Crystal Howlett, an asset manager at Three Corners Development in Orland Park, Ill., took copious notes Thursday as she listened to planners talk about transportation plans along Moline’s River Drive at the Western Illinois University Quad-Cities campus.

Howlett was among 90 people who attended an open house on Moline’s Riverfront Multi-Modal Transportation Plan held at Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Moline. Attendees heard from consultants and were able to comment on the way the modes of transportation will be connected between City Centre and the adjacent Floreciente and Edgewater neighborhoods.

Howlett said she was interested in how the plans will slow traffic along River Drive at Western's riverfront campus.

Three Corners Development operates The Mills at Riverbend Commons, a 90-unit, 240-bed student housing complex complete with retail operations.

“I like the idea of traffic calming in that area,” Howlett said. “We house a lot of students and there are a lot of people working in that building. Traffic calming means slower traffic, which will make it safer for all of the people in that building who may cross River Drive to get to the walking trail or the parks.”

Before looking over the many drawings and plans, attendees were given a power-point presentation of the proposed plans by several transportation planners, including Sarah Kellerman of Sam Schwartz Consulting in Chicago and architect Teresa Fourcher of Solomon Cordwell Buenz of Chicago.

The presentation showed how all modes of transportation will be used to serve and connect the sprawling riverfront, the downtown area and the Floreciente and Edgewater neighborhoods. The plans showed how the roadways would become more pedestrian friendly while maintaining their use by trucks carrying goods to businesses and cars and other vehicles carrying people to their destinations.

Paula Ramos, of Moline said she liked what she saw in the Floreciente neighborhood, which included getting rid of the one-way streets on 4th and 5th avenues and making them two-way streets, which would slow traffic and help businesses in the area.

“I like the ideas, but it’s a bit early,” Ramos said. “This is still just a preliminary plan. But I like what I see.”

Cam Torres, of Moline, said he also liked the transportation plans for Floreciente. “We’ve got all the stakeholders here,” he said. “I see people from the city, county and Renew Moline. Everybody’s willing and able. Now we have to get money from the state and federal government to help get it done.”

James Hogan, of the Quad-Cities Marathon race committee, was pleased as he looked at the pedestrian friendly plan for 4th Avenue near the downtown area. “I really like the multiple use path,” he said. “It will really work well for the race.” 

Moline’s comprehensive plan can be viewed online, including the plan updates discussed Thursday, at http://www.moline.il.us/index.aspx?NID=304.

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