Mobberly street project

Kevin St. Jacques, a senior transportation engineer at Freese and Nichols, shows a rendering of what Mobberly Avenue could look like in about three years during a community meeting Oct. 1 on the project.

The addition of lights and trees is being considered for Mobberly Avenue renovations in response to public input on the Longview bond project.

During a recent virtual public meeting, project manager/landscape architect Matt Milano of Freese & Nichols discussed community feedback on the project.

The project timeline has several parts and is in the “study and report” phase, which focuses on the public involvement process through town hall meetings and input from surveys.

Milano said the purpose is to find out what is important to residents regarding the Mobberly Avenue upgrades. The surveys sought to determine how residents use the street, what their relationship is to the corridor, issues they see and other matters relating to the street and its surroundings.

More than 100 people have viewed the survey, and about half filled out a form, Milano said.

According to the surveys, some issues most important to Longview residents about Mobberly Avenue are improved traffic control, wider sidewalks and additional crosswalks. The two biggest concerns voiced were additional street trees and shade as well as additional lighting.

A mapping exercise also was presented to the public to indicate locations of importance or concern. The exercise showed that residents desired site furnishings near the Young Street intersection and more trees along the corridor. Areas of concern were for residents who bike to the South Ward Community Park and safety issues between Melton and Timpson streets.

The survey responses are being considered as the Mobberly plan moves forward, Milano said.

For example, possible additions to the project include repairing/replacing broken lights, constructing additional street lights added to poles around intersections and installing new pedestrian lights at limited locations.

Additionally, native tree species are being considered for types that would be pollutant tolerant.

Freese & Nichols senior transportation engineer Kevin St. Jacques also spoke at the recent virtual meeting about the significance of having a complete street project.

“Complete streets are safe, comfortable and convenient for travel for everyone, regardless of age or ability — motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and public transportation riders,” St. Jacques said.

Milano and St. Jacques spoke at length about possible plans for the intersection of Young Street and Mobberly Avenue.

One plan takes an urban plaza approach with the addition of a “parklet” — colored bike lanes, colorized/texturized crosswalk for pedestrians, decorative pavement and banding and low seat walls.

The more traditional park approach also considers adding a “parklet” along with turf, decorative mounding and benches.

Milano said the goal for either approach is to create a more pleasant resting spot for either passers-by or residents using nearby businesses.

The study and report phase of the project is set to continue until spring, when the preliminary design phase will begin and continue until fall 2022, Milano said. The entire project is set to span several years and is estimated to be completed by fall 2024.

Surveys for public feedback are still available and will close Dec. 31.

The Mobberly Avenue reconstruction has a price tag of about $5.2 million that is funded by a bond package approved by Longview voters in November 2018. The city also recently received a $2.88 million grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to “enhance” the project.

To participate in the survey or view project maps from the recent presentation, visit www.longviewtexas.gov/completestreet .

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