East Main Street Improvement Design
New Albany, IN
Mansion Row Historic District
The Develop New Albany initiative is the driving force behind the many revitalization efforts taking place in downtown New Albany. In response to residents’ desire to preserve the State recognized historical value and character of the Mansion Row Historic District, the City has transformed a former state highway to an appealing and pedestrian friendly urban street.
East Main Street, from East Fifth to Vincennes Street, once served as State Highway 111 and now runs directly through the historic and architecturally significant district. With a crossing distance in excess of 50’, few designated crossing locations and poor lighting, pedestrian safety was a prime concern.
Setting Priorities Together
Understanding how vested residents are in their community, Clark Dietz led a collaborative public involvement effort to define the goals of the community and gain consensus on design concepts. Priorities identified included pedestrian safety, improved roadway crossings, truck traffic routing, preservation of historic properties, and maintaining the area’s historic character. Partnering with a landscape architect, arborist, and surveyor team, Clark Dietz worked in conjunction with the New Albany Historic Preservation Commission to develop a comprehensive design that was not intrusive to historic properties.
Pedestrian Friendly, Traffic Calming
To improve pedestrian safety a new landscaped median, intersection bump-outs and ADA compliant ramps were added to decrease crossing distances and reduce motorist speed through the corridor. Overhead lighting at cross walks illuminate the intersections improving pedestrian visibility. Designated truck routes, complete with wider turning radii, minimize the intrusion of trucks en route to local businesses, calming the traffic further.
Maintaining the area’s historic character was accomplished through carefully designed streetscaping. Gateway monuments and signage ease the transition from the adjacent commercial area, greeting visitors as they enter the revived charm of the historic neighborhoods. The addition of trees and landscaping to the medians and street side planting strips incorporates up-lighting and sustainable drainage features, while adding to the ambiance of the street’s green canopy.
The streetscape upgrades and functional safety improvements enhance both the charm and historical character of the area, allowing residents and visitors alike to enjoy the historic value of this significant district.