Making it easier to get around in ‘funky’ Fondren
Known as the arts district of Jackson, the Fondren area is an eclectic mixture of old and new, shops, restaurants, and bars. As the website FinditinFondren.com puts it, “Fondren is the hub of artistic expression through music, food, and visual arts.”
To make Fondren more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, Jackson officials contracted with Neel-Schaffer to design and engineer an updated, traffic-calming streetscape for a five-block area. Funded by a $2 million federal grant and $500,000 from the City, the project includes wider sidewalks, narrower roads, raised pedestrian crossings, improvements to storm drainage, upgrades to existing traffic signals, decorative pavement elements, new landscaping, bike racks, street furnishings, and signage.
Part of this project included an accelerated design to fix the routine flooding of Rainbow Grocery.
“This deals with how we get around that doesn’t involve cars and the amenities that go along with that,” Jackson city councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon said in a story published on finditinfondren.com.
Because of limitations on how the grant funds can be used, complete resurfacing of the streets in the project area could not be included in the project scope.
Construction was completed at the end of 2018. Construction was accomplished in phases so that the entire Fondren Business District was not disrupted at one time.