the north face down Initial plans for Jeffersonville’s 10th Street would make corridor a destination
JEFFERSONVILLE 10th Street in Jeffersonville used to be a destination. There were good restaurants, a movie theater, shopping opportunities places to go.
“You could get anything you wanted or needed in Jeffersonville,” said Dan Christensen, a current resident. “I’d like to see it get back to that.”
Today, the once lively 10th street corridor is now built for speed, a place you’re forced to go, a street for daily needs not entertainment. That’s what MKSK, a planning firm, heard, anyway, from the more than 600 residents they surveyed since November for their mission to create a 10th Street master plan for the city.
On Thursday, the company presented its first batch of goals for the corridor based on their feedback from the public, a steering committee and city departments. Those plans will be refined after MKSK processes the second bout of opinions they received on Thursday.
In March, the company will bring a final set of recommendations to the city before refining them again and asking for the city to adopt them.
MKSK’s recommendations, which are for five to 10 years out, include more places for bikes and pedestrians to travel, a better transit system, more connected streets, the creation of pocket neighborhoods and ideal future uses for four sites that residents identified as needing work.
Residents and city officials primarily reacted positively to MKSK’s suggestions at their final meeting of the day at the Jeffersonville Public Library.
“I like that we’re forward thinking,” said Scott Gardner, a resident. “And trying to get some ideas now that can serve us well 10, 15 years form now and make our community be appealing continually build.”
Gardner attended the last public info session and said that his suggestions were taken into consideration.
Director of Planning and Zoning Nathan Pruitt said it was almost weird how good MKSK’s plans were.
“It’s bringing life back to 10th Street in those ways,” he said. “It’s huge.”
STREETS AND TRAILS
MKSK’s plans include completing the bike and pedestrian networks around 10th Street, increasing transit access and connecting more side roads to the corridor.
10th Street and its surrounding streets have some sidewalks now, but there are gaps, said Andrew Overbeck, a principal of MKSK. He would like to fill those so that residents can possibly walk to work if their job lies along 10th Street.
MKSK recommends that the city prioritize sidewalks along 10th Street,
then those on cross streets and finally, neighborhood sidewalks.
The company wants to do something similar with bike networks. While there are sharrows now for streets where cyclists and drivers share the road, the network doesn’t connect to the broader regional one like it should.
MKSK recommends starting with a multi use path along 10th Street, then looking at rail connections that could be turned into corridors for cyclists. Finally, they think there could be more on street infrastructure, such as bike lanes and sharrows, which would connect the outside paths.
When it comes to transit, there is a line along 10th Street, but there are places where there is no service at all. The premium transit service MKSK wants would be more regular and it would service the entire corridor.
Finally, MKSK would like to see more streets connecting to 10th Street so it’s easier to get from one side to another.
AREAS FOR REDEVELOPMENT
Jeffersonville residents predominantly identified four particular sites that they would like to see redeveloped: Youngstown and Gateway plazas where Family Dollar and Taco Bell are, Jeff Plaza near Davis Nursery Country Market and the current Kroger/Rural King spot. MKSK also identified two areas for pocket neighborhoods.
In many cases, MKSK’s plans include tearing down vacant buildings, rebuilding and even adding residences. In the areas where more commercial is to be added, MKSK envisions mixed use centers for commercial, cultural, institutional, entertainment and even residential purposes.
But MKSK’s ideas for specific areas are tentative. Changes to each area are determined by the market and the property’s current owner.
For the Youngstown and Gateway plazas, MKSK envisions completely getting rid of the strip center and instead adding new intersections, different commercial buildings (including a mixed use space), offices (headquarters, hubs and incubators) and single and multi family homes.
For Jeff Plaza, the two different sides of 10th Street could be connected by a green network with lakes, the current strip center could be replaced with a mixed use anchor, a market hall and residences and individual commercial buildings could also spring up.
Where Rural King and Kroger are, residents are mostly concerned with leaving and entering with more ease. MKSK obliged with plans for new intersections, but also added ideas for greenspace, mixed use developments, a community center,
offices and a hotel.