Lincoln Avenue, the Main Street of Bellevue and Avalon, may soon get a makeover. On Thursday, the Borough of Bellevue will host a Streetscape Design Kick-Off event, including a walking tour of the avenue, and a brainstorming session for planning the future of this important corridor.
The purpose of tomorrow's event is to identify, among residents and business owners, the likes and dislikes of the current streetscape, and to begin the discussion of what design elements should be incorporated into an improved Lincoln Avenue.
According to Douglas Sampler, Bellevue’s director of administrative services, the borough has applied for $450,000 in additional grants to actually implement and construct the streetscape improvements.
But Sampler says it is an expensive process, with an average cost of $1 million per block for total streetscape renovations. Because of that, the borough will chose one tangible goal--whether it be adding street trees, lighting, bump-outs, or park benches--and complete those tasks in the first phase.
This initiative comes on the heels of the recent Active Living Workshop
, which was held in neighboring Avalon last November. The goal of that event was to reinvent Lincoln Avenue, for both communities, as a “100% destination,” serving the needs of people of all ages and abilities.
The Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, which hosted the workshop with the AARP, published a report last week
that detailed the strengths and weaknesses of the Lincoln Avenue corridor. The report includes a walking audit and assessment of exiting conditions, mid-term recommendations, and a photo-visualization of proposed improvements to Lincoln Avenue.
The Borough of Bellevue received a $40,000 Community Development Block Grant from Allegheny County to hire a design firm and to develop the new streetscape plan. A representative of that firm, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc, will facilitate tomorrow’s public meeting.
Sampler says this streetscape beautification effort shows that Bellevue is committed to developing its downtown commercial district.
“There’s not a lot of small downtowns left in this area, and we still have a vibrant one,” Sampler says. “We can make it better, make it more attractive, not only for our current residents, but also use it as a drawing card to bring in future residents.”
On March 22nd, the Active Living Workshop will reconvene at the Avalon Public Library Conference Room, 317 South Home Avenue; 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., or 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The Streetscape Design Kick-Off will be held tomorrow, March 8th, at the Bellevue Municipal Building, 537 Bayne Avenue, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Image: Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, Photo-Visualization: A Vision of Bellevue
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Douglas Sampler, Borough of Bellevue; Kelly Altmire, AARP