ST. JOSEPH -- Safety and walkability are two key factors driving St. Joseph's downtown streetscaping efforts.

During their Monday night meeting, the St. Joseph City Council reviewed two potential downtown streetscape revitalization documents, prepared by the city's engineer. The plans include a variety of projects, including new sidewalks, curb extensions, trees, benches and other enhancements.

City Administrator Kris Ambuehl says both sets of plans aim to improve traffic safety in a few key areas.

"There have been some concerns with pedestrian safety, and a need to slow down traffic on Minnesota Street. There are also spots where tree roots have pushed up the concrete on some of the sidewalks. So, this project addresses multiple issues, not just one specific issue."

Ambuehl says the growth of St.Joseph's downtown business district has prompted city staff to examine how they can enhance the pedestrian experience.

"We want benches to sit on. Things like that encourage people to use the downtown area, and walk from place to place."

Ambuehl says streetscape planning is in an early stage, and the council will continue to assess options as they move forward.

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