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Urbana Park District wants improved access for all users in Crystal Lake Park through changes to trails and roads

June 29, 2021 11:12 AM

Urbana Park District is looking for the public’s input about designating a part of the park road for pedestrian and bicycle use and dedicating the remainder of the road to one-way vehicle traffic as part of the Crystal Lake Park Rehabilitation Plan – “Discover. Connect. Belong.”

“Over the next year the Urbana Park District will be repairing the actual road with new asphalt and curbing,” said Derek Liebert, Superintendent of Planning and Operations. He added, “While the road is repaired, we would like to host a series of events to gather public input about converting one lane to a pedestrian and bike lane with a separate, one-way lane for cars.”

Currently, the road is two-way. Many people use the road to drive, walk, bike and roll through the park. “The road provides a beautiful experience through the park. But, we know bicyclists and pedestrians often use it as a path, especially where no adjacent paths exists,” Liebert explained.

He continued, “If the park road is one-way, it would help reduce possible conflicts with cars that currently share the road with bikes and pedestrians. This also includes visitors pushing strollers, walking dogs, and small children on bikes.”

The park district also has plans for more trails within the park. One proposed trail is a critical link for the proposed loop trail system. This missing link would include converting the City of Urbana sidewalk on the west side of Broadway Ave from Park Street to Stebbins Drive, to a wide multi-use path that would connect with a new bridge over the Saline Branch of the Salt Fork River. This new path would link the park road and Park Street multi-use path for a loop trail. Any future one-way road conversions would be tied to follow this future path project so visitors can enjoy the full loop trail system upon completion.

“On October 3, we will have an ‘Open Road Day’ in the park and close portions of the park road to vehicles and invite pedestrians and bicyclists to use the road without vehicular conflicts. That same day, we will invite the public to an open house in Crystal Lake Park,” Liebert said. “Visitors can get a taste of what it will be like to have dedicated non-vehicle sections of road, and people can meet with myself and other park planners to go discuss their questions, suggestions and concerns.”

If people have questions between now and the one-way open house on October 3, they can contact Liebert or Kara Dudek, Park Planner, at (217) 344-9583.

“This is the next, exciting step in rehabilitating Crystal Lake Park. We look forward to sharing our vision of the park with the public,” Liebert concluded.



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