The long-term vision and redevelopment of Commerce Drive in upper North Mankato is beginning to take shape as Officials have been working to gain an idea of what could happen in the future along the busy roadway.

The City recently discussed landscaping, tree islands to improve pedestrian crossings, improving building facades and eliminating the number of business access points as some short-term options.

As for the long-term, Bolton and Menk Transportation Planner Matt Lassonde says they are reaching out to stakeholders to identify specific visions for properties.

“The options are not something that would be implemented in the short-term, but to gain just an idea of what could happen for the future to make it a better place, more inviting.”

Over 600 people responded to a survey about the vision for Commerce Drive, with a large percentage of residents indicating the need for the area to become more pedestrian friendly, along with a desire for more amenities, such as a grocery store or coffee shop.

“Other items thought to be important included a fresh image and brand for the corridor, improved parking, more nightlife and entertainment and improved public transit.”

A recent study of pedestrian traffic between Roe Crest Drive and Lor Ray Drive showed 147 walkers and bikers utilized the roadway in a 24-hour period. Out of that number, 50 people crossed the street and 37 of them did it illegally.

“The major crossing location where people where doing it illegally is right where we are proposing a mid-block crossing. In front of Pioneer (Bank) and Kwik Trip. So, that perhaps could alleviate some of the issues.”

Commerce Drive is slated for resurfacing and other improvements in 2019 and 2020.