Trees, bicycle lanes and a gateway to the city could all play key roles in Ada’s plans to improve Main Street.

Those ideas and others were part of the mix when the Main Street Lighting Committee hosted a public forum Wednesday at Pontotoc Technology Center. The committee wanted Ada residents to weigh in on options for upgrading Main Street’s lighting and other features.

The city has hired the Tulsa-based firm LandPlan Consultants to develop a master plan for improving Main Street. The firm did not make any decisions Wednesday, but it will use residents’ comments to help shape the master plan and come up with a possible budget.

“The most important thing at this point is that we get everything that you as a group and a community agree on should be a part of the project,” said LandPlan Consultants President Keith Franklin. “Whether or not we can do it now, that’s really not the question.”

He said the city might need to consider a multiphase plan so officials could earmark money for additional streetscaping projects.

The Main Street lighting project is part of a series of capital improvements known as the “Penny for Our City” campaign. The projects, which include a new fire station, a new police/911 station and a sports complex, are funded by proceeds from a one-cent sales tax.

The Chickasaw Nation is already making improvements on West Main Street near the Chickasaw Travel Stop. Part of the proceeds from the “Penny for Our City” sales tax will finance improvements from that area east to the old Pre-Paid Legal building across from the old railroad tracks.

Work in the area from the Pre-Paid building to East Central University is funded by Proposition 1 sales tax dollars.

The committee has already asked the city to move forward with plans to upgrade lights and traffic signals along Main Street, and most of the budget will be dedicated to that work, Chairwoman Bridget Forshay told The Ada News last week. The rest of the money will be used to finance other improvement to Main Street.

LandPlan Consultants has proposed several options for making Main Street more attractive, including planting more sidewalk trees and improving the area’s pocket parks. Other suggestions included installing a gateway marker at Latta/Asa Road, adding bicycle lanes on Main Street and creating space for outdoor seating and sidewalk cafes.

An informal consensus of the group indicated that many people favored planting more trees along Main Street and improving access for bicyclists. Other elements of the master plan will be decided later.

Franklin said his firm will come up with an overall concept for upgrading Main Street and detailed sketches, then present that information at a public meeting in late July. 

“We’ll take your comments on these four different areas (of Main Street) today and give us ideas, make sure we’re going in the right direction,” he said. “And then the next time you see this, it will be from one end to the other. It will all be your proposed streetscape development for Main Street, Ada.”