Rock Island gets public input on plans to revitalize streetscape areas downtown

ROCK ISLAND--Employee Sarah Irwin says, Taste Buds smoothie shop had a healthy start for its first week of business, but they are always looking for new customers.

“Right now, we have a decent amount of people, but there is not a lot of foot traffic,” says Irwin.

The new downtown Rock Island business has only been up for a few days, but already shop owner Angel Forgie says, she can tell the outside area needs some work.

“I want to see improvements here, I want it to look good, I want it to be welcoming to anybody and everybody," says Forgie.

Planning and Redevelopment Administrator, Ryan Berger says the city has formed a task force to oversee plans to revitalize the streetscape areas.

The team met with the public on Wednesday, January 10, for the first time.

“We want to improve the look so that when you’re in downtown Rock Island, there is a feeling. What do you feel? Are you able to sit? Do you want to stay longer,” says Berger.

The goal of the public meeting, was to help the committee pick a theme for the city’s future park benches, light fixtures, and potential bike racks.

We have a contemporary theme, there's a funky theme… and there's more of a natural feel with all of the woods and metals,” says Berger.

After the committee gets the public’s input, they will present a plan to the Rock Island city council to later vote on. They are also looking for grant opportunities to help pay for the project.

Irwin says it is just the pop of style she hopes will bring more customers to the area.

“I would like to see more people come downtown, hang out shop a little bit more," says Irwin.

The committee will submit their findings to the council within the next six months.