The Imagine Kalamazoo Impact – Communication is Key

The Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 (IK2025) engagement process changed a lot of things about how the City of Kalamazoo operates. IK2025 fostered relationships between citizens and City staff and inspired the City to adopt a Public Participation Plan. This plan guides future work to prioritize meaningful engagement with citizens in all decisions that affect their lives.

During IK2025 City Staff heard loud and clear that communication is key to reaching and supporting a shared vision throughout City projects. One way the City is working to meet this need is by engaging residents about upcoming construction projects. The City’s Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) Department and Public Services Department have teamed up to carry out this engagement.

Street Project Engagement Kicks Off in 2018

Starting in 2018, CPED and Public Services attended neighborhood meetings and cohosted a Downtown construction meeting with Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership to inform residents of the construction they could expect for the 2018 season. At these meetings, City staff provided information on project details, timeline, and resulting street closures. A frequently asked questions page was also handed out with information like how roads are chosen for projects, how residents will be affected, what to do about parking, how to stay informed, and who to contact.

In addition to informational meetings about construction for the current year, the City has also started holding meetings for streets that will be redesigned in upcoming years. In 2018, City Staff held two street design meetings to discuss the redesign of Cork Street and Portage Street with residents. IK2025 input as well as input from these design meetings will be used to inform the design of the street.

2019 and Beyond

This pattern of engagement continues into 2019 and beyond. In February, CPED and Public Services worked together to host an informational meeting about a dredging project that will take place in Crosstown Ponds. Similar to street meetings, the dredging meeting informed residents on project details, timeline, and any resulting street closures. City staff are also working on follow up informational materials to send out to those who attended the meeting and to post online.

The downtown construction meeting will be repeated this year and City Staff will also continue to attend neighborhood meetings to share information on neighborhood specific construction projects. This week the City will hold two informational construction meetings.

  • Cork Street Project – Informational Meeting

    • Monday March 18th, 6pm – 7pm, Threads Church, 2031 E. Cork St.

  • 2019 Downtown Construction Projects – Informational Meeting

    • Wednesday March 20th, 5pm – 6:30pm, KVCC Anna Whitten Hall, 202 N. Rose St.

Learn more about those meetings here.

In 2019 the City will work with the community, traffic engineers, and planning consultants to plan and design potential future changes to certain downtown streets following the Michigan Department of Transportation Jurisdictional Transfer.

In addition to meetings, the City posts updates and information to Facebook and online to help keep residents informed. Starting in 2017 the City also created an interactive online map for planned construction projects that allows users to click on projects on the map to learn more. You can find the interactive construction project map at

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming street projects and street design meetings. For updates on construction projects in the City of Kalamazoo, please follow the City of Kalamazoo on Facebook or Twitter