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…

View original post 882 more words

Advertisements

A vision of connectivity

City of Muscatine

The vision began with a thought to transform a riverfront filled with old buildings, grain bins, and a switchyard into a park that the citizens of Muscatine could be proud of and visitors would want to make a destination. Out of that, according to Steve Boka, former Community Development Director for the City of Muscatine, came the realization of a strong connection between the riverfront and Downtown Muscatine, and the need for a safer Mississippi Drive.

“The thought was that once we embarked on creating this park, that would create interest in redevelopment of our downtown,” Boka said. “At that time there was not much going on in the second stories of our downtown.”

The vision expanded with the realization that the park would attract people to the area and that would ignite investment into the downtown area. But to get from the park to downtown people needed a safe…

View original post 1,079 more words

Green spaces IS the life for me

City of Muscatine

From 1965 through 1971, television viewers were treated to the antics of two city dwellers who moved to the country in the CBS-TV sitcom “Green Acres”. While the husband (Eddie Albert) longed for the rustic farm life, his sophisticated wife (Eva Gabor) longed to be back in the city and patiently waited for her husband to come to his senses.

I remember watching the show but never paid attention to a hidden message lodged deep within the comical scripts … the constant battle between the concrete jungle and green spaces.

green-acresThis “hidden” message was unique in retrospect as I realized that it was during this time period that the affordability of the automobile led to the ability to travel greater distances which ultimately aided in the creation of great gathering places called shopping malls.

In Paris, Illinois (population 8,500), we still had our small businesses (or mom and pop stores if you prefer) in…

View original post 492 more words

Walkability over driveability

City of Muscatine

04-25-17 Green Space - Riverfront Park Green spaces like this one at Riverfront Park allow individuals to enjoy social interaction and nature along the banks of the Mississippi River. The wide sidewalks, sitting areas, play areas, and landscaping add to the walkable nature of the park. These and similar concepts will be used as the City of Muscatine continues its efforts to transform the downtown business district and other areas of the community into more pedestrian friendly gathering places.

It should not be a surprise to anyone that the City of Muscatine has, as one of their goals, the development of placemaking projects that will maintain local amenities for residents while also attracting and retaining a quality workforce. The placemaking philosophy, an idea that changes the emphasis of urban design from automobile traffic to pedestrian traffic, guides the public and private sectors of Muscatine in the development of plans for the riverfront, the downtown area, and…

View original post 537 more words

Placemaking in the city

City of Muscatine

Mississippi DriveAnyone who travels across the Norbert F. Beckey Bridge that carries traffic over the Mississippi River from Illinois Highway 92 to Iowa Highway 92 is treated to a spectacular view of the Muscatine riverfront just downstream from the bridge. There are few river towns that can claim to have such a wondrous entrance to their city yet Muscatine knows the best is yet to come.

Over 20 years ago you would not have had the same reaction to seeing the Muscatine riverfront from that bridge as you do today. An aging industrial center with a railroad switching yard and a declining downtown did little to inspire visitors to stop and stay for a while. That has changed through the efforts of the City of Muscatine along with many individuals and organizations who donated time, ideas, and in some cases money, to the vision of transformation.

The vision of transforming what was once a decaying industrial area into a welcoming public…

View original post 433 more words

Mississippi Drive Public Hearing Set For Feb. 2

The Mississippi Drive project is slated to begin in the Spring of 2017!

City of Muscatine

Mississippi Drive

Last Thursday, Jan. 19, there was a great turnout at the Public Meeting for the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project! Thank you to all who attended. At the meeting, City Council, citizens, and staff came together for an informal presentation and a chance to view the latest design plans.

If you would like to see design plans, but were not able to make it to the meeting, you may still view the latest map of design plans! It is on display at Public Works, 1459 Washington Street.

Next Thursday, Feb. 2, there will be a Public Hearing on Mississippi Drive at the City Council Meeting at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers. 

More information about the project and design concepts from the previous public engagement meetings can be found on the project website.

The construction for the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project is set to begin later this spring.

View original post

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

BZ_MuscatineIA_Before

Mississippi Drive Tomorrow?

BZ_MuscatineIA_After

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!