Input on traffic and parking sought for Brown Street
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Plans are in the works to conduct a public survey to further consider possible changes to the road configuration and parking with the downtown Rhinelander Streetscape project, city public works director Tim Kingman reported at Tuesday’s Water/Wastewater Committee meeting.
Kingman provided committee members with draft copies of the survey, which he noted would be conducted online with a public meeting planned for next month to present the results.
“If you have any thoughts about what you saw there, or what you think might improve it, I would be open to doing some changes,” he said. “I’ve asked some other folks to look at it. Engineers have been involved.”
The draft of the survey, which includes asking respondents where they live in relation to the downtown Rhinelander area, notes there have been “continued public comments and requests suggesting preferences for different one-way traffic and parking configurations other than originally selected on Brown Street.”
Upon construction being wrapped up for the Streetscape project for 2016, Brown Street in the downtown area features two-way traffic with diagonal parking on the east side and parallel parking on the west side. The survey draft notes that Brown Street would be completed as originally planned next spring unless the contractor is instructed otherwise.
“One of the things that we’ll be able to say to folks is that we have a good plan in place,” Kingman said. “What was selected is perfectly possible, perfectly feasible to do what we’re doing and keep on going like we are.”
Regarding added costs for changing the traffic and parking pattern on Brown Street, Kingman said he didn’t have specific estimates for that.
“Now the options that have been looked at have been purposely looked at to make sure that we’re not taking on more costs than we need to,” he said. “The configuration of the curbs and the bump-outs and what was put into place this year can be used with these alternatives.”
The draft survey includes asking about possible roadway changes on Brown Street that could include a one-way traffic pattern downtown instead of both ways and more diagonal parking instead of parallel parking or more parallel parking instead of diagonal parking.
The survey draft states that only a southbound one-way traffic pattern on Brown Street would be considered because of the access desired for emergency services and that diagonal parking would only be considered for both sides of the street when a one-way pattern is selected because the sidewalks and curb lines in place would not allow for passage of two lanes of traffic. As for the diagonal parking taking place, the draft survey notes that could be set up for either front-in or back-in parking.
In addition to the current Streetscape option that has two-way traffic on Brown Street with diagonal and parallel parking, other survey options in the draft include one-way traffic from either Frederick to West King or Frederick to Anderson with alternatives for either front-in or back-in parking.
“We’re looking into options that we didn’t look into fully the first time around, and it may be a benefit for us,” Kingman said.