I recently spoke to a crowd gathered for Lima’s monthly Wake, Rattle and Roll meeting put on by the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce. Held the last Friday of every month, this popular networking event is an opportunity to learn about what’s going on in the Lima business community.
My goal at this meeting was to update the community about the changes LJB designed to downtown streets that will help make the city more livable and inviting, not to mention facilitating healthier living.
Lima’s Public Works Director Howard Elstro joined me to discuss the five-phase project that converted Elm and Spring streets from one-way to two-way (finished), reconfigures Elizabeth and West streets (2013), modifies Wayne and High streets, modifies Central Avenue and Union Street, and realigns state routes (scheduled for 2014 and 2015, but not yet funded).
The engineering philosophy for the project is that of a “complete street,” to create a sense of place and a safe, quality place for all transportation users, not just drivers. The changes increase parking spaces, reduce speed while still improving vehicle network performance and time, as well as adding dedicated space for active transportation modes of pedestrians and bicycle riders.
I believe these changes to Lima’s downtown streets are laying the groundwork for a cultural change. Lima is committed to leveraging all available resources to build public momentum towards a more sustainable community that will increase economic development opportunities and help the city attract and retain the “creative class” that is a staple of successful modern cities.
Consider opportunities to increase the active transportation options for residents of your community. Engage the local business community and strive for these win-win scenarios that help make your community an attractive place to work, live and visit.