Three commercial strips in the Lovejoy District will be improved with new lighting and streetscapes, Mayor Byron W. Brown and Common Council President Richard A. Fontana announced Tuesday.
The city will use $1.3 million in capital funds for new light standards with energy-saving LED bulbs, new pavement with bike lanes, and curbs, sidewalks and accessible crosswalks in Lovejoy, Kaisertown and Schiller Park.
While officials stressed the stability and safety of these neighborhoods, they said the improvements will be used to try to attract more businesses and residents and make the area more friendly to pedestrians.
Construction is expected to begin next spring and conclude in the fall.
Input from block club members will be sought on the type of lighting that will be installed, with an emphasis on making sure that the lights are bright enough and bring some character to the areas, said Fontana, who represents the district.
Ryan Waczkowski, who lives on Clinton Street and tries to maintain the area around his home, planting flowers and cleaning the curbs, said, "I feel very safe over here, I really do. The nicer and brighter it is, the better it's going to look, I think."
Public Works Commissioner Steven Stepniak said the water and sewer infrastructure in the area is already strong, so the city can spend capital funds improving the parts of the street that people see.
New streetscapes on East Lovejoy Street from Longnecker Street to the city line will give the area a village feel, while Clinton from near the Niagara Thruway ramp to the city line will have more of a city streetscape, Fontana said.
Improvements on East Delavan Avenue will depend on funding availability, Stepniak said.
The city hired LiRo Engineers as the consultant on the project.
A similar streetscape project was announced for the area around Martin Luther King Park; others are planned for Elmwood Avenue in the Elmwood Village and the Fillmore Avenue area, according to Brown's office.