The intent of the Chicago Drive Streetscape project was to dramatically change the culture and program of the downtown while enhancing the aesthetic quality of the streetscape. Prior to implementation, the street was vehicular oriented with minimal consideration given to pedestrians and cyclists.
Conversion from four travel lanes to two travel lanes with a center turn lane, addition of on-street parking, and creation of crosswalk bump-outs at intersections have effectively managed traffic for bicycles to comfortably use the shared-use roadway. The pedestrian environment is also much more comfortable and enjoyable with widened sidewalks buffered from traffic by street trees, planters, and on-street parking. Improved and enunciated ADA compliant crosswalks contribute to improved visibility and safety of roadway crossings. Special pavers, pedestrian-scale street lights, a pedestrian gateway to rear parking, street trees and perennial plantings, planters, benches, litter receptacles, and bike hoops were used behind the curbs to provide the visual cues and amenities necessary to further change the corridor from its previous vehicle-oriented nature to a desired pedestrian environment.
In essence, the project transformed the thoroughfare to a "Complete Street," a national downtown transportation initiative that broadens the program of City streets beyond just the motor vehicle. These changes to the framework of the street immediately fulfilled goals shared by the City of Grandville and the Grandville Downtown Development Authority to improve downtown accessibility, provide safe routes minimizing pedestrian and vehicular conflict, and attract additional private investment in downtown. Within two years of project completion, several existing businesses and property owners initiated expansions and building improvements. Additionally, four businesses opened within the project area. With additional dining and entertainment options, downtown has reclaimed its role as an active, vibrant center of the community.