Now that West Lafayette owns State Street (no longer Highway 26, owned by INDOT), the conversation about how to dress up this tired strip of asphalt is leading into the planning stages. Dave Bangert has a lengthy article about the plans at J&C, including:
• A return to two-way traffic through the Village.
• A roundabout at River Road to help solve the terrible pedestrian crossings there.
• Wider walkways throughout.
• A separate bike track that runs from one end to the other.
• A second roundabout at Tapawingo Drive to create an entrance into what the plan sees as an extended West Lafayette downtown. (There really is something to this Greater Lafayette roundabout trend, isn’t there?)
• And a thoroughfare coming off that Tapawingo roundabout, bringing the street closer to Wabash Landing and reconfiguring the screwy parking situation in front of the strip mall to instead include on-street parking.
“We’re looking at something that says, ‘You’re here. Welcome to West Lafayette, welcome to Purdue,’” said Eric Lucas, an MKSK consultant helping to lead the project.
If it is all realized as planned — unlikely, but an urbanite can dream — it will be a remarkable achivement for the city.