350+ Community Insights Shine Light on Desired Look, Feel and Future of Devon
The Placemaking Poll closed on May 18th with more than 350 responses and 340+ comments! We want to thank each and every one of you who spent time sharing your thoughts, visions, and hopes for the future of Devon Avenue. Your feedback is the most important part of the Elevate Devon process, and is applied directly to the plan to help guide and inform corridor recommendations.
Your insights aided us in learning a lot. In the six weeks it was open, we heard different perspectives on everything from public art to lighting to landscaping to the pedestrian experience, and so much more. Sometimes there were clear favorites; other times, the community seemed to like a variety of options. You can dive into the poll results here and read a quick recap below.
Placemaking Poll Highlights:
Make Devon more pedestrian friendly! An overwhelming number of participants indicated that pedestrian amenities such as safer crossing treatments, corner bumpouts, parklets, and mini pedestrian plazas are high priorities. Many people commented on the narrow sidewalks and existing curbed planters obstructing movement and accessibility.
Make Space, Create Place. 80% of poll respondents stated they were supportive of removing parking to enhance the pedestrian environment but where this happens and to what degree are important considerations. To that point…
Location, location, location. Lots of comments noted the location of street improvements as pivotal to their potential success; Devon is not a “one size fits all” street! We hear you, and we couldn’t agree more. Site selection relative to the types of placemaking and corridor improvements will be an important part of the design process.
Bright, colorful murals that celebrate diversity were a top choice for public art. We heard in the comments the importance of working with local artists and representing the uniqueness of the neighborhood.
Durability and maintenance are key. Community comments honed in on the longevity of corridor aesthetics and need for placemaking components like murals, awnings, and landscaping to look fresh and attractive overtime. Corridor improvements and recommendations need to last and look great.
Cozy overhead lighting will create ambiance. Overhead + festoon lighting was the clear favorite (more than 50% of poll respondents voted for this type of lighting). Comments highlighted this style fits the neighborhood feel of Devon more than some of the other lighting options and would cater to an inviting pedestrian feel.
Respect all of our neighbors. When asked about seating options along Devon, more than a quarter of respondents specifically mentioned they would not be in support of hostile architecture in seating preferences. Hostile architecture is a term that refers to urban design strategies that purposely guide or restrict behavior. Corridor recommendations need to be inclusive and considerate of the interplay of all users with the varying environments on Devon.
Form follows function. Establishing and enhancing corridor identity through innovative placemaking strategies is a clear priority. However, these strategies must be rooted in “use factors” and functional upgrades, i.e. iconic seating that is comfortable, and not so low to the ground that it is difficult for elderly to use.
Signage and identity. Over half of respondents voted for business blade signage and over 40% for light pole identifiers. Insights here centered on creating a more inviting and engaging pedestrian environment that supports local businesses and celebrates local identity.
Cyclists don’t feel safe on Devon. 85% of cyclists who responded indicated that they are uncomfortable, feel unsafe, or avoid riding a bike on Devon. Corridor safety enhancements and traffic calming measures that aide in the reduction of vehicle speeds and greater awareness of pedestrians and cyclists are vital for the future of Devon.
We’ll be taking the results of the Placemaking Poll, community workshop, pop-ups, and comments mapped via the website back to our Steering Committee in mid-June to discuss next steps and direction. Themes and consensus established from this community engagement is already being shared with the urban designers who will help us turn your vision into a reality.
The next few months will be spent formulating recommendations that will create a vibrant, safe, and thriving Devon Avenue for residents, pedestrians, businesses, visitors, and all who frequent the corridor.
Once those designs and recommendations are decided on, we’ll have a Community Open House (date TBD) where we’ll share the ways we used your feedback to shape the future of the corridor.
If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe below to stay involved and engaged! Plan updates, draft recommendations, and community open house date to come.