By: Gretchen Cheesman, Chairman Task Force 4—
Muncie, IN – The Muncie Action Plan spent 2020 preparing for the City of Muncie’s next strategic investment planning process in combination with an update to the Delaware County comprehensive plan. The last large-scale MAP planning took place in 2009 and although two updates have been completed since, it is time to re-visit the document with another large-scale engagement effort whereby residents help create a new vision for Muncie’s growth and investment.
Representatives from the Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission, Muncie Action Plan board of directors and NEXT Muncie participated in a selection process that included a nation-wide Request for Proposals and live-streamed interviews with three candidates. The urban planning firm CZB was selected to provide oversight and guidance throughout the development of the next Delaware County Comprehensive Plan and Muncie Action Plan. Work will begin in early 2021 and MAP will work with CZB to find creative ways to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard throughout the process.
As we close out this year, we would like to share MAP’s successes as we approach our Annual Community Meeting on January 27th that will be both open for the public to join online and streamed on Facebook Live. Each of our five task forces will share the work completed during 2020. This is the fourth of five reports from our task force leaders.
Muncie Action Plan’s Task Force 4, Creating Attractive and Desirable Places. This task force seeks to better manager Muncie’s physical environment in order to guide future land development, improve accessibility, and create a place that people can be proud of – a place in which people want to live, work, play, and visit.
2020 was a year of gateway work. The crown jewel of enhancement projects opened this year, after decades of planning. The Kitselman Trailhead at the City’s eastern gateway on Jackson St. at White River opened with the opening of the relocated, historic Strong Road Bridge at its new location at the trailhead. Decades of collaboration between local foundations, governments, and non-profits made this this $10 million project a reality in Muncie.
On another east gateway, dozens of new trees were planted in the McGalliard Rd. median between Elgin and Shirley Road.
At the south gateway the long troubled Red Carpet Inn at 29th and Madison was demolished by the City of Muncie and the 5 year Blight Elimination program wrapped up. Two hundred forty nine houses were demolished and of those now vacant lots 93 have new owners.
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