pedestrian bridge would not be in the best interest of Bradley or the community.
“We’ve spent a lot of time his- torically looking into a pedestrian bridge but have come to the con- clusion that students will cross [University Street] where it is most convenient [not specifically at a pedestrian bridge,]” Anna said.
Despite the rejection of the pedestrian bridge concept, Anna, said he echoed many of the con- cerns other constituents expressed at the meeting.
“Safety is the number one pri- ority,” Anna said. “Aside from safety, diverting traffic onto resi- dential streets should be avoided, as should increasing visitor con- fusion when going through the intersection to visit campus or the surrounding area.”
While no plans have been made official yet, Rogers said Peoria hopes to have a plan in place by the end of the year.