Evart DDA Showcases Design Ideas to Improve Downtown

EVART – The downtown development authority of Evart Main Street recently hosted its second Sustainable Built Environment Initiative meeting with program representatives from Michigan State University, where design ideas aimed at improving the city center of Evart were presented.

“This is a project that Evart DDA Mainstreet is doing in conjunction with the folks at Michigan State University,” said DDA President Alan Bengry. “This is our second session of our visualization process. “

SBEI is a program that helps communities solve physical planning, design and land use issues. Its aim is to integrate planning and design elements into a sustainability framework.

In the first meeting with SBEI staff, attendees shared their ideas on what they would like to see happen in Evart, including connections between the north and south of the city center, and connections to the park. exhibits and downtown, and connections to the river and the White Pine Trail trailhead.

Program director Wayne Beyea said SBEI staff established five goals for the design recommendations based on the information gathered during the initial meeting – creation of places, connectivity, streetscapes, sustainability and visual quality. .

“We took the words we heard in that first meeting and tried to find pictures to help describe those words,” Beyea said. “These aren’t necessarily recommendations at the moment, but rather ideas that might be possible.

“We are mainly focusing on the downtown area with connections to the river, city-owned parks, the fairgrounds and the US-10 corridor,” he continued. “We want to capture your thoughts as to whether this is something you want to see. We’ll take your feedback and develop some recommendations for the next meeting.

Design recommendations included additional sidewalks for connectivity, colorful crosswalks at intersections for safety and better walking accessibility, the addition of trees and other native plants along streets and in curbs and improving the facades of buildings in the city center. Ideas also included additional bike racks, sidewalk benches and other outdoor seating areas, as well as orientation signs throughout downtown, including at the trailhead and other leading areas. visitors to the city center.

Design ideas were posted on the wall and participants were invited to post their comments and recommendations on what they liked and didn’t like using post-it notes.

“The overall theme of the recommendations will include support for social interaction, connectivity, livable spaces and sustainability from an environmental, financial and social perspective,” Bayea said. “These are all key aspects. We’ll take your feedback on this meeting and develop recommendations for Evert. “

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