Jacobsville Complete Street, North Main Street Revitalization

The Jacobsville neighborhood of Evansville, Indiana has transformed its Main Street corridor by investing in its active public realm. It serves as an example of how city leaders, community members, and designers can use a multi-purpose approach to make a significant impact on a neighborhood to catalyze economic and social investment.


City of Evansville

Project Size:


Evansville, IN




Urban Design, Landscape Architecture

In Association With:




Daniel Showalter, Hafer Design

Several years after the Jacobsville neighborhood was broadly listed as part of an EPA superfund site in 2004, passionate stakeholders developed a Quality of Life Plan that featured eight big ideas – including a modernized Main Street. The goal was to create a model complete street which would connect residents, businesses, institutions, and services throughout the under-served neighborhood. This would spur investment along the North Main Street commercial corridor.

The project reconstructed the entire sixty-foot right-of-way along one linear mile of North Main Street as well as one-half mile of multi-use path along the northside of Virginia Street. Features of this model were reduced vehicle lane width, permeable paver parking lanes and stormwater retention infrastructure, pedestrian friendly curb-extensions at intersections, fully accessible sidewalks and crosswalks, a two-way buffered cycle track, solar-powered bus shelters, modernized traffic signals with leading pedestrian intervals, and improved signage and landscaping.

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The project provides a safe new transportation option for residents of all ages and ability levels. It also links the historic core of the Jacobsville neighborhood with Downtown Evansville, Garvin Park, Bosse Field, and Deaconess Midtown Hospital.

Two years after its completion, the reinvented North Main Streetscape has brought new vitality to the area, which had not undergone significant upgrades in more than fifty years. Initial estimates predict that the project will result in $11-million in new commercial investments and economic activity during its first seven years of operation.

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