The City of Stevens Point has reached a significant milestone in the design plan to redesign the Business 51 corridor. This was announced at an open house held at Pacelli High School, which drew over 25 attendees, including Cole Racine, owner of Belt’s Soft Serve in Stevens Point.

Racine expressed his satisfaction with the progress made so far and highlighted the improvement in community participation compared to the previous plan unveiled in 2012. However, concerns among business owners remain about potential negative impacts on their establishments, particularly regarding how the proposed lane reduction could affect access to businesses.

Mayor Mike Wiza acknowledged these concerns and emphasized that business owners understand their traffic best because it directly affects their lives. He assured residents that their feedback is valued and encouraged them to contact city officials or local councilors for avenues for providing feedback.

The plan itself aims to move from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, with an additional turning lane. While studies suggest that reducing lanes can improve safety, nothing has been finalized yet. Elements such as approach locations and elevated environments are still flexible and subject to change based on feedback.

As part of the public viewing process, residents may have another opportunity to provide feedback during a final presentation of the plan to council for approval before it becomes official.

By Samantha Johnson

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