A collaborative group of local agencies is studying how to improve Lincoln Avenue in Urbana and wants feedback from the public. The Lincoln Avenue Corridor Study is evaluating 1.2 miles of Lincoln Avenue in the City of Urbana, focused on the area between Green Street and Florida Avenue. This corridor is a high-priority, high-traffic location in the region and is situated in Urbana along the edge of the University of Illinois campus.
The goal of the study is to identify and coordinate infrastructure improvements to increase safety and mobility along this corridor. This will include addressing known high-frequency crash locations and proposing recommendations for safe and efficient multimodal improvements to the corridor. The project is a partnership of CUUATS (the RPC’s transportation planning division), the City of Urbana, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD).
Users of this road corridor and residents of the neighboring areas are encouraged to go here to learn more about the project and the current conditions along Lincoln Avenue. There, they can fill out a brief survey on how they use Lincoln Avenue, what they like and dislike about the road corridor, and how they would like it to improve in the future. The RPC will also be hosting an open house in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center (601 S Lincoln Avenue in Urbana) from 4-7pm on Tuesday, October 10. Attendees will have access to the survey and other project information, as well as the opportunity to ask questions of the staff and gain further insight on the project from all of the agencies involved in the corridor study.
One of the primary motivations for the Lincoln Avenue Corridor Study is the corridor’s central intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Ohio Street, which the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) identified in the top five percent of priority safety locations in IDOT District 5 in 2017. Top five percent locations exhibit the most severe safety needs in the region, based on crashes, injuries, deaths, traffic volume levels, and other relevant data as determined by the state. During the five-year safety analysis period, 26 crashes—including four type-A (severe injury) crashes—occurred at this intersection.
Since the project partners are committed to supporting active transportation as a healthy and environmentally responsible way to get around, the corridor study recommendations will incorporate all modes of transportation. In 2014, Urbana was named the first Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly Community in Illinois by the League of American Bicyclists, while the University of Illinois has been a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly University since 2011. Urbana’s rates of walking, biking, and using transit are the highest in the region and significantly higher than state and national averages. Thanks to a 2016 updated Bicycle Master Plan and a 2020 Pedestrian Plan, the city has already identified desirable upgrades to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure along the Lincoln Avenue Corridor and in the study area. This corridor study will identify how and when these improvements can move forward in coordination with other proposed improvements, including safety improvements.
The final product will be a corridor study report that addresses all modes of transportation in the corridor, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit, and automobiles. The report will include recommendations for future improvements, documentation of how those improvements are projected to impact safety and mobility in the corridor, and public input regarding the recommendations. The City of Urbana plans to pursue state and local funding to construct the recommendations from this study, and the corridor study will serve as a guide for the implementation and coordination of future improvements in the corridor.