Press release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Giving the corridor character
Collaborative Efforts Add Charm and Personality to Wells Street
Work is set to begin this week on the Wells Street Corridor, from Fairmount to Huffman. Planned improvements will enhance the ambience as well as the pedestrian friendliness of this historic commercial district corridor.
“This project was initiated by a request from the Wells Area Merchants to provide necessary streetscape enhancements in an effort to create an identity for the business district, create a safer pedestrian environment, promote the business district and add to the Bloomingdale Neighborhood’s sustainability,” said John Urbahns, director of Community Development.
The project was designed by two local firms, the LandPlan Group and E-Tech. The City’s Community Development Division and Public Works Division collaborated with the Wells Street businesses in the development of a comprehensive design that addresses the needs of multiple modes of travel: auto, pedestrian, bicyclists and transit.
Judi Wire, president of the Wells Area Merchants group, said she is pleased to see the streetscape improvements begin. “This is the culmination of five years of collaboration with businesses, residents, City staff and local land plan groups,” Wire said. “This is just another project coming to fruition that is evidence of the Wells Corridor’s commitment to years of planning.”
The project provides a safe, walkable environment by creating several bump-out areas and clearly identifiable crosswalks. Additional amenities designed to complement and enhance the business district include bollards (a short post to help define the separation between pedestrian and vehicular traffic ways), bike racks, park benches and brick paver inserts in the sidewalks. To promote the Wells Street corridor, new gateway markers and fixed banner signs will be installed. The existing street lighting will be retained.
“The collaboration between the City and the Wells Area Merchants in developing this streetscape plan is an example of successful community development,” said Russ Garriott, planner with the city. “Over the past few years businesses along Wells have invested in improving their facades and beautifying the corridor, this project will further build on that momentum.”
The project carries a price tag of $792,000, funded from various funding sources, including CDBG money, CEDIT funds and $49,000 from City Council, representing $4,000 from District 5; $10,000 from District 3; and $35,000 from the at-large Council funding.