Plan for Waynedale community improvements revealed

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – People in the Waynedale community have complained about the condition of sidewalks and roads for years. The Waynedale Business Chamber formed a special “corridor committee” to work with the City of Fort Wayne to address those issues. A plan to fix those problems was presented at a Plan Commission meeting, Monday night. It was also an opportunity for the public to weigh in on the plans.

Since 2015, a city planner with the Fort Wayne Department of Community Development has worked with the Waynedale Business Chamber to conduct put together a comprehensive plan that will address the needs of the community. Over the last two years the groups have done community surveying, focus groups, and field assessments.

The area near the intersection of Bluffton and Lower Huntington roads are a focal point of the improvement plan. Highlights of the plan include:

  • Improving connectivity and safety for all modes of transportation
  • Developing streetscape enhancements
  • Encouraging zoning that is compatible with neighborhood development and reinvestment
  • Enhancing the Waynedale brand to highlight the community’s identity, history and pride.

Some are not convinced that it will bring about change. Kevin Harris said for the last 8 years he has called city leaders hoping to bring attention to the issues. He said many of the sidewalks are in desperate need of repair and they need more sidewalks to prevent people from walking in the streets.

“One of the things that’s been really frustrating is seeing the sidewalks and how crumpled up they are or no sidewalks at all,” he said. “Watching the kids walking in the street and cars honk the horn to get the kids to move. Or the kids having to run out of the street to keep from getting hit.”

Alex Cornwell of the Waynedale Business Chamber said this has been a constant complaint over the last 20 years. That why he decided to do something about it. He formed the Corridor Committee to come up with a solution.

“A lot of people felt like Waynedale had been left behind compared to other parts of the city,” he said. “So, we feel it’s time for a plan for infrastructure, more development and unification of this community.”

That plan includes fixing old sidewalks and adding more of them. It also calls for creating bike paths and adding medians.

“It’s good that we have these plans in place so we can look and see what are specific action steps that need to be addressed,” said Holli Campbell, a city planner.

Harris said he would like to see city leaders make Waynedale improvements a priority.

“People out here pay taxes just like every other part of the city,” he said. “This area deserves to have to same attention that other areas have gotten.”

The plan is set to be discussed at a city council meeting on November 7. If the plan is approved, it does not mean work will start right away. The city still needs to come up with funding for the project.