Collinsville Great Streets: Background
Great Streets are streets that are more than just spaces for automotive travel. Instead, Great Streets are integrated corridors for moving people, improving connectivity, enhancing local economies, and creating attractive, interesting places – in brief, building stronger communities.
Since 2006, the East-West Gateway Council of Governments has partnered with communities to provide tools and resources to assist in rethinking the relationships between streets and the social and economic objectives of the community.
Background on St. Louis/Collinsville Road Corridor
The St. Louis/Collinsville Road Corridor, one of the Collinsville’s oldest thoroughfares, was first established as the city’s primary transportation corridor, and later became a critical corridor for interstate commerce along the Illinois section of Historic U.S. Highway 40 (“The National Road”). The community grew around the St. Louis/Collinsville Road Corridor through the 1970s due to a combination of industry, mining, prime farmland, as well as the city’s close proximity and direct connection to St.Louis, MO. Today, Collinsville continues to own and celebrate its historic roots and rich culture. Collinsville’s outstanding advantages as a growing, affordable, culturally rich residential area for the St. Louis metropolitan population, as well as its position as a regional retail, service, and hospitality destination, are major growth factors.
As the St. Louis/Collinsville Road Corridor aged, most of the regional shopping shifted to the Collinsville Crossings Business District at the intersection of I-55/I-70 and Route 157 (directly adjacent to the Collinsville Road section of the corridor). It serves a city of over 25,000 as well as a market area extending over 5 miles beyond the city limits. However, the St. Louis / Collinsville Road Corridor remains important to the economic well-being of the city, encompassing historic residential neighborhoods and many locally-owned neighborhood shops, offices, restaurants, a farmer’s market, and other businesses.
Today, the St. Louis/Collinsville Road Corridor is poised to reclaim its historical significance and fulfill its economic potential. There is a clear need for more comprehensive planning efforts to revitalize community and economic activity within the corridor, which will no doubt bring positive impacts for the entire city.
This Planning Process
The study area for this corridor extends from West Main Street (at the intersection of Main Street and St. Louis in Uptown) to North 63rd Street (just past Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Site). Conceptually, for the purposes of this study, it is divided into three segments (shown below):