New medians added to major corridors

June 1, 2018 —  In 2017 and early 2018, the City of Gainesville installed landscaped medians and upgraded pedestrian crosswalks on Jesse Jewell and E.E. Butler Parkways. These changes have created a safer, more attractive border around Downtown Gainesville. 

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation approved funding for the “Creating Connectivity in Gainesville” project through its Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities program. A $50,000 grant was awarded to the University of Georgia and the City of Gainesville. The city contributed nearly $75,000 in matching funds and in-kind aid, and Gainesville residents Brent and Paula Hoffman pledged $5,000 for trees and landscape plants. 

The impetus for the project came from the "Downtown Gainesville Renaissance Strategic Vision & Plan" created in 2015, with the help of the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government and many community members who volunteered their time and expertise. Through this strategic planning process, it was concluded that one of the top issues facing Gainesville’s downtown is connectivity. Getting pedestrians safely across “the moat” (the roads surrounding downtown, including E.E. Butler Parkway, Academy Street, West Academy Street, and Jesse Jewell Parkway) involves the improvement/enhancement of crosswalks and grassed medians with shrubs.