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6. The Bike lane and parking are fine on the west side of the road. Additional parking on the east side of the road in 100 block south is what we need! Day and night, As it is now you can only park on a portion of the east side after 7PM. But I stress removing parking on the east side will drive away customers from a business that has been in that location for 22 years. Out on a limb is a very nice gathering place that brings additional nightlife to the area. We were actually looking at serving food as well at some point. But they killed the day business when they restricted the parking years ago. I see zero reason the bikes on the east side going north could not be a shared one for that block. And adjust the plan for parking on that side.
Response: Thanks for taking the time to comment on the streetscape plan. The streetscape plan follows the Kankakee Bike Plan that was adopted in 2015. The Bike Plan can be downloaded from the project website in the ‘documents’ section. Your comments are appreciated and will be reviewed with the City and design team.
5. A great article for thinking about our Schuyler Street initiative:
By pursuing several relatively inexpensive, experimental ideas, i.e., making many small bets, letting go of the losers, and building on the winners, Muskegon, Michigan climbed.
4. I was just traveling and we came across a small town called Avocado, Iowa on Thursday that we stopped in because of some reviews on Trip Advisor for lunch. When we parked we heard music playing and thought it was nice that the business had music playing outside though after a short walk around their downtown area to stretch our legs we noticed that the music was playing throughout the whole downtown business area and around the square. I though how cool would that be to have music playing along this area in Kankakee especially since there is a few outdoor seating areas. Totally loved it and hope to see it come to the downtown and depot area.
3. I believe the Paramount Theater is a nice anchor for the north side of Schuyler Avenue. I always notice rows of cars dropping/picking up moviegoers in front. Make the parking directly across the street, on west side of Schuyler, could be diagonal parking, for those waiting. Perhaps an extension of the sidewalk in front of theater could be a grand plaza/garden area, or a turnabout before the theater to slow down traffic. Also, lighting of the buildings on west side, like the string of lights further south on Schuyler. Plenty of parking space to the north, could hold events and still have plenty of parking for all.A few berms would really break up that cold, hard look of blacktop parking all over.
2. Events! While the Farmers Market is a success, I believe a once a week event (for only half the year at that) is a terrible underutilization of a great space. With that said, I believe regular and semi regular events that draw people from across the area and beyond more often would be a huge step in attracting increased development downtown. Some possibilities could include:
Food Truck Friday’s. On a regular basis, perhaps one Friday per month, food trucks from the Kankakee area, as well as popular trucks from Chicago and the suburban area, would set up shop during the afternoon or evening. Local restaurants without a truck could also participate via booths.
An annual Craft Beer Festival. Anyone who’s been inside a bar lately knows craft brews are all the rage. An annual event featuring local breweries like Brickstone along with regional breweries (Tribes, One Trick Pony, Evil Horse, Hailstorm, etc.) prizes would be awarded for different categories. Could also include a home brew category for hobby brewers to compete. Also has the potential to benefit local hotels and Uber drivers. It could make downtown Kankakee an attractive location for a new brewery of our own.
Community Tailgate Party. Set up a temporary projector screen for certain sporting events. Encourage the community to bring their own grills and food, etc and enjoy the game in a tailgate atmosphere
Temporary Ice Skating Rink during the winter months. Pretty self explanatory.
Response: Thanks for taking the time to comment on the streetscape plan and yes, people are a key ingredient to a successful downtown. Great suggestions – please stay involved!
1. I would actually like to see this plan extend beyond Station Street heading south. If growth in the community is what we want, then we should try to improve the areas that are less than attractive. This in turn will bring potential further growth to Schuyler. While those four blocks are the crown jewel of commercial downtown, we should try and think bigger. It doesn’t have to be a rose in a desert. Good lighting and attractive walking areas are an appeal, not a detriment.
Response: Thanks for your reply. We couldn’t agree more and would also love to expand the streetscape study area. As we are working within a limited budget determined by the Council, the intent of this streetscape plan is to address the four-block area in the near term. Those improvements will be designed in such a way that they can be expanded to other portions of Schuyler Avenue as appropriate. Please continue to stay involved and many thanks again!