Waco, TX (KWTX) — Broken roads, detours, and warning tape may fill the streets of downtown Waco right now, but it’s all part of a larger downtown implementation plan the city has created to define aesthetic standards and traffic flow.
On Tuesday evening, after nearly a year of preparation, the Waco Plan Commission will vote on its approval at the Bosque Theater in the Waco Convention Center.
“We wanted to create some alignment and harmony downtown,” Amy Hyland, director of public works for the city of Waco, told KWTX. : “So we wanted to have a plan that would give us some general guidelines on how things should look when people do construction work in the city.”
In addition to designing benches to plant trees for shade and make streets more walkable, some key features of the plan include turning Mary Avenue into a festival street, as well as landscaping University Parks Drive.
Hyland says making these changes will bring even more people to the area in the future.
“I think it will make things even more attractive for companies that want to come here, as well as for people who want to come here and visit these facilities often,” Hyland said. “So, in my opinion, everything will be fine, except for the pain when we go through construction.”
Local businesses in the area have certainly felt the pain. For one employee at a local craft and design store, the construction affected her ability to get to work.
“Sometimes it’s harder to get to work,” Sofia Ogea, an employee at Paper Crown, told KWTX. “Random roads will be closed.”
But in the long run, local businesses agree with Highland: the redevelopment of the city center will bring them and the city greater economic prosperity in the long run.
“I’m excited to see more continuity between areas and collaborations,” said Peter Ellis, co-owner of Summer Ellis Jewelry. “And I’m looking forward to the next Waco development cycle.”
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