Meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.
Meeting Agenda can be downloaded here:Download
**If you have not had a chance to stop at Village Hall to view the streetscape plan – please do!! We are in the office 8a to 5p. Doors are locked, but knock or call and we will let you in!!
This is a summary of the Public Hearing that was held at the last Council meeting regarding the streetscape and downtown plan. I have also included a link if you would like to listen to the presentation.
The Village of Lawton is working with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) on a streetscape plan for N. Main Street/M-40. The Village Council held a public hearing on the Downtown Lawton Master Plan – 2023 Main Street Plan and Beyond”. Progressive A&E’s Suzanne Shultz provided a summary of the work that has been done on the plan.
Ms. Schultz explained that the vision, as documented in the streetscape plan, is for the Village to be a vibrant small town that is inviting, beautiful, and safe. This translates into design goals in several ways.
• VIBRANT: Vibrancy is created when there are people present. People walking, biking, engaging in outdoor activities (dining, shopping, and recreation) and being seen in storefronts or sitting on benches creates “life” on the street.
• INVITING: An inviting downtown has a strong curb appeal and is connected throughout with as many barriers removed as possible that would prevent people from being there and traveling from one business to the next.
• BEAUTIFUL: A beautiful streetscape has shade for people to feel comfortable and is softened with landscaping and art.
• SAFE: Safety occurs when vehicle speeds are lowered, crashes are reduced in frequency and severity, street crossing distances are shortened, people can be seen more easily, and the street is transformed to a place with a strong identity rather than a thoroughfare because there is more social interaction.
There are four key design concepts proposed in the streetscape plan that will assist in realizing the Village’s vision.
1. Creation of “gateways”. Landscaped medians are proposed at either end of downtown to alert motorists that they are entering the Village of Lawton’s downtown business district. This visual cue assists in slowing down traffic and making motorists aware that they are likely to see people walking around and crossing the street.
2. Addition of trees and decorative lighting. Trees and light poles add vertical elements that have a natural traffic calming effect, trees provide shade, and the lighting brightens the area so that it feels welcoming.
3. More sidewalk space for outdoor dining and retail. Additional restaurant seating and display areas can be a revenue generating opportunity for businesses, while also adding desired vibrancy to the downtown.
4. Use of bulb-outs/curb extensions. These shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians, define and protect on-street parking spaces, and make people more visible to motorists.
The major changes for the streetscape will include:
- Closing off the M-40 parking lot entrance to the Village Hall parking lot (south of Fire Hall). The entrance/exit to the lot would be on 4th Street. By doing this, 4 parking spots are added on M-40.
- A barrier free parking spot will be added in front of Village Hall / Library
- Parking spots will be reduced to in front of Big T’s and D Coy Ducks in order to allow for more sidewalk area. This will allow for outdoor dining, as well as clear pedestrian access, as well as lighting and trees.
- Union Street is being made one way, going west. By making the street one way, 17 parking spots can be added.
- Islands are being added in the turning lanes where no turns are made (Welches / Red Brick)
- Trees, pedestrian lighting, landscaping beds in bump-outs, crosswalks, and increased sidewalks have all been added to improve the quality of life / aesthetics, as well as to significantly slow the traffic.
After the presentation there were a few questions regarding the width of the lanes and the timeframe of the project. Plans are available for viewing at Village Hall. The Council will hear the DDA and Planning Commission’s recommendation on the plan in January when they will make their final decision on adoption.