Dean Mathias, of Milan, parked his bicycle outside the Moline Police Department Monday night to consider recommendations for an existing corridor connecting four cities.
The avid bicycling advocate was among about 25 people at a 90-minute public gathering — this time, without formal presentations — about possibilities for the Illinois 92 Corridor connecting Rock Island, Moline, East Moline, and Silvis. Participants were invited to look at maps, consider usage statistics and share comments about corridor improvements.
Gena McCullough, assistant executive director/planning director for the Bi-State Regional Commission, says the meeting continued a study to find better ways to connect the neighborhoods and cities along the nearly 10-mile route.
The Illinois 92 corridor goes east-west and connects the downtown areas on the Illinois side of the Quad-Cities, similar to Kimberly Road on the Iowa side.
The corridor was built in the 1970s. “Our land use and our community has changed, and the road hasn’t kept up with those changes,” she said. For example, if you drive along Illinois 92, you can see some places where no sidewalks are provided.
“The Illinois Route 92 Study is a great opportunity for MetroLINK to continue its longstanding partnerships with local municipalities in a coordinated effort to improve all modes of travel and maximize economic development along the corridor,” Jennifer Hirsch, of MetroLINK, said by phone during the meeting.
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“Route 92 is one of the most heavily utilized corridors in MetroLINK’s service area, and we welcome the opportunities the study may offer in terms of transit-oriented development.”
In the meantime, Mathias studied the layout of the corridor. His ultimate goal is to make sure everyone crossing the entire corridor can across the intersection with time to spare, he said, whether they are in wheelchairs, are pedestrians, or use vehicles.
He said the river needs to be taken into consideration. "When the river is flooded, more people will be pushed up to Illinois 92," he said. He added consideration also should be given to the flow of people from the new Interstate 74 bridge.
“I’m thinking all modes (of transportation,)” Mathias said. “As far as the overall project, I think it’s a great opportunity for a multiple-city venue — they can coordinate it and work together. “
William C. Grieve, senior transportation engineer with Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc., said some recommendations could be implemented quickly, while others of greater cost will be added later.
Justin Opitz, transportation planner with Gewalt Hamilton, said this is the third public-input meeting with the Illinois 92 Corridor Study.
“Getting public input is really important to our team, as well as the Bi-State Commission and the four subject communities of Rock Island, Moline, East Moline and Silvis," he said.
Next steps include submitting a final plan to Bi-State, which will fold it into its long-range transportation plan and take that to the state and federal levels to get funding to implement recommendations.