After an extensive master planning process, a Renew Moline committee began Wednesday to envision its ideas for the city's next chapter of redevelopment.
Focused on the area of Moline Centre, Floriciente and Edgewater neighborhoods, the Project Management Team suggested improvements ranging from slowing traffic flow by removing the one-ways to enhancing the city's gateways, improving infrastructure to being ready for more development.
The committee, which oversees redevelopment in downtown, stressed the importance of having a development plan in place to be ready for developers that will be drawn by the new Interstate 74 bridge and the multi-modal Amtrak station.
"The success we had with the last plan (2001 master plan) was because we identified the projects and worked the projects," said Ray Forsythe, Moline's economic development director.
Under the city of Moline and Renew Moline's watch, millions of dollars in new investment have come with the now iWireless Center, Western Illinois University and many loft housing projects in Moline Centre.
Janet Mathis, Renew's executive director, said she hoped the meeting would allow members to "throw things up on the wall and see what makes sense with the mission of Project Management Team."
A few members pushed for beautification efforts at the entrance of the city. "We need to pay attention to that area (Floriciente) because it becomes the western face of the city," said Jerry Butts, who also pitched the idea of turning one-way streets into two-ways.
Some members called for creating a more pedestrian friendly area, particularly near the train station and the university. Jeff Anderson, Moline's city planner, said these and other traffic issues are being addressed in a new transportation study that is about to begin.
Chairman Joe Rives urged Renew to strengthen its connection with the Floriciente neighborhood and reach out more to its residents and businesses.
On the opposite end of the riverfront, Forsythe told the committee that the city is in discussions with Midland Davis Corp. over the future of its scrap metal operation located behind the new campus.
"We need to be careful what we wish for," said Greg Derrick of Deere & Co., one of the private sector members. "Now it sounds like we're re-designing what PMT exists for."