By Carolyn Dryer for Peoria Times
Economic Development Services Director Scott Whyte got the go-ahead to fund and complete the engineering design and traffic study for what some would call an “extreme makeover” of auto row on Bell Road.
Scott was not asking for peanuts, either. His request was for $450,000. But, according to one expert in major auto park and auto mall analysis, it would cost more if the 19 auto dealerships on Bell Road in Peoria abandoned their facilities and moved to other locales more conducive to their market.
Adam Perillo, a consultant with Kimley-Horn, gave an accounting of three stakeholder meetings, a presentation to Peoria Economic Development Advisory Board, and a community meeting. As a result, Kimley-Horn came up with a conceptual redesign of Bell Road from the Loop 101 freeway to 95th Avenue, the city’s border with Sun City.
A gateway just west of the freeway would be part of the “destination” feel of the corridor. Realignment of Bell Road would allow dealers to display their vehicles immediately adjacent to the sidewalk. Although the redesign would include trees, it would not block the inventory, but enhance it, Perillo said.
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