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Science and the Environment

City Invites Public to Weigh In on 'College Street Corridor,' Future of Route 66 in Springfield

Corridor.jpg
The College Street Corridor/credit: City of Springfield

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The City of Springfield is seeking input from the community regarding the ‘College Street Corridor’ at an event tonight. City Council approved the plan for the corridor, which runs between Grant Avenue and Kansas Expressway, at a meeting in August. As KSMU’s Samuel Crowe reports, improving the corridor will play a key role in center city revitalization.

The event will focus on concept planning for the proposed corridor, according to Vern Morgan, principal planner with the City of Springfield. He says the public will be shown images of other Route 66 parks, gateway elements, and streetscapes to get ideas for what the College Street Corridor should look like.

“What we’re doing now is a concept plan for those elements. What are they going to look like? What kind of feel do people want to experience related to Route 66 and this corridor? How do we want to recognize Route 66, what kind of feel should this have? There are several ways to go about it. We want to get a sense of what people want,” Morgan said.

The core goal of this concept plan, according to Morgan, is to stimulate redevelopment by creating investor confidence in the Corridor, which he says has been neglected for decades. He says there are no ideas yet how to take advantage of the historical significance of Route 66, whose birthplace runs right through the Corridor, but admits that doing so might equal economic benefits for the city. He says people from all over the world end up in Springfield while touring Route 66.

“They’re touring the United States, looking for Route 66, looking for something to do, looking for a place to stay, looking for somewhere to eat, some sort of event to attend. We do feel there is some sort of unique economic development potential here,” Morgan said.

The first public engagement event for the College Street Corridor will take place tonight at 5:30 at the Abundant Life Church in downtown Springfield. For more information about the event, visit our website, ksmu.org.

For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.