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Old Posted Aug 14, 2012, 6:25 AM
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ardecila ardecila is offline
TL;DR
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 14,664
Elgin is indeed promising, although the good decisions are balanced by the boneheaded ones. My favorite is to run Amtrak through South Elgin instead of downtown Elgin, eliminating a chance for a Metra transfer and a chance to bring a trickle of tourism into the downtown. Or the tangle of one-way streets and pedestrian malls.

I believe Elgin got some serious attention from the Congress of New Urbanism a few years ago - planners there are starting to prioritize properly, with road diets, bike lanes, curb bumpouts and other redesign efforts to encourage pedestrian traffic.

Barrington is where I grew up. Pretty awful mix of businesses and few amenities downtown, although a slow trickle of new independent businesses have been opening up. I'm not sure who the blame falls on, but far too much street-level space is taken up by professional offices that could be on upper floors or not in the downtown. Hell, the only businesses at the village's main intersection are Charles Schwab, a photography studio, and a frame shop. I give the town planners credit for the festivals... without them, the downtown would be irrelevant for Barringtonites 95% of the time.
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