Amanda Baker, Downtown Development Coordinator
Don’t just invite people downtown, give them options on how to get there!
Although the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix is not wide at the end, the disconnect between the east and west sides of East Jordan that it separates has often been remarked upon, and the East Jordan DDA is making plans to lessen the gap. The DDA hired on Gosling Czubak Engineering Firm to design an updated streetscape and connectivity plan based on public input gathered over the winter. Focusing on three traffic nodes (the intersection of Main Street and M32, the M32 Bridge, and Tourist Park) the DDA and engineers are determining the best ways for people to move from one location to the next.
A huge piece of the puzzle revolves around pedestrian access to the bridge. By utilizing the City owned weir, originally built by the Army Corps of Engineers, the group hopes to increase traffic between the current boat launch, Memorial Park and the Marina. Plans are in the works to enhance the weir into an attractive place to casually stroll. Adding in fishing platforms and ADA connections will invite people to linger in our community’s public spaces.
The plan will also refresh the downtown streetscape and find ways to carry that out across the bridge. The group is keeping in mind potential changes to the area and how work done now can coordinate with what the future holds.
As a final piece of the project, Gosling Czubak has been asked to draft Design Guidelines for future development in town. While less restrictive than Form Based Code, a Design Guideline will let developers know what the city wants to see in the community and incentivize meeting those suggestions. This will work toward enhancing the cohesiveness of the community by creating a common theme among the buildings and public spaces throughout.
If your community is looking for help in gathering public input or brainstorming downtown updates contact Northern Lakes Economic Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.