Work on the first phase of downtown parking improvements will largely wrap up over the next few weeks.
This summer, the City of Crown Point added 97 parking spots on the east side of the downtown square, including 33 street parking spaces and 64 parking lot spaces.
Still to come in this phase is the reconfiguration of the parking lots at the Crown Point Post Office, which will go from a combined 88 parking spaces to about 159 spots. Work on this portion of the project will resume in spring 2023, weather permitting.
The City also plans to construct an east-side pedestrian gateway to downtown Crown Point near the Post Office. The brick gateway will have an archway over East Street, leading pedestrians to the downtown square. Work on the gateway will begin in 2023, weather permitting.
Once phase one is complete, there will be approximately 168 new parking spaces on the east side of the downtown square.
When all work is complete, residents and visitors will be able to enjoy an enhanced downtown experience.
• Making Clark Street a one-way road heading westbound into the square, eliminating eastbound traffic
• Enhancing access to the existing parking lot between City Hall and the Crown Point Community Library by removing half an island and widening accessible parking stalls • Adding a shared dumpster enclosure on the south end of the parking lot between City Hall and the Library. The enclosure is for all abutting businesses, eliminating the need for multiple dumpsters in the parking lot.
• A new 60-space parking lot with all-day parking north of the library
• New angled parking on East Street in front of the police and fire departments (17 spaces)
• Adding four spaces to the existing parking lot at the police department, including online exchange and child visitation exchange parking spots. This parking is not only for police business.
• Modified access to the police department parking lot (entrance on Clark Street only). • Additional on-street parking on East Street near the Super Bowl (16 spaces) • Beautifying existing and future parking areas with landscaping and new way-finding
signage. These efforts are ongoing, with more work to be completed in 2023, weather permitting.
• A new right turn lane on East Street turning eastbound on Clark Street. • Enhanced pedestrian safety through new lighting and bump outs. Bump outs were added to the intersection of Main and Clark streets, as well as on the east side of East Street connecting the Post Office to the expanded Parry Court.
• Additional angled on-street parking and new turning lanes on Main Street, including a southbound left turn lane and northbound right and left turn lanes onto North Street. This work will take place toward the end of the paving season. If time or weather does not permit, this will take place in spring 2023, weather permitting.
• Upgraded utilities to support the new road infrastructure.
Crown Point Mayor Pete Land said with work on phase one nearly complete, he looks forward to beginning work on future phases.
“We have already seen great demand for the additional parking created during phase one of this project,” Land said. “As our City continues to grow, we want residents and visitors to be able to enjoy a walkable and inviting downtown area. Enhancing parking in and around the square is one way to do that.”
The parking improvements, he said, support the investment local business owners have made downtown to maintain award-winning restaurants and businesses.
“Our downtown area relies heavily on the success of our local business owners. These parking improvements not only provide additional opportunities for people to patronize those businesses but protects the investment of those local mom-and-pop establishments,” Land said.
Future phases of the downtown parking project will address parking in the heart of downtown and west of Bulldog Park.
In conjunction with downtown parking improvements, the City of Crown Point is wrapping up various road improvement projects. This year, the city invested $4.4 million — including funding from the Community Crossing Matching Grant program — to improve roughly 8.7 miles of road.
Community Crossing Grant projects included the restoration of Clark Street from East Street to Indiana Avenue. This project included, road resurfacing; a full curb restoration; sidewalk improvements on the south side to meet ADA compliance; and the sidewalk on the north side was replaced with a 7-foot walking path to tie the Veterans Memorial Trail to the downtown square.
The grant also helped fund Wells Street improvements from Main Street to State Road 55, including road resurfacing; installing new curbs; upgrading sidewalks to meet ADA compliance; adding handicap-accessible ramps at intersections; adding new sidewalks in areas where they do not currently exist; creating a dedicated parking area in front of Solon Robinson Elementary; and new pavement striping.
The City also added 625 linear feet of sidewalk on the south side of Wells Street to enhance connectivity and create a safe path for children to get to school.