City representatives and staff, along with the community, gathered Friday to celebrate the opening of the 9th Street Corridor bike and pedestrian trail.
The new path links the Winona trail south of the Goshen College campus to downtown Goshen, the Maple City Greenway and the new trail that runs along the US 33 overpass. It was built between Purl Street and College Avenue, running along the west side of the corridor between Purl and Jackson streets and then crossing over to the east side between Jackson Street and College Avenue.
Features of the new trail include a raised intersection at 9th and Jackson streets, which will provide visibility for those using the trail and slow down vehicle traffic. This is the first tabletop intersection built in Goshen. On the south end of the trail, users are directed to cross to the west side of 9th Street, connecting them to a path that goes into the college campus. This also will make cyclists and pedestrians visible to drivers crossing the train tracks to the east.
The 9th Street corridor runs through a neighborhood that has a mix of residential and industrial structures, connecting Parkside and Chandler elementary schools as well as Goshen High School along the way, yet it did not have consistent bike and pedestrian arrangements.
In 2012, the Redevelopment Commission and City staff met with residents and businesses in the area to create a revitalization plan. Providing infrastructure that would keep cyclists and pedestrians safe was in the list of action items the City could take in the revitalization process, along with the cleaning of brownfields and designation of a quiet zone along the corridor.
Dustin Sailor, director of Public Works, commended the Redevelopment Commission for following through every phase of the project with consistency.
“Much planning and dedication has gone into improving the 9th Street Corridor, and the work we see here shows the Redevelopment Commission has made a commitment to improve the city from the inside out,” he said.
Changes along the 9th Street Corridor, beginning with the rehabilitation of brownfields, has attracted new developments, like Scott Signs, the expansion of the Dairy Farmers of America and the relocation of the new Parks & Recreation Department offices, Development Director Mark Brinson said.
“We are excited to see these new developments breathe new life into a corridor so close to the heart of town,” he said. “We are hopeful that this will attract even more entrepreneurs and businesses into the area.”
The Engineering Department continues to work on the designation of the 9th Street Corridor as a quiet zone, a project that may take another year to be completed.