By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff
On the roads headed into Plainfield, drivers see signs welcoming them into the community.
But a new plan under discussion by the members of the Village Board could make that welcome, more welcoming.
On Dec. 12, board members heard a presentation on possible village signage and landscape enhancements from local landscape architect company Upland Design.
The company, along with the village, spent several months working with focus groups to find the best way to design a welcoming image for village-owned land in Plainfield.
One proposed upgrade is the addition of 10 welcome signs, two large scale, eight smaller scale, all at key locations.
The smaller signs would be used to mark the village limits at the following locations:
- Route 59 at the north village entryway
- Indian Boundary at County Line Road
- Route 30 at the southeast village entryway
- Route 30 at the northwest village entryway
- Route 59 at the south village entryway
- Lockport Street at the east village entryway
- Lockport Street at the west village entryway
- Naperville Plainfield Road at 119th Street
Two larger signs, also referred to as gateway signs, will work as entry points to the village core in downtown, at the intersection of Routes 59 and 126, as well as Renwick Road at Route 30
The focus group also looked closer at the best flowers, shrubs and trees to use around town.
According to Michelle Kelly, Landscape Architect with Upland Design, the focus group worked first to define the village through photos and words, picking out the key words that represent Plainfield.
Kelly told the board that the group picked words including historic, progressive, and innovative, and looked at ideas for landscape enhancements and new signage that represent those words.
The plan would also add trees, grasses, shrubs, and flowering plants in areas of town.
Trees would be planted along the right-of-way throughout the village, in areas where trees have been damaged and removed, and in any area most in need of landscaping.
The plan also focuses on median improvements in a period from three years to five years, upgrading the middle of the road greenways in the following locations:
- Van Dyke Road
- 127th Street
- Drauden Road
- Roundabout on Drauden Road
- Route 59
- Lockport Street near the DuPage River
All the new signs into the village will have break away bases to meet IDOT requirements, and will be lit where electrical access is available.
The revamp of village landscaping is part of the long term strategic plan. The ideas were first brought up back in 2013, but are now being presented to the board as a more far reaching program to upgrade village landscaping as a whole, rather than just a few signs or landscape projects at a time.
The process to update the landscaping will be a long one.
“We see this as being rolled out over a period of time,” said Village Administrator Brian Murphy. “This is a long endeavor.”
The village will pay for the upgrades with funds already earmarked for landscape design and local improvements. Murphy said there is a combined total of around $350,000 available in capital budget dollars and other funds, and other cash sources will be sought out as necessary.