The City of Plainfield hired PPS to develop an alternate use for its $450,000 in DOT funds slated for the repaving of South Avenue, a once vibrant but long neglected retail corridor. Working with the City, local community groups and merchants, PPS developed a plan for enhancing the area of South Avenue facing the historic Netherwood train station (which PPS also helped to revitalize and integrate into the adjacent street and surrounding area) and transforming it into a vibrant town center. Plans included repairing and widening sidewalks, re-introducing on-street parking, adding lighting, landscaping, crosswalks, eliminating curb cuts, and adding a 4-foot wide landscaped median to the avenue at either side of the train station to indicate entrance into a historic/shopping area and to slow traffic in order to improve safety and to enhance the livability of the community. Also included in the plan were strategies to work with neighboring retailers to add such improvements as awnings, improved signage, outdoor cafes and displays. PPS also put together a successful proposal for ISTEA funding which gave the city an additional $500,000 to implement this street/community enhancement plan. PPS then helped oversee implementation activities. Construction was completed in May 2001.
Transit is a component, but by no means the extent, of your experience at a station that is a place. Memorable and enjoyable stations and stops that create value for neighborhoods are perfectly attainable. In fact, a transit station or stop can serve much more than a transportation function; it can be a setting for community interaction, a place that fosters a diversity of activities.