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Letter: Batavia projects are concerning

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

To the Editor:  

What is the City Council of Batavia trying to do downtown other than destroy it?

The council approved giving monetary grants to several businesses to help fill some vacant storefronts, yet it is still debating the relocation of the most important business in downtown, Walgreens.

Now the City Council has recently announced another streetscape project starting in June. It appears that none of the downtown businesses were informed as to the scope that will disrupt not only downtown but the entire city.

What the streetscape envisions will add maybe five – no, make that six – bump outs. Bump outs only reduce the width and the amount of available vehicle parking on Wilson Street. River Street was the first streetscape project. Review the bump outs and lack of street parking. How many Wilson Street parking places will have to be removed to accommodate the bump outs?

The streetscape work will increase the width of the sidewalks so Batavia becomes pedestrian friendly. When was the last time anyone noticed a walker purchasing a television or a bicycle? Pedestrians only visit the services available, like financial institutions, beauty salons and restaurants. Overall these services do not generate a large amount of sales tax for Batavia.

After the streetscape is completed what will downtown Batavia have other than bump outs and less parking? But there will be wider sidewalks for the pedestrians when crossing Wilson Street over the brick pavers.

Illinois is broke, but the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, a federally funded competitive grant program, is funding $1.5 million of the estimated total cost of $3.5 million for the streetscape project. This is suppose to promote alternative transportation, bike and pedestrian travel, plus beautification. But, in the long term, will it also ruin downtown Batavia?

Jack McCabe

Batavia

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