Janesville Policy Changes Aim to Make Downtown a Destination


JANESVILLE—Imagine a downtown with relaxed rules on outdoor drinking and music, fun and unusual shops and restaurants, and more money to ensure the area stays attractive and vibrant.

That’s the goal of several policy changes the city has implemented over the past several months. Officials said they’re evidence of efforts to revitalize downtown and make it a destination.

And they’re not done yet.

The city has done plenty of infrastructure work, such as demolishing the parking deck over the Rock River and starting development of the town square. But drawing people downtown takes more than physical changes, City Manager Mark Freitag said.

“I think that with the ARISE plan and the revitalization of our downtown, the infrastructure is just one part to the problem set,” he said. “We want to make sure our community is competitive not only for jobs and businesses, but activities and things like that.”

Here’s a look at recent city actions to boost the downtown’s appeal.

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