Update on Lincoln Way Corridor Plan

Chris Anderson

Last April, Ames City Council received a finalized version of the Lincoln Way Corridor Plan. Council directed some edits be made to the plan and inferred that the plan would be used to advise on future development.

The plan was created by request of the city by consulting firm Houseal and Lavigne. The plan sets basic guidelines on what they believe ideal development around Lincoln Way would look like.

Kelly Diekmann, planning and housing director for the city of Ames, shared that council will receive the finalized version of the plan sometime in September and will then decide what action to take.

“We’ll see how they word the final resolution but I think it’s intentional about certain areas wanting to facilitate change. Especially around the downtown gateway area,” Diekmann said.

The downtown gateway area was one of many areas the plan split Lincoln way into. This area refers to the between Grand and Duff Ave. directly south of downtown Ames.

Those in the city seem to believe that this specific downtown gateway area seems to be where improvements are needed most.

Something Diekmann feels will be an important development in the downtown gateway area is creating more mixed-use projects. Mixed-Use refers to a mix of residential and commercial property, where stores would sit on street level with apartments above.

Diekmann feels there is a definite need for residential development in the area, as most residential development in Ames is currently student driven and he believes these future apartments would be more suited for families than students.

“There’s been so much purpose driven student housing. It’s not that somebody else couldn’t rent it, it’s just it’s designed in such a way that’s more desirable to students,” Diekmann said.

In addition to looking for more diverse floor plans in new housing developments, something else the city is looking at doing is reducing the number curb cuts of on Lincoln Way.

Curb cuts refer to driveways and places to turn other than roads along Lincoln Way. Another major part of the plan focuses on making Lincoln Way more pedestrian and bike friendly.

Inconveniences due to construction shouldn’t be seen much on Lincoln Way, as it is a state-owned highway. However, city roads could close due to construction in the area causing inconvenience.

The timeline is unsure but sometime within the next month the plan should be available for the public to review. Following public input, council will decide where and when to make improvements to Lincoln Way.

“If it’s something that’s a public project it goes into our capital improvements plan and it becomes a budget issue. If it’s private it’s just a matter of making sure the zoning is in place and waiting for a developer to come along,” Diekmann said.