Stevens Point Achieves Milestone in Advancement of Business 51

Controversy Over Business 51 Redesign in Stevens Point: Will Community Input Shape the Final Outcome?

The City of Stevens Point has made significant progress in the design plan for the Business 51 corridor redesign, with 30% completion marking a milestone that has sparked controversy among residents and business owners. The plan was recently showcased at an open house held at Pacelli High School, which attracted over 25 attendees, including Cole Racine, the owner of Belt’s Soft Serve in Stevens Point.

Racine, whose business is located directly off Business 51, has been closely monitoring the plan’s progress and noted an improvement in community involvement compared to a previous plan presented in 2012. However, concerns still exist among business owners about the potential negative impacts on their establishments. There are worries about how the proposed reduction of lanes could affect access to businesses.

Mayor Mike Wiza acknowledged these concerns, emphasizing that business owners understand their traffic flow best as it directly impacts their livelihood. The plan itself aims to transition 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 driveway locations and raised medians are still flexible and subject to change based on feedback. Wiza stressed the importance of community input in the decision-making process, reminding residents that avenues for providing feedback are open through contacting city officials or local alderpersons. This public viewing at Pacelli High School may be the last until the plan is presented for council approval.

Despite controversy surrounding the redesign of Business 51 corridor in Stevens Point, there is hope that community involvement will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the project’s final outcome.

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