An Excellent Street Makeover in Downtown Aurora

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Corner bump-outs with rain gardens shorten crossing distances. Image: Google Streetview
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Before the makeover, Downer Place was a wide one-way street. Image: Google Street View

Here’s a cool project that was completed in 2013 in downtown Aurora on Stolp Island, a piece of land in the middle of the Fox River that’s home to the Hollywood Casino. The Downer Place streetscape project included corner bump-outs to shorten pedestrian crossing distances, storm water-absorbing rain gardens, brick crosswalks, and attractive plantings.

As part of the project, Downer Place was converted from a two-lane, one-way street to a two-way thoroughfare. The streetscape was partly funded by a $70,000 Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant Program from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Hat tip to Ted Villaire from the Active Transportation Alliance for alerting me about this nifty street remix.

  • carfreecommuter

    They also took jurisdiction from the state this year in order to install two-way lanes on River St and North Ave. One of the only suburbs to install cycle tracks outside of Evanston and most likely the only one to do it with concrete.

    http://www.auroradowntown.org/think-green-bike-lanes-on-river-street-in-downtown-aurora/

  • Heck, yes! Another example to add to my short list of cities that took over street jurisdiction from IDOT.

  • I’m hoping Aurora does more of this; it’s a huge benefit to users of the Fox River Trail, which is just pretty awesome in general.

  • Bernard Finucane

    Yes, the town seems to have forgotten there is beautiful river running through it. Parked cars get a great view of it though.

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No, I haven’t been binge watching “Wayne’s World.” I’ve had Aurora, Illinois, on the brain lately because the western suburb has been doing some babelicious street makeovers. Last week we looked the totally awesome Downer Place streetscape project, included corner bump-outs to shorten pedestrian crossing distances, storm water-absorbing rain gardens, brick crosswalks, and attractive plantings. […]