Evanston officials are seeking public comment on proposed roadway and streetscape improvements in the vicinity of Central Street and Green Bay Road.

Plans for the project were presented at a community meeting last week and residents are being asked to offer feedback through an online survey by Jan. 9.

A rendering of how the corner might be redesigned.

The proposed changes include eliminating double curbs and tall curbs along Central Street, adding new street furniture and making accessibility improvements at the challenging northwest corner of Central and Green Bay.

One of two options for redesigning the Poplar-Broadway-Central intersection.

On the other side of the Metra tracks, the plan offers two options for redesigning the awkward intersection of Central Street with Broadway and Poplar avenues.

One would close off Poplar with a cul-de-sac just north of Central. The other would reconfigure the intersection so cars on Poplar would turn onto Broadway before reaching the Central Street intersection.

One of three options for Green Bay north of Central Street.

The consultants to the city for the project have concluded that the current five-lane roadway configuration needs to be maintained on Green Bay Road at Central Street to handle the traffic there, but they say the road could be reduced from four to three travel lanes north of that intersection to Isabella Street.

That stretch would then match the three-lane configuration used north of Isabella in Wilmette.

The city is seeking feedback on three three-lane options for that stretch.

One would add north- and south-bound bike lanes, but require elimination of on-street parking. The other two would drop the bike lane idea, retain parking and expand green space — either just along the west side, or splitting it between the west side and the east side adjacent to the Metra embankment.

More details of the proposals are available on a project website set up by the city.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Designs will only add problems
    While the first picture looks nice, it seems they all ignore the existing problems and will only cause more.
    Esp. at Central and Greenbay traffic is already very bad. Adding trees and it looks like reducing Greenbay lanes will only make it worse. As it is cars from the south whip around the corner at very rapid speeds. The picture looks like it will reduce the NW corner room for cars coming from the north and even make left turns from cars coming north worse.
    With cars going and turning as fast as they do [with many drivers using cell phones and making one hand turns], sharp right hand turns to Central coming south, and sharp right hand turns from the south and east because of Metra, the problems are already bad.
    Add to that pedestrian traffic and rapid right turns from cars coming from the west on Central [and of course not signaling] and you already have a mess—and danger.

  2. Create Bike Path on Poplar to Connect with Green Bay!
    In my opinion Green Bay Rd is way too busy and dangerous for most bikers. I would suggest creating a bike path on Poplar Avenue behind the current Metra parking spots and turning Poplar Ave into a one way road. Having a bike path on Poplar would be much safer and we could connect this bike path directly to the Green Bay Trail bike path in Wilmette. There is plenty of room on Poplar Ave for a bike path and most bikers utilize Poplar Ave on their way to and from the Green Bay Trail. I think it makes much more sense to add bike lanes to a road that is safer and directly connected to other bike paths in the area. Thank you!

    1. Agree with Poplar bike Lane idea!

      Great idea! Have these urban designers ride a bike on Green Bay and they will see that a designated lane on such a busy street is not the safest of ideas! Large trucks go up and down GB road as it is!!!

  3. Start by getting rid of the mural

    Get rid of the awful mural that Jane Grover unilaterally allowed to be painted under the viaduct!

  4. Already a done deal?

    Aldermen have their own intentions and bring to public meetings Evanston staff who declare that ideas offered can't be acted on.  I suspect this is already a done deal, and the aldermen who consider themselves planners and who like photo ops will have it their way.

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