A Peoria at-large city councilwoman is taking her frustrations with the Illinois Department of Transportation to Twitter.
Over the weekend, Beth Akeson tweeted this:
In Peoria .@IDOTDistrict4 woks AGAINST people oriented streets-their own guidelines say do otherwise.Take a look at the KNOXVILLE project-$2mil project for what? They are not doing sidewalks, trees,5 lanes is over engineered and 2 people were killed because of the bad design-???? https://t.co/ag2td0e5dU— Beth Akeson (@bethakeson) May 11, 2018
Akeson was retweeting Strong Towns, an urban planning advocate.
In a statement, IDOT said the following:
The Illinois Department of Transportation must consider, as required by the Complete Streets law passed by the General Assembly in 2007, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations on major projects, especially in urban areas.
The project on Knoxville Avenue is not considered a major project. The construction currently taking place involves resurfacing to avoid frequent pothole patching and miscellaneous pavement repairs due to the poor condition of the road. The department will be embarking on a larger study this fall to develop a more comprehensive plan and approach to improve this stretch of road. This will be a significant project that will require extensive public and stakeholder input. The study will take approximately two or three years to finish. Construction at this time is estimated to cost $18 million. This is a very preliminary figure.
We simply could not allow the condition of the road to deteriorate further so the resurfacing is considered a stopgap until plans for a more extensive reconstruction are developed.
On a side note, last week IDOT released more than $35 million to communities for projects that enhance biking and pedestrian options. Here’s the announcement if you missed it: https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/news-item.aspx?ReleaseID=16682. Several of these awards went to IDOT’s District 4, which includes Peoria. As you can see below, the city received an award as well. Thanks.
IDOT listed a project for a pedestrian route along War Memorial Drive among a list of projects approved in central Illinois.