North Main may be headed toward a future that is more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
The Sonoran Institute recently selected Durango to receive professional help to redesign the avenue. The plan will focus on the corridor between 14th Street and Animas View Drive.
The city is asking the consultants to look at how cars, buses, bicycles and pedestrians could all be better served and ways traffic could be slowed, according to city documents.
The plan could help springboard redevelopment in the corridor, Blake said.
“There is a nexus between transportation and land use,” she said.
Street design and public transportation can help encourage more pedestrian-oriented businesses versus street-facing parking lots, she said.
Consultants who will create the plan will be paid by the Sonoran Institute. There is not a set dollar amount associated with the work, Blake said.
The city is not required to pay for any part of the plan, and it is scheduled to be finished this summer. So far, a consulting firm has not been selected for the work.
Identifying the best places for ramps and other improvements for those with disabilities also will be a priority because the city has a $300,000 federal grant specifically for those projects, Blake said. She hopes construction on those projects could start this summer.
This grant to improve accessibility, the multimodal master plan and the new land-use code all helped the city win the consultants’ assistance.
“They really saw their technical assistance could maximize the other projects we had planned,” Blake said of the Sonoran Institute staff.
Consultants will also scrutinize parking requirements and suggest changes to the local laws that would encourage redevelopment.
They will also examine how to encourage better connectivity between north Main Avenue and intersecting streets.
“My goal is really to look at north Main’s critical intersections and flow,” said Durango City Councilor Dean Brookie.
He is hopeful consultants can identify solutions that could help the area grow into a more robust mixed-use area.