Local Transportation Agencies Asking for Public’s Help in Determining the Future of Lincoln Avenue in Urbana

Local Transportation Agencies Asking for Public’s Help in Determining the Future of Lincoln Avenue in Urbana

Local transportation agencies are presenting ideas for the future of Lincoln Avenue this month, and they want the public’s input on possible changes. The Lincoln Avenue Corridor Study is evaluating 1.2 miles of Lincoln Avenue in the City of Urbana (from Green Street to Florida Avenue) to increase transportation safety and mobility in this high-priority, high-traffic corridor. The project is a partnership of the Champaign Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Study (CUUATS), the City of Urbana, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD).

The current phase of the project consists of developing several possible future scenarios for the corridor. The agencies are seeking feedback on these possible scenarios and what community members want the corridor to look like in the future. Residents can click here to learn more about the current and past phases of the project, as well as access a survey and web map to provide feedback. The survey and web map will be open through May 15, 2024.

The project team will also be hosting an open house on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, from 3-7pm in the central atrium space of the Illinois Street Residence Halls Dining Center (1010 W. Illinois Street, Urbana). The open house will allow interested community members to see information about the proposed scenarios and associated changes, provide feedback, and ask questions of project staff.

The first stage of outreach for the corridor study took place in fall of 2023, when the project team presented information about the existing conditions on the corridor and solicited feedback on community members’ current concerns about it. Frequent concerns included lack of infrastructure for bicycles, problems with safe and predictable pedestrian crossing across Lincoln Avenue, the changing road width and lane alignments throughout the corridor, vehicle speed on the corridor, and the quality of the roadway surface itself.

“In response to these public concerns and analysis of current conditions along the corridor, the project team has developed a variety of proposed interventions,” explains J.D. McClanahan, a Planner II with CUUATS. “These include providing a consistent lane alignment through the whole corridor, limiting access to Lincoln Avenue from selected side streets—either by removing the option for left turns on these streets, or fully restricting automobile traffic between Lincoln and the side street—and consolidating and providing flashing beacons at pedestrian crosswalks.” He says the team is also exploring three possible options for bicycle infrastructure, providing different combinations of on-street bike lanes and off-street shared paths for cyclists and pedestrians.

The project team encourages community members to learn more by visiting the website or attending the in-person event, and to provide feedback on these proposed changes. This feedback will help guide the final corridor study recommendations included in the final report, which will address all modes of transportation in the corridor, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit, and automobiles. This report will include recommendations for future improvements, documentation of how those improvements are projected to impact safety and mobility in the corridor, public input regarding the recommendations, and possible state and local funding sources to pursue to implement these changes. The report will be publicly presented to local officials in the Fall of 2024, so that the plan can be adopted as a guiding policy by the relevant agencies.