Downtown shaped by design plan

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Options for the future look of downtown Lakewood were on display at the council chambers on April 30.

The open house was the third public meeting as part of the city’s Downtown Lakewood Connectivity and Urban Design Plan, which aims to not only better provide connectivity in the area, but also implement design standards to make it feel like a more unified downtown.

“The second meeting was more about infrastructure and technical aspect of improving pedestrian access, but here we’re looking at the design elements,” said Beth Vogelsang, consulting project manager with OV Consulting.

“The design elements are part of the pedestrian crossing enhancements that makes travel feel and look better.”

The area designated as downtown Lakewood encompasses the Belmar shopping and living area, Lakewood City Commons, properties on the north side of Alameda Avenue between Carr and Pierce streets, the city’s civic center area and Belmar Park, and the living area south of Belmar to Ohio Avenue.

Attendees were able to look at the some of the design pallets — from stonework designs to more modern, metallic styles, and see how they would look on everything from benches and walls to information kiosks and lighting.

“What we heard from folks that we’ve spoken to and feedback is a contemporary style, kind of like Belmar’s,” Vogelsang said. “We’re also looking at ways to put easy to understand wayfinding for people.”

Some of the other urban design ideas on display include adding more trees to the area, building street-side lawns and creating colored walkways, all to create a unified feeling to the downtown area.

Some long term transit options were also on display, including enhanced buses and a b-cycle program.

“It’s nice to see the project moving forward,” said Ken Hargrave. “There’s a lot of options to take in.”

There will be a fourth public meeting in June that will take information from all the previous meetings and present a cohesive recommendation for downtown.

For more information on the project, visit www.lakewood.org/downtownlakewood.

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