Community Survey: Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Community Survey: Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Rockford Buzz

Posted On: November 20, 2022

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Region 1 Planning Council is asking the public to complete a survey to help update the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan for the Rockford Metropolitan Area. The survey will guide recommendations for improving sidewalks, intersections, and streets in order to make it easier for all residents, workers, and visitors to bike and walk around the region. Additionally, the survey will help identify focus areas and facilities that are comfortable and uncomfortable to use, why walking or bicycling may be used throughout the region, and what improvements should be prioritized.  

The survey can be found in both English and Spanish atwww.r1planning.org


About the Plan

The purpose of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is to promote a safe and efficient transportation network for people that provides a balanced multi-modal system minimizing costs and impacts to the taxpayer, society and the environment. The Plan will address the development of a region-wide system of on-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities to connect with existing shared use path facilities, existing and planned public transportation services and provide model development regulations and ordinances to promote and encourage bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly growth in the Rockford region. 

Region 1 Planning Council, is a special-purpose, regional government agency. Regional councils are public organizations comprised of local elected officials that promote collaboration among local governments, working across the jurisdictional silos of states, counties, and municipalities.

 

For more information, visit www.r1planning.org.

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Get Baked at Baked Wings

Get Baked at Baked Wings

A new wing joint has opened up in Rockford! Once a ghost kitchen inside of The Pomodoro, Baked Wings is now open on Riverside in Loves Park.  We wandered in to try the new location and ordered a feast! We tried their “soon to be famous” Garlic White Cheddar cheese curds. They hit the nail n the head with these large cubes of delicious cheese, lightly breaded and fried to perfection. Serious cheese lovers rejoice! Finally, a curd that is more cheese than breading. Available in three flavors, we can’t wait to go back and try them all.Next up, the wings. The baked wing concept is a healthier take on the chicken wing. Combine that with their lineup of flavor rubs and you have a wing that tastes just as sinful as its fried and dunked brother but packs a lighter punch. They have 13 flavor rubs to choose from, and 13 dunking sauces… to really give you the freedom to explore any flavor profile you desire.We tried the Chili Lime, Garlic Parmesan, and Buffalo Hot rubs. Each spice rub has its own flavor profile. The heat really came through on the Buffalo Hot, and the Garlic Parmesan makes your mouth just melt. Add some fried to your order, and you’re all set.With an expanded menu, there is definitely something for everyone at Baked Wings. You can get full service at the bar, or order at the counter and take a seat in the main dining area. Check out Baked Wings and tell us your favorite wing flavor!

November 30, 2022

Steak and Seafood at Stone Eagle Tavern

Steak and Seafood at Stone Eagle Tavern

Many folks don't realize that Stone Eagle Tavern is locally owned and operated! They have fresh seafood and locally sourced steaks, making this a delicious destination on East State Street. We wandered in to try Stone Eagle Tavern and with a menu including wood fired pizza, fresh seafood, hand cut steaks, and more... we didn't know where to start! The Seafood Augratin and the steaks came highly recommended by the amazing staff, so we dug in. The Seafood Augratin can only be described as the best thing that has ever happened to me. Fresh seafood medley in a cheesy augratin sauce and baked with a crisp breading top simply melts in your mouth. This is a very rich dish, but so completely amazing. The menu described it as a masterpiece, and we agree. Next up was a New York Strip, cooked to your preferred temperature and so many add-on options available. They offer a garlic crust, parmesan crust, mushrooms, onions, and more! Personalize your steak just the way you want it. We tried the parmesan crust because cheese makes everything better. The steak was perfectly cooked and served on a warm skillet. Stone Eagle gets their steaks from Eickman's, so you know it was delicious, tender, and packed with flavor. You get to select delicious sides along the way, and we highly recommend the brussel sprouts, if green is your thing. They were deliciously prepared in a way that makes you forget you're eating vegetables. The garlic mashed potatoes added that classic vibe to the steak. If you have room, they will bring by a hard to say no to dessert platter. Life is short, order dessert. We hope you check out Stone Eagle Tavern for your next night out, or brunch with friends and family!

November 16, 2022

A Great Meal at Crazy Times Pub

A Great Meal at Crazy Times Pub

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November 9, 2022

Classic Dishes at Irish Rose Saloon

Classic Dishes at Irish Rose Saloon

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November 2, 2022

Local Filmmakers Invited to Submit Short Films for Inaugural 815HORTS

Local Filmmakers Invited to Submit Short Films for Inaugural 815HORTS

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October 30, 2022

Screw City Tacos at Cantina Taco

Screw City Tacos at Cantina Taco

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October 26, 2022

Your Vote Is Your Voice

Your Vote Is Your Voice

Election Day, November 8 will be upon us very quickly. This will give citizens an important opportunity to use their voice and cast their vote to help determine who will guide our state, country, and local communities. Unfortunately, too few voters take the time to participate in our democracy. During our last primary election on June 28, only 17% of registered voters in Rockford cast a ballot, while a mere 22.5 % of voters in Winnebago county voted; Boone county voters did somewhat better with 26% going to the polls. If you don’t vote, you are allowing someone else to make important decisions for you.To address this very low turnout, many local organizations including League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford, American Association of University Women (AAUW), NAACP, Women’s March Rockford and many other non partisan, not for profit organizations joined together to form a focused GET OUT THE VOTE 815 effort. The idea of this initiative is to put tools in the hands of voters to help increase the likelihood of more voters going to the polls. We registered well over 100 prospective voters including first time voters in high schools. Meet and Greets to introduce candidates to their constituents have been held in Rockford, Winnebago and Boone counties. Communities were introduced to the IllinoisVoterGuide.org, a one-stop on-line location to provide everyone with information on how, when, and where to vote and who is on the ballot. Voting materials are available in both English and Spanish and IllinoisVoterGuide.org can be accessed in both languages.There is still time to vote. Please join us: Make a plan to vote Urge your friends, families, co-workers and colleagues to register to vote and vote. You can vote early until Nov. 7 Vote on Election Day, Nov. 8 Attend Meet and Greets to talk with your candidates for national, state and local elections. Contact us through our website: www.govote815.org or through our Facebook group-Go Vote 815.Let’s make this a banner year for voter participation. Remember “YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE”.Article by Faye Marcus, GOTV 815

October 23, 2022

Dinner at Joe's Casa Di Amici

Dinner at Joe's Casa Di Amici

If you haven't been to Joe's Casa Di Amici off Riverside, it's time for your first experience. We headed out for dinner and were not disappointed. Personally, I love home-to-restaurant renovations. The cozy room-to-room seating is a unique ambiance that we love to see. Once seated, we were greeted and immediately ordered their famous garlic bread and special salad. The bread is a classic Italian sesame loaf, coated in garlic butter and parmesan cheese. This is a do not miss at Joe's Casa Di Amici. A special salad is always a good choice. This one features olives, peppers, sausage, eggs, and more. The oil and vinegar dressing has a nice zing to it. Joe's Casa Di Amici is known for their pasta and steak, so of course, we had to try them for ourselves. We ordered the meat tortellini and the steak special of the evening, an 8 oz filet. The filet comes with either a baked potato or a side of pasta. The pasta was phenomenal. Large tortellini topped with a delicious sauce and meatball plated in a generous portion. This dish was simple, but truly delicious. The filet was amazing. I like my steak rare, and for all my rare fans out there... you know how hard it is to get that perfect cook. I was blown away by the beautiful Pittsburgh preparation, charred on the outside but rare on the inside. The flavor was buttery and delicious, and the meat just melted in your mouth. This is definitely a steak that will keep me coming back. What dish is your favorite at Joe's Casa Di Amici?

October 19, 2022

Straight to The Top

Straight to The Top

We took advantage of the warm afternoons still honoring us with its presence and headed straight to The Top for a dinner with a view.The Top is known for its fun cocktail list, small plates, and a one of a kind view. After ordering a couple drinks (the Peaches Sangria will convince you it's still summer), we decided on a few plates. We selected Crab Arancini, Tuna Nachos, and Caribbean Pork.We dug right into the Tuna Nachos, a huge pile of wonton chips loaded with toppings: Rare Ahi Tuna, Black Bean & Corn Salsa, Avocado, Pickled Onions & Jalapenos, and Spicy Aioli. The Ahi Tuna was beautifully prepared, and the spicy kick of the aioli was a delightful pairing. The wonton chips were a nice hardy vessel for these heavy toppings. This is a big shareable, so come hungry!Next up, the Caribbean Pork: Slow-Cooked Salsa Verde Pork, Pineapple Salsa, Grilled Polenta Cake. The polenta cake was perfectly prepared! Hearty enough to support the piled-high pork, these are a shareable you may end up wanting to keep to yourself. The pineapple salsa was fresh and light, and truly brought out the flavors in the pork.Last, but certainly not least... the Crab Arancini: 4 Crispy Fried Sicilian Rice Balls, Surimi Crab, Parmesan, Seasoned Panko Crumbs. Served with the spicy aioli and a light cucumber sauce, we couldn't get enough. The crunchy exterior gives way to the crab stuffed interior. You can see and taste the individual flavors. We ended up being a house divided in between the spicy aioli and the cucumber sauce. Order these and weigh in on the great sauce debate.Grab your friends and head on down for your own feast of shareables. Cozy up to the fires on the outdoor patio, or hang inside to enjoy modern day temperature control. Enjoy!

October 12, 2022

Favorite Apple Orchard

Favorite Apple Orchard

October is here and it is #NationalAppleMonth! From caramel apples and apple picking to Halloween renditions of the poison apple and apple pies on Thanksgiving, the apple is the prime fruit to celebrate to mark the middle of fall.Vote for your favorite local apple orchard!

October 4, 2022

Vintage Shop Hop

Vintage Shop Hop

Thousands of shoppers will converge on northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin once again for the fall edition of the popular Vintage Shop Hop™ on Friday and Saturday, October 7 & 8, 2022. The event is a self-guided road trip for vintage and antique lovers in the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin region to satisfy their ‘vintage’ addiction and support small businesses at the same time. Typically, between 350 to 400 locally owned vintage shops, antique malls, women’s boutiques, occasional and pop-up shops, home décor, upscale consignment shops, and vintage barn sales in the two-state region participate in this one-of-a-kind event.The event was destined to grow quickly. Between the shop owners looking for a unique, low-cost way to promote not only their shop but their town too, and then add in shoppers who are excited to have a list of hundreds of fun shops dropped in their lap, you can’t hold them back!” laughed Ann Campos, founder of the event. The event stretches across two states from the Mississippi Riveron the west to Lake Michigan on the east, goes north to Stevens Point & Green Bay in Wisconsin, and south to I-80 in Illinois.Each shop has an “in-store” promotion for the weekend, and many shops go miles beyond just complimentary refreshments (like mimosas and dessert treats). “We encourage the shops to create a day unlike the other 363 days of the year,” say Campos. As a result, shoppers will find fun promotions like “pop a balloon” or “spin the wheel” to determine their discount, door prizes, meet-the-maker, paint demos, live music, food trucks, and free swag bags just for stopping in. Others create punch card promotions to get people moving around their region, hire live music and invite food trucks to park in their lots. All shops will be ready and waiting to greet new faces to their store and provide the shoppers with the best in customer service. “The participating shop owners are very passionate about the history of their antiques as well as their buildings. In order to compete with big box stores, small business owners have to be creative in their marketing efforts and work extra hard to get noticed,” Campos said. “I’m just happy I can help them out by using my experience to bring customers to their doorstep with this fun shopping event. To my knowledge, it’s the biggest event of its kind in the Midwest.” Many of the shops are set in historic and unique buildings, in downtowns, villages, and the countryside brimming with history which sets them apart from their competitors in big shopping malls. For example, shoppers who step into Vintique Junque in Monroe, Wisconsin can find a sweet shop filled with antiques, vintage, recycled goods, and fun junk housed in a historic 1880s coal store that supplied the downtown square with coal. Or shoppers can experience ‘out of the box' shopping for on-trend vintage items and home décor inside a gorgeous 1882 Methodist church, complete with steeple, at The Half Full Nest in West Dundee, Illinois. Or, explore Starline Excursion Market in Harvard, Illinois tucked inside a renovated, ivy-covered farm equipment factory built in 1888. These are just a few examples of shops located inside unique structures making the shopping experience memorable.Road trip planning for the Vintage Shop Hop is made easy with the interactive Google Map and Master List of Shops. The Google Map includes all shop details that can be accessed on mobile devices while shoppers are traveling the area. The list and map are both found on the event’s blog page 24/7/365 and can be printed off www.vintageshophop.blogspot.com or follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VintageShopHopEvent. A direct link to the interactive Google Map is here: https://bit.ly/VintageShopHopMap_Oct2022

October 2, 2022

A Fiesta at Alvarez Mexican Restaurant

A Fiesta at Alvarez Mexican Restaurant

We ventured to Alvarez Mexican Restaurant to try their famous margaritas and eat our weight in chips! As you do…We were warmly greeted with chips and salsa, and decided to try the Quest Fundido, a fondue with chorizo brought with even more chips (muahahaha). This is a HUGE appetizer, we dug right in to the warm cheese and chorizo medley. The flavor was out of the world and we will definitely order this again… but bring many many more friends, hahaha.Acting like we hadn’t completely filled up on chips, we then sampled the Enchiladas en Mole (three corn tortillas in a rich poblano mole sauce with cheese and sour cream) and the Fajita Lover (sizzling strips of steak, chicken, & shrimp, topped with spanish onions, slices of tender bell pepper & pico de gallo).I have never tried mole sauce, so this was a first for me! The sweetness was a unique contrast to the enchilada and I now see why folks love this stuff. It had almost a nutty flavor, and that pairing was a fun surprise.The fajita was a masterpiece of a medley. Everything was grilled to perfection (no tough shrimp here!) and the meat to vegetable ratio was perfect. I’m a big fan of build your own meals, so fajitas really cater to my desire to get my hands dirty. I was happily surprised with the generous dollops of sour cream and guacamole as well.I almost forgot the margaritas! With a strong blend of many liquors, these are described as “killer” on the menu, and I have to agree with them! Not too sweet, they really nailed the balance. Drink responsibly!Check out Alvarez for your next chip binge!

September 28, 2022

Local Man Works to Revitalize Broadway

Local Man Works to Revitalize Broadway

It's no secret that the past few years have been hard on small businesses, with some parts of the city getting hit harder than others. In the wake of COVID and inflation there are those within our community that are stepping up. Isidro Barrios is one of those people.After spending 40 years as a union carpenter, Isidro and his wife, Melanie, opened a community center inside of their neighborhood. El Barrio is located at 1516 Broadway and aims to be a resource for the businesses and residents of the Broadway region. Isidro referenced his 13 grandbabies as motivation for the passion he has for his community. And his first goal is to help re-establish the Broadway corridor as a thriving business community.Between 11th Street and Kishwaukee Broadway has over 50 available storefronts and through a combination of efforts Isidro aims at reducing that number. One of these efforts is a Business Opportunity Event for the 11th Ward.This event is being hosted at El Barrio, 1516 Broadway, on Friday, September 30th, from 5:00 to 8:00pm. The event hosts multiple opportunities for both existing businesses and those wishing to start a business. There will be resources and information for new and existing businesses, information on solar energy and the Illinois Shines Program, as well as a host of special guests.State Representative Dave Vella, State Representative Maurice West, 11th Ward Alderman Tuffy Quinonez, County Chairman Joe Chiarelli, and County Board Jaime Salgado will all be in attendance.If you have a passion for the Broadway corridor of our city, are wanting to start a business and are looking for a place to open, or just want to connect with our local leadership, then head on over to El Barrio this Friday night.You can RSVP at elbarrio@myyahoo.com

September 28, 2022

A Perfect Pour at Hope & Anchor

A Perfect Pour at Hope & Anchor

In the mood for some English Pub comfort food? Rockford’s got that. Travel down 251 to find Hope & Anchor, an English Pub with authentic dishes right in your backyardWhen you walk in the moody atmosphere greets you and you know this place has stories. Take a seat at the bar, order the perfectly poured Guinness and settle in for tales of spooky events and history.Ready for some grub? They serve authentic recipes including fish & chips, bangers & mash, and cottage pie. We tried the fish & chips first.I’m not typically a fan of tartar sauce (let the tar and feathering begin), but in the spirit of the full experience, I sampled Hope & Anchor’s. I can honestly say that I loved it! It paired beautifully with the beer batter fried cod. The menu says “generous portion”, and they aren’t kidding. Come hungry! Served with thick cut English chips and slaw, this is a meal that is certain to fill you up. The fish was fresh and flaky, and the crust was crisp and thick. I definitely recommend this English classic.Next up was the cottage pie, a medley of simmered beef, onions, carrots, and mushrooms topped with mashed potatoes. The presentation of this dish was beautiful, and the flavor was all comfort. This hearty dish will warm your whole soul, while filling you up. The gravy was perfection, taking this simple dish to the next level.We can’t wait to go back and dig into some more dishes, and their dessert menu! What’s your favorite dish at Hope & Anchor?

September 21, 2022

Portraits in the Garden

Portraits in the Garden

Anderson Japanese Gardens provides an extraordinary backdrop for individual and small group portraits. Wednesdays, October 5 through October 19, 2022, during special afternoon hours, Anderson Japanese Gardens will waive photography sitting fees and allow guests and photographers access to the Gardens for the price of regular admission.Anderson Japanese Gardens will waive the special use Garden rental fee for individual, small group, and special occasion photography, during its third annual Portraits in the Gardens. Special use dates and hours will be Wednesdays, October 5 through October 12, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and October 19, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.Limited Portraits in the Gardens dates and hours offer an opportunity for photographers to utilize the vibrant fall foliage while still preserving the tranquility and views of the gardens for guests who attend during regular business hours.Per person admission for Portraits in the Gardens is the price of regular individual Gardens admission. Homecoming groups, wedding parties, and commercial photography sessions will not be permitted. Photographers and guests are asked to always remain on pathways and grassy turf areas, not disturb or remove plants, not block pathways, not climb trees or boulders, not enter water areas or step into garden beds. Drone aerial photography and tripods are not permitted.

September 19, 2022

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