More than just a city project

Great post on the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project and Planning for People and Places by Kevin Jenison, Communications Manager for the City of Muscatine!

City of Muscatine

032118 BlogI recently ran across the accompanying picture posted by Project for Public Spaces on Twitter and I could not help but think just how valid the point is and just how much it resonates with the reconstruction of the Mississippi Drive corridor.

“If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.” – Fred Kent.

Kent is one of the founders of Project for Public Spaces and one of the leading authorities on revitalizing city spaces. His PPS biography also notes that he is one of the foremost thinkers in livability, smart growth, and the future of the city.

And the future of Muscatine is what the Mississippi Drive Corridor Revitalization Project is all about.

When U.S. 61 was the main thoroughfare through Muscatine it was designed and built for cars and traffic. It was a…

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Radish Magazine – Going for green: Muscatine to receive EPA assistance for sustainable design

 

Check out Muscatine’s latest complete and green streets efforts on radishmagazine.com – Going for green: Muscatine to receive EPA assistance for sustainable design.

Source: Radish Magazine – Healthy living from the ground up

Mississippi Drive Corridor Vision and Project Kick-off Event

As we prepare for the September 1, 2015,  Kick-off of the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project, I wanted to pass on an educational piece that highlight’s the vision for transforming Mississippi Drive. This piece was put together after 30 city staff, business and property owners, health practitioners, regional planners and resident leaders came together under the direction of Dan Burden, national walkability expert, to begin to re-envision Mississippi Drive.

We identified what Muscatine currently lacks in the Mississippi Drive Corridor and found ways to potentially address those needs with changes to the built environment. Right now, we have an incredible opportunity to connect our downtown to the riverfront with this project. We can transform this corridor into a key focal piece for our community. Transforming Mississippi Drive will serve as a catalyst for economic development, community health, well-being and overall livability.

Please take a look at the Mississippi Drive vision piece and plan to attend the kick-off on Sept. 1. More details about the kick-off event will be released soon.

Click here for more info on the Kick-off Event!

Mississippi Drive Today

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Mississippi Drive Tomorrow?

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Check out the following links!

Re-envisioning Mississippi Drive

Mississippi Drive Corridor Project Resource Page

Muscatine’s Mississippi Drive Corridor Project

Mississippi Drive Corridor Project:  A complete streets project and signature entryway into the City of Muscatine!

The City of Muscatine, Iowa, is soliciting qualifications from interested engineering firms to provide design services and other related work for the “Mississippi Drive Corridor Reconstruction Project”. This proposal includes the reconstruction of 1.6 miles of U.S. 61-Business (pavement and curb/gutter); street lighting, landscaping, gateway features; pedestrian crossings and sidewalk improvements; traffic signals and geometric improvements; and storm drainage improvements and roadway embankment work intended to improve flood protection. The work would focus on four distinct areas adjoining Muscatine’s Central Business District. The improvement segments include the HNI Campus Area, Downtown Area, High Sidewalk (Bluff) Area and the Carver Corner Area. The objectives for the proposal include meeting the objectives of Muscatine’s complete street policy by improving both Muscatine’s quality of life and image by providing a safe and attractive environment for street users of all ages and abilities such as motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, mass transit, children, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, freight carriers, emergency responders and adjacent land users; modernizing U.S. 61-Business through the reconfiguration and reconstruction of the sub-standard, deteriorated roadway; and enhancing aesthetics throughout the corridor that are consistent with Muscatine’s riverfront improvements. Work will include plan development, public meetings, design development, final design, technical specifications and drawings.

Mississippi Drive Corridor Project Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

The following resources provide further background information, technical data, and the potential vision for the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project.  These resources can be found at the following link: http://www.muscatineiowa.gov/941/Mississippi-Drive-Corridor-ProjectMississippi Drive Corridor Study

  • Corridor Alignment and Geometric Alternative Analysis
  • Traffic Analysis Geometric Alternative
  • IA 92 Pavement History Map
  • Mississippi Riverfront Study June 1997
  • Vision for Mississippi Drive
  • Comprehensive Plan
  • Complete Street Policy

The City is currently in the process of selecting an engineering firm to bring this project from concept to reality.

Our first step will be to engage the community, its residents and key stakeholders in a formal public process.

Mississippi Drive Today

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Mississippi Drive Tomorrow?

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These images were prepared for Muscatine by Dan Burden and the Blue Zones Team.  “Dan Burden provides a framework and action plan for communities to change their environments into safe, walkable, bike-able and livable communities where individuals and businesses thrive.” (http://www.bluezones.com/walkability-3/)

For more information on Blue Zones, Dan Buettner, and Dan Burden’s efforts please see the following link: http://www.bluezones.com

Stayed tuned for more information and please participate!

City of Muscatine Complete Streets Policy

The above photo is from the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute (WALC).  Their website and more information on complete streets can be found at http://www.walklive.org.  The WALC Institute helps to create healthy, connected communities that support active living and that advance opportunities for all people through walkable and bikeable streets, livable cities and better built environments.

The City of Muscatine has adopted a complete streets policy.  A complete street is a safe, accessible, and convenient street for all users regardless of transportation mode, age, or physical ability. Complete streets adequately provide for bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders, and motorists, by matching the needs of travelers to the uses surrounding a street. It provides safe travel for people using any legal mode of travel. Every complete street looks different with component features varying based on context, topography, road function, the speed of traffic, pedestrian and bicycle demand, and other factors. Based on context, common features of complete streets include: sidewalks, paved shoulders, bike lanes, safe crossing points, accessible curb ramps, pedestrian refuge medians, bus stop access, sidewalk “bump-outs” at intersections, and access to adjacent trails in a “corridor”.

Complete Streets Policy

Additional information and awards:

Muscatine Small Business Forgivable Loan Program

Muscatine’s Small Business Forgivable Loan Program

Ready for you small business to take off?

The City of Muscatine is offering Small Business Forgivable Loans for startup and expansion cost. Businesses can obtain a loan for up to $25,000 for the business at a term of 5 years with 20% of the original loan forgiven annually at the anniversary of the origination of the loan. Funds are allocated up to $15,000 for startup cost and up to $10,000 for code compliance. Businesses receiving funding must be new businesses or be significantly expanding business operations to be eligible. Applicant must meet 1:1 (applicant investment v. grant funding) (may be waived in whole or in part by the City Administrator upon recommendation of the committee). Inventory is not an eligible grant funded expense but does count toward match. The City has allocated $100,000 in funding annually.  Funds will be awarded to qualifying businesses based on availability of funds.  This is a great example of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) at work in our community!

Purpose:  Promote in-fill and redevelopment in targeted areas throughout Muscatine.

Objective:
– Improve Building Infrastructure
– Assist with Capital Equipment Purchases
– Offset Cost of Historic Building Preservation
– Offset Cost to Address ADA Access Issues
– Offset Cost of Fire Code Compliance, Sprinkler Systems, Egress Issues
– Allow Businesses to Allocate Additional Funds to Grow and Expand Business

Program Documents

Application Packet – Small Business Forgivable Loan
Summary
Application
Project Budget Sheet
Sample Agreement
Small Business Forgivable Loan Documents
Downtown Small Business Forgivable Loan District
Park Avenue Small Business Forgivable Loan District
Grandview Small Business Forgivable Loan District

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Supporting small business and downtown revitalization in Muscatine!

For more information:  http://www.muscatineiowa.gov/923/Small-Business-Forgivable-Loan-Program

Here is a summary of forgivable loans to date:

Awards to date:
Home Run Hitters, Baseball & softball pro shop addition, $ 25,000.00
Big River Guns, Gun smithing and firearm sales, $ 16,000.00
Sign Pro, Building improvements and 3D printing, $ 15,000.00
Well Fit Nutrition Bar, Nutritional drinks, product sales and oxygen bar, $ 9,800.00
Rose Bowl, Arcade and laser maze addition to bowling ally, $ 22,350.00
In Process:
Sal Vitale’s Pizzeria, New pizza and pasta restaurant $ 11,850.00
Total $ 100,000.00

City of Muscatine Placemaking: Blue Zones Built Environment Projects

The linked map gives you an idea of the many built environment changes that have been accomplished during the Muscatine Blue Zones effort.  The map includes projects that are presently underway as well as future projects (trails, sidewalks, community gardens, outdoor dining, and complete street projects)!  Great changes are coming to Muscatine thanks to our local community, local Blue Zones team, Dan Buettner and his Blue Zones team, Dan Burden and team, as well as City Staff and Council! June 2014 Blue Zones Map