Beginning this fall, the South Grand business district near Tower Grove Park will undergo a six-block face-lift designed to make the area more pedestrian friendly and safe. "You could put your life at risk crossing Grand," says Rachel Witt, executive director of the South Grand Community Improvement District. "The goal of this project is to make the area more walkable, like cities used to be." Average speed along Grand has already slowed some 11 mph since the Great Streets Initiative downsized the thoroughfare's four lanes to three (including a center turn lane), Witt says. In coming months, expect to see new, wider sidewalks to accommodate outdoor dining on Grand, street corner "rain" gardens filled with native plants, new lighting, benches and bike racks. The project will extend from Arsenal Street to Utah Street. The East-West Gateway Council of Government has secured $3 million in stimulus funds to pay for most — if not all — of the project. Construction should conclude next year.
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