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Peoria Traffic Plans for Growth in Old Town

By Jeff Dempsey for Your West Valley

Rebecca Zook, left, and Scott Whyte, both from the city of Peoria, speak about revitalization plans for Old Town Peoria before a mixed crowd of city officials and business owners last year. Tuesday night, an open house put on by representatives from Peoria and engineers with the firm Burgess & Niple gave residents their first look at how traffic in Old Town Peoria may be shaped over the next decade. Photo Credit: Dave Martinez/Daily News-Sun

The City of Peoria has set a study area of about 1.5 square miles, bound by Olive Avenue to the south, 79th Avenue to the east, 87th Avenue to the west and Varney Road/Cholla Street to the north.

The traffic study takes into account the city’s Old Town Revitalization Plan and Multimodal Transportation Plan and how best to implement them moving forward.

Old Town Peoria is the area under consideration but the focus of the study is, without a doubt, the intersection of Grand, 83rd and Peoria avenues and the area immediately surrounding it.

The scenarios differed in some subtle ways, such as roundabouts on 83rd Avenue or pedestrian bridges to the northwest. The major difference in the scenarios, and the one that seems to dictate nearly every other factor, is grade separation of Grand Avenue. Two scenarios called for Grand Avenue to pass through a tunnel like the one at 59th Avenue.

Steve Thieken, an engineer with Burgess & Niple, said issues raised at the public meeting are exactly what his firm needs to hear. None of the scenarios are set in stone, he said, and in fact the three scenarios presented are more like three examples of what could be done, aimed at giving the community an idea of the concepts involved.

“We’re to the point now that we’ve been able to throw a few things out that would not have been feasible,” he said. “After we’ve gotten feedback from the community and staff, we’ll start looking at the impact of these concepts, costs involved, all that stuff.”

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