In the future, when motorists and pedestrians enter Greenwood they’ll be greeted with large signs serving as gateways to the city and pass decorative landscaping on new medians as people walk along wider sidewalks.
If the city is going to revitalize old town and downtown Greenwood, then the two main thoroughfares leading residents and motorists to it have to be revamped with an updated, welcoming look, officials said.
In October, the city hired Rundell Ernstberger to complete a downtown revitalization study to suggest projects that could enhance the look of old town Greenwood and further the city’s efforts to turn it into a shopping and dining destination.
Several months in, the study was expanded to include Main Street from U.S. 31 to Graham Road, and Madison Avenue as far north as County Line Road, bringing the total cost of the study to $90,000.
The study is a part of Greenwood’s efforts to revitalize downtown by creating a blueprint for the city to follow in the coming years. The ideas include widening sidewalks so pedestrians can walk to shops and restaurants can add outdoor seating. The study includes ideas for decorative lighting and signage near downtown and where small “pocket parks” or courtyards can go along sidewalks and trails connecting city parks to downtown Greenwood.
This week, city officials got their first look at some of the ideas picked by the study committee and were asked for their input. Along Madison Avenue south of Fry Road, the study proposes medians to separate the north and southbound sides of the road with landscaping such as trees with larger sidewalks on each side of the street.
As motorists enter Greenwood along Main Street from I-65 and Madison Avenue at County Line Road, large pillars or structures made of stone or brick will welcome residents and visitors into the city while smaller signs or gateways will greet them as they enter downtown.
On Main Street, buffer zones, or an area of grass or landscaping, are suggested between the road and the sidewalks. Landscaping will be used to help manage storm water as well, Rundell Ernstberger project planner Adam Peaper said.
And along both Madison Avenue and Main Street, bike lanes in the road or sidewalks large enough for cyclists and pedestrians are suggested.
“We want to incorporate as many users as we can — bikes, pedestrians and cars and the potential for a rapid bus transit line — with downtown being a unique destination for the community,” Peaper said. “From a connectivity standpoint, as well as the general (look) of the downtown corridor, (we’re) looking at opportunities to create sidewalks and medians, making it more aesthetically pleasing.”
The finalized study that will include detailed suggestions won’t be completed until later this year. The cost for the proposed projects, where the funding will come from and what work should be done first is not yet known, project assistant Kevin Steinmetz said.