Local Housing Trends: Streetscape improvements planned for Lemont
After a decade in the making, a $1.6 million streetscape plan for the village of Lemont has been presented to township officials.
Spanning three blocks of Pike Street, the project includes additional parallel parking spaces on both sides of the street, sidewalk and crosswalk enhancements and additions, and tree replacements.
Groundbreaking for the streetscape project — aimed at making the village safer and more accessible to residents and visitors — is planned for the summer of 2021. These plans are expected to enhance a village already popular for its charm and small-town ambiance.
Safety has always been a main priority for locals and officials alike, and it shows in the streetscape design. By making the roadway appear narrower, drivers will slow down in the village’s pedestrian-friendly downtown, according to one of the project's designers. This will be accomplished with the addition of concrete curbing along the sides of the street, by improving sidewalks, and with the conversion of areas along the street to new parallel-parking spaces.
While some kinks still need worked out, the plan has the potential to be a huge boon to current and future business owners, as street parking spaces will increase from 23 to 31 spaces.
Many in the area believe the project will be beneficial — including the Lemont Village Association, which promotes village safety and previously petitioned to lower the speed limit on Pike Street from 35 to 25 mph.
Lemont is a village on the rise, in large part due to the Association. Just recently, they helped fundraise for a permanent pavilion and band stand, which is located on the Village Green and is utilized throughout the year for concerts and other events.
The beloved village — just minutes from Penn State and State College — was founded in 1870 and contains the Lemont Historic District, which includes the John Thompson Coal Sheds and Granary, the last remaining wooden grain elevator in the state.
Today, this quiet village and its surrounds host a coffee shop, breweries, an art league, restaurants and more.