Greater Greenwood News

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Date ArticleType
6/17/2019 Chamber

Madison Avenue Corridor Improvements Continue

Residents who like the improvements along Madison Avenue in Greenwood can expect even more in years to come. Additional phases of the project are in the works, all designed to increase the walkability of downtown Greenwood and help get pedestrians to their destinations safely in an attractive environment. Connectivity and walkability are key elements of plans to revitalize Old Town Greenwood. Trails and sidewalks are an important part of the improvements planned for Madison Avenue, a major corridor and key component of the city’s vision for the future.

The overall project features 12-foot wide sidewalks with pedestrian crossings and dedicated, separate bicycle lanes, along with a variety of streetscape enhancements. The goal is to connect multiple downtown parking lots, providing residents and visitors convenient access by vehicle to restaurants and businesses. Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists all will be able to travel safely throughout the downtown area as a result of this program.
“The city has made a recommitment to its historic core,” Greenwood Capital Projects Manager Kevin Steinmetz said of the sidewalk project. “Over the years, Greenwood has expanded outward. Now it is refocusing on the downtown.”

“This is part of a long-term vision to connect different zones in the city,” said Steinmetz. “When completed, Madison Avenue and the improved sidewalks will provide a multimodal route from Greenwood Park Mall south through the restaurant and commercial district, then on to the century-old downtown, and finally to the planned residential area nearby.” He explained that trails and sidewalks will be an important part of the former Greenwood Middle School site, which will be developed for mixed uses, combining retail/office with residential space in the same buildings.

The first phase of the project — connecting Pearl Street north to Noble Street, close to downtown — was completed last year at a cost of more than $2 million. “We see people every day, walking their dogs and enjoying the view — people who may not have used the sidewalk before,” Steinmetz observed. He added that the hybrid beacon signal at Euclid Street which enables pedestrians to safely cross the street has been a major asset and is utilized a great deal. To see more about the first phase, click here.  (Story continues below.)

Madison Ave 2018 Trail
Image courtesy City of Greenwood

Design work to extend the improvements from Pearl south to Main Street is funded and scheduled to take place next year. Finally, funding is being sought to design the section from Noble Street north to Fry Road, likely in 2021, Steinmetz said.

“A lot of things go into designing sidewalks that people don’t see, such as utility work,” he explained, which adds to the cost and the time required for construction.

“This corridor redevelopment program is providing a safer, and interconnected multi-modal way to move along downtown Greenwood,” commented Greater Greenwood Chamber President and CEO Christian Maslowski. “Community investment in placemaking, like this one, create an attractive place for additional business investment, new companies to locate, and provide a better quality of life for current residents and newcomers alike.  This is indeed an investment in the future.”

"However, the Chamber is mindful of the potential for business disruption such construction projects can cause.  We are prepared to come along side impacted business owners with additional support services.  We actually encourage business owners to start planning right now by talking with one of our business coaching partners."