Broadway road diet is a good idea


(1/20/2021)

From: Mike Kennedy

Winona

 

I strongly believe that there are still important questions to consider regarding the Broadway road diet project. I have attended/listened to many council meetings when the project was discussed and ultimately supported. I have discussed these issues with many of our neighbors, tried often to explain the safety benefits to residents that do not live near downtown, and my wife and I have personally seen/experienced many close calls on Broadway that endangered people’s safety.

Please read and consider the important points made here and encourage your council representatives to go forward with this project.  

The council has voted favorably numerous times over the last several years to move forward on the Broadway Road Diet project. We are a Minnesota GreenStep city and have completed and qualified for the federal road diet grant. As a Winona citizen, I look at that as a contractual commitment by the city to complete it.

I am also concerned that a decision to not go forward now, without any opportunities for citizens at a public meeting to speak, would be disingenuous to past support of the Broadway road diet and the city planner’s involvement. What are we going to do for Broadway safety if this is voted down? Is doing nothing an option? How much will you put in the future city budget for safety improvements?

The city has already spent approximately $170,000 on this project. Did we spend that money without a full understanding of where we were going? Will it be wasted? 

One of the many safety aspects of the Broadway Road Diet project that is being paid for by this grant is the installation of state mandated ADA-compliant curb cuts along the entire 1.5-mile project. Can we reverse our commitment to the handicapped users of these necessary improvements for greater mobility on this busy street?

Having completed the application and qualified for the millions of dollars in the federal grant, can we really afford to now turn down that money, and later we must find it in our city budget? That seems like a fiscally irresponsible thing to do for the taxpayers.

 

 Benefits include:

• Crash reduction;

• Fewer rear-end and left-turn crashes;

• Fewer lanes for people walking to cross;

• Provides space for bicycle lanes, street parking, bus stops, curb extensions or other uses;

• Simplifies left turns from side streets;

• Smoother traffic flow;

• Less lane switching; and,

• When done, as part of a reconstruction, there are many positive uses for the space created.

 

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