With orange construction cones and detours already abounding across Moline, the city now plans to study how to improve another key commercial corridor — Avenue of the Cities.
Jeff Anderson, Moline's city planner, said the city has issued a request for proposals, or RFP, to hire a consultant to provide planning services for an master plan update for the city's portion of Avenue of the Cities.
He said the plan will focus on a transportation component as well as planning for future land use and development opportunities.
"We're going to look at what can the community do to add to the value (of the corridor)," he said. "Some of the fundamentals are very strong. We have a high traffic count and a lot of rooftops — the top two things developers are looking for when scouting for investments."
According to the RFP, the project will focus on developing a plan that maximizes multimodal mobility options which could lead to more development opportunities, enhanced economic value and strengthened quality of life throughout the corridor.
"From the planning side, you can't divorce the transportation element from the land development... you have to look at those in concert with each other," Anderson said.
He added that MetroLINK, Rock Island County's transit district, will partner in the study as it studies transportation modes through the corridor, including mode sharing, transit, automobile traffic and bicycles. He said MetroLINK has identified the corridor as its busiest route in ridership.
"We're not trying to convince people to get rid of their cars, but are there opportunities to get more volume of people in the corridor," Anderson said.
With the working name of Avenue of the Cities Corridor Plan, the $100,000 project was made possible by $80,000 in funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Awarded about a year ago, the funding was stalled until this year because of the state's budget issues, Anderson said. The project includes a city match of $20,000.
Anderson said the planning process will be similar to the process Moline had when it updated its master plan for the riverfront in 2013. "That riverfront/Moline Centre exercise is serving as a template, especially Phase 2... which had a focus on transportation."
Once a consulting team is selected, he said it will work with city officials, including the city council and planning commission, as well as private entities, agencies, stakeholders and residents.
The final plan will "serve as a guide" for pursuing development and redevelopment at key development sites, he said, estimating the process will last nine or 10 months.
The deadline for RFPs is 5 p.m., Oct. 20 with interviews expected in the first week of November. Anderson said a final selection should be made before year's end. For more information, contact Anderson at 309-524-2038 or see the RFP at moline.il.us/bids.aspx?bidID=452.