Changes to west side corridor coming this fall

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The city of South Bend will see big changes along two major South Bend streets this fall. The city is starting to redevelop west side corridors – Lincolnway West and Western Avenue.

“The initiative is meant to encourage more development and more investment in the corridors,” said Jitin Kain, Director of Planning for the City of South Bend.

The streets will be redeveloped to attract new businesses, support existing businesses, and beautify the area.

On Lincolnway, there are a lot of vacant and abandoned homes, closed businesses, and empty parking lots.

Kain said it shouldn’t be a visitor's first impression of South Bend.

“They are key connectors for visitors into our community. Certainly for folks flying into the airport and coming into downtown. Lincolnway is a key corridor and needs attention and needs planning," said Kain.

The city is considering a new design to change the streets from four lanes to three lanes and adding parking and a bike lane.

“I think the bike lanes would be awesome because I’m an avid bike rider myself,” said neighbor Troy Gladura.

But some neighbors are cautiously optimistic because the city is unclear what it will do with all of the houses and businesses along the corridors.

“It could be a good idea the jury is still out on that, it just depends on what they are going to do,” Craig McMorris exlplained.

The city has already received $2 million from the council to begin this project. Construction will start this fall.

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