Iowa City looking to improve downtown streetscapes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City looking to improve downtown streetscapes


Lyle Harris visits downtown Iowa City every day. He likes that new artwork is being added, although he'd like to see more.

"I'd like to see a little bit more art on trees," said Harris, who lives in Iowa City. "They used to have things they'd wrap around the trees which kind of brought out a little bit more color."

City leaders want to hear ideas like that. They've actually been gathering them the last several months on a website. Now they're taking some of those ideas and putting them in concept drawings that they're ready to show the public.

The goal is to improve the city's streetscapes, upgrading lighting, seating, and signs, some of which are 20 years old.

"When you're looking at some of the large maintenance expenses that we have, it makes sense to first take a step back and ask yourself, does the current configuration of the streetscape amenities still meet today's needs?" said Geoff Fruin, assistant to the city manager. 

Adding more bike lanes is also a possibility.

Project organizers are putting concept drawings on display to get some feedback.

"Everybody's got ideas about what could be great in downtown, and so we want to make sure that those are captured," said Nancy Bird, Iowa City Downtown District executive director.

The hope is that the changes will improve downtown for people who visit once in a while or every day -- like Harris.

The drawings will be on display at the Sheraton Hotel Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. 

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