TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWO) — The city of Terre Haute looks to create a new vision for the Wabash Avenue corridor as part of the ‘Destination Wabash Ave’ and wants the community’s input.
Have you ever stopped and thought about what the future of Wabash Avenue should look like? Well, now it’s your chance to think about that dream and share your opinion. It’s all part of the City of Terre Haute’s Community Plan, the downtown revitalization, and the destination of Wabash Avenue.
“When I think about what Wabash Avenue looks like in the future, I think about having a really vibrant environment and pedestrian-friendly definitely a place where you want to come and spend time,” Susan Turner, Executive Director of the Terre Haute Children’s Museum said.
Josh Alsip, Director of Community Engagement with the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce said, “Destination Wabash Ave project is just the next step I think for downtown really becoming a place that is competitive with regional main streets and downtowns throughout the country.”
The vision and the potential of future improvements, leaders say, aim to achieve three goals for the corridor and the city as a whole. To strengthen the economic vitality by improving the pedestrian environment. To encourage activity in the streetscapes through year-round areas for gathering and to improve the overall aesthetics of the streetscapes to create a comfortable pedestrian experience.
“We wanted to start looking at a bigger picture, where we could meet other needs that aren’t directly infrastructure related. How we could help create a more vibrant community, how we could better accommodate festivals,” Marcus Mauer, Terre Haute’s City Engineer said.
“Create a street that’s more pedestrian friendly,” Alsip said. “So, more people will be able to walk downtown and get around easier inside and outside the businesses.”
“We talk a lot about the importance of quality of place, it’s projects like this that will make people want to stay here or move here,” Turner added.
‘Destination Wabash Ave’ is in the early stages of creating a vision for a more vibrant town and will focus on input from the community and stakeholders.
“We do have some ideas in mind, but we really want to meet the needs of the community,” Mauer said.
The initial conceptual design phase of the project will occur over the next several months and will involve a variety of community engagement opportunities. A business and property owner work session kicked off the project on Thursday. The community can get involved by visiting the planning website Destination Wabash Ave. There users can fill out a public survey use interactive mapping and share their dreams for the future of the Wabash Avenue corridor.
“We’ve kind of had this push to want to be more known as a college town. And this project is just a perfect example that when you go to Bloomington, when you go to Lafayette, South Bend, Indianapolis, you see these sorts of things and we’re bringing it here and I think that we can maybe do it better than what others have done before,” Alsip said.
It’s all part of the long-term plan. That plan launched in 2019 and continues to reach milestones.
“With the see you in Terre Haute Community Plan, our goals are to increase population and increase per capita income. And a more thriving and livelier downtown is such a big piece of that. This is really the living room of our community,” Alsip said.
“We owe it to the children in our community to pay it forward for them, to make sure we’re investing in our community so that this is a place where they want to continue the legacy of their families,” Turner said.
What will you dream up for the future of Wabash Ave?