It’s budget season at the City Hall. A time of year when the City Commission works with staff to set the priorities for up coming expenditures. The commission has had one study session (Record Eagle) to discuss the proposed budget and will have another on May 12 before adopting it sometime before June 2. There’s more to the budget than streets, but with $2 million budgeted for them it warrants our focus. Some residents are trying to help us focus on Eighth St.
“This street is the armpit of the city.”
Monday night the City Commission was presented with a petition signed by over 90 people from the adjacent neighborhood and along the corridor itself (letter and signatures below). This morning, their efforts were covered by our local newspaper (Residents and businesses demand action on Eighth St. ). They specifically ask for a trial of a road conversion from four-lanes to three-lanes.
Although the idea of using “just paint” needs to be considered, in order to do that a short-term resurfacing is likely required. That begs the question: Why not just reconstruct the street (the whole street, from property line to property line) as early as 2015-16?
Certainly, there’s support for something bold and city residents only 25 weeks ago affirmed that they are willing to pay for infrastructure improvements when they carried the county road mileage. Currently, the plan isn’t to invest in this four lanes section of the city until 2018-19. That’s too long. Not only is it in rough shape, as mentioned last week, it under-performs as a street and as a road. The four-lane section of Eighth St. was the inspiration for the Corridor Improvement Plan. I think we are ready to make it a priority.
What do you think?
Here are a few comments sent in response to last week’s post:
Jane Dinnen: “I would like to see this road primarily serve its nearby citizens safely and with local economic development. As an 8th St homeowner, I think this serves to strengthen the live-ability of the locals while supporting the greater good – just not at an undue expense to the local.”
And a wish list from Sharon Fletcher: “1. Road diet for sure! Three lanes or two with parking, with both options including bike lanes, would be better for all users than the four there now… 2. A better bridge. The sidewalks on the bridge are too narrow and close to the street… 3. Wider sidewalks throughout the corridor, far enough removed from the road so that pedestrians don’t have to walk through several inches of plow muck in the winter… 4. Parking and vehicle access to businesses via the side streets and alleys…. 5. A really good Indian restaurant.“
I think we all agree on the last point.