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Pradel 'State of City' Focuses on Economic Development, Traffic Fixes

Naperville Mayor George Pradel delivered his 19th "State of the City" address Monday at the Chicago Marriott Naperville Hotel, 1801 N. Naper Blvd.

Credit: City of Naperville
Credit: City of Naperville
Mayor George Pradel delivered his 19th "State of the City" speech Monday at the Chicago Marriott Naperville Hotel where he addressed measures being taken to improve traffic flow and congestion issues, future growth for the city and ways to provide better online services for residents. 

"I’m happy to report that the state of our city is strong and getting stronger," according to Pradel's speech, which is posted on the city of Naperville website. "2013 was another outstanding year for Naperville." 

Touching on business development, Pradel said he attended 62 ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Naperville in 2013 and expected to attend more in the future, according to Pradel's speech.

Work began in 2013 on Main Street Promenade East, a 2-story retail and office development that will be located downtown along Van Buren at Main.

Another highly-anticipated project is the Water Street development, which will be located downtown, and will include Hotel Indigo that will anchor multiple shops, restaurants and retail offices along the DuPage River, according to Pradel's speech. That project is slated to start this spring. 

Pradel said Standard Market, a trendy new grocery store, will open in April at Ogden and Aurora avenues in Naperville

In addition, he said the Knoch Knolls Nature Center, 336 Knoch Knolls Road, is slated to open this September as a part of the city's park district. 

"This is the city’s first staffed nature center and will be a great asset to teach our community about nature and opportunities in sustainability," according to Pradel's speech

The mayor also touched on the priorities the city will be focused on over the next five years. 

"In 2012, we asked our residents for their opinions on city services and programs through a Citizen Survey," according to Pradel. "That survey was the basis for updating Naperville’s strategic plan in 2013.

The main goal is to improve traffic flow and congestion. The Route 59 Expansion project, which been in August, is meant to ease congestion and will be completed in 2015, according to Pradel's speech. 

In addition, the 95th Street Bridge project began last spring. 

"Once finished, it will provide a direct connection between Plainfield-Naperville and Boughton roads," according to Pradel's speech. "In the future, we will invest in a traffic management system that lets us further enhance the operation and coordination of traffic signals throughout the City to improve traffic flow."

The city is also focused on becoming "an e-Government innovator" by providing convenient ways to pay for services online.

"We know most people don’t always do business between the hours of eight and five … This will eliminate the need for people to take trips to the Municipal Center," according to Pradel's speech. 

TELL US in the comments section: What would you like to see changed and/or improved in Naperville?

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