Neighborhood Services Staff Shares Update on Providence Engagement Initiative

Over the last year, Neighborhood Coordination staff has been working with property management at Providence at Thornberry, the adjacent Business Association, and registered Homeowners Associations within a 1-mile radius (including Turnberry Ridge, Glenshire II, Ironwood, and Trails at Brittany) to develop an engagement plan to address livability issues impacting the area. Concerns were brought to the City over a year ago and staff has been working diligently to address these issues in a fair and inclusive manner.

The goal when developing the engagement initiative was to build communication, trust, and an ongoing working relationship with Providence at Thornberry management and the surrounding neighbors participating as members of the Business Association and Homeowners Associations. To build consensus, three engagement meetings were held with representatives from each of the groups. The first meeting was an introductory meeting that outlined strategies to address the most menial concerns such as street lighting, pedestrian education, litter, security gates, and cameras. Two subsequent meetings were focused on the most difficult issues related to public safety and public transportation concerns.

One major point of concern was the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (CUMTD) pickup and drop off for passengers along Staley Road at Colleen Drive. Staley Road is a street with fast moving traffic and is not conducive to having a bus stop located along the corridor. As a result, CUMTD, in consultation with the City, decided to remove this location as a bus stop. The ridership for Fiscal Year 2018 averaged approximately 17 week-day riders per day, most of whom were residents of Providence at Thornberry.

Providence at Thornberry residents will be encouraged to board and exit public transportation at the existing bus stop 700 feet away from the property line, located at Inverness and Cobblefield. A pedestrian gate will be installed in the security fence at Providence at Thornberry providing access to existing public sidewalks leading to the bus stop. The new gate will also enable Unit 4 elementary school buses to change their pickup location this school year to public streets outside of the development. Construction work has begun, and work on the pedestrian gate is expected to be completed by September 15.