Charlier Associates, on a team led by Code-Studio, recently completed Jena’s Vision, a Growth Plan for the Town of Jena, Louisiana. Adopted by the Jena Town Council in January of this year, the plan included a new alignment of US Highway 84, which the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development will widen through town in the coming years. Charlier Associates assisted the Town in evaluating the alternatives put forth by the DOTD and eventually developed a new, preferred alignment, a short couplet design, which the DOTD agreed to include the on-going planning and design process.
Another key component of Jena’s Vision was a plan to improve the safety, function and enjoyment of walking and bicycling, both purposed and recreational, and around town. Charlier Associates developed an extensive bicycle network, including a pathway system along the Town’s creek network, on-street bike lanes and bicycle routes on the outskirts of the Town’s scenic landscape. See here for recent news about implementation of the Town’s walking paths.
Coupled with a development plan for the downtown that included a new 3rd-Street Promenade, the Town hopes to make Jena an area destination.
The Center for Planning Excellence, based in Baton Rouge, provided a matching grant and partnered in the project, allowing the Town to bring in a team that included Code Studio (lead consultant), Third Coast Studio, Reed Hilderbrand, Urban Advantage, and Urban Advisors, for a charrette process in the summer of 2009.
The remarkable success with implementation, only months after adoption, is due in large part to Mayor Murphy McMillin’s dedication. He, along with the Town Council and Core Planning Group, has made strides to ensure Jena’s future success as lively, economically-vibrant, multimodal destination.