A study of the 2002-2006 highway improvement plans by the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that there are no plans for extension or construction of any highway in Pike County. The improvement plans indicate only regular maintenance of existing road surface (Figure 3.6).
Local Street Network
The existing street network within the city is quite well maintained. Most of the major roads have curbs and gutters; neighborhood roads have big, shady trees on either side, forming beautiful avenues. Exhibit 2.1 shows a typical local road in Pittsfield. However, there are several issues that need to be addressed to maintain the quality of streets and to enhance overall accessibility within the city. These issues are reflected in the following concerns expressed by residents as part of the public participation component of the plan which included six meetings of the citizen advisory group, three public meetings, and a city-wide survey.
- Survey results indicate that a majority of residents believe there is a need for improved street maintenance throughout the city.
- The intersection of I-72 and US 54 is an important gateway to Pittsfield with important economic development potential.
- Development along the US 54 entrance to the city should be controlled. This is the primary corridor into the city and also offers unique economic development opportunities. Allowing strip retail development, similar to West Washington should be avoided.
- Truck traffic and truck parking within the city were frequently mentioned during the public comment period. Public safety and the nuisance created by large trucks parking on city streets is a concern to many residents. The city should consider developing or identifying an area for overnight truck parking.
- New development at the fringes is not well connected to the center. East Washington is the only access road to the east end of the town; this could be a serious problem in case of a blockade of any kind.
- A lot of the new development in the city, especially on West Washington, has blocked access to the land behind it by not leaving room for future street connections. Improved development of lateral streets off West and East Washington would facilitate development of a more compact city and provide alternative routes for pedestrian and auto traffic.
- Sidewalks are missing in several parts of the city and some of the existing ones are very narrow and in a state of disrepair, 61% of the respondents to the survey were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the condition of sidewalks.