18th Avenue NW reconstruction project is highlight of Committee - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

18th Avenue NW reconstruction project is highlight of Committee of the Whole, City Council meetings

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

The 18th Avenue Northwest reconstruction project has been a plan in the making for over two years and the final design is officially complete and has been sent off to MNDot.

This project will run along 18th Avenue Northwest from 37th Street. to 55th Street.

At Monday's Rochester City Council Committee of the Whole Meeting, it was said that three public meetings with 70 to 100 people in attendance at each allowed community members to make their voices heard about plans for the project.

Pedestrian safety was one of the most prominent concerns at those meetings, so the $7.7 million project will add more pedestrian-friendly areas, as well as a bike-friendly roadway.

Community members got another chance to voice their thoughts on the 18th Avenue Northwest reconstruction plan during a public hearing at Monday night's City Council meeting.

Those in the biking community voiced some concerns about the speeds associated with cars driving alongside bikes in those bike lane areas, saying that not only are bicyclists uneasy about 40 mph speeds, but motorists are, as well.

“We believe that the approach that we take to streets like 18th Avenue but throughout the city as road redesigns happen, can be creative, it can be dynamic, it can bring all voices to the table. It doesn't have to be satisfying motorists at the expense of cyclists of vice versa,” said Tara Freimund, the President of We Bike Rochester.

Council member Michael Wojcik is an avid bicyclist and said he is grateful for the ongoing willingness of the City of Rochester for taking the needs of bicyclists into consideration in this project.

Another major aspect of this project is the addition of roundabouts along the route, to keep traffic flowing.

Another major topic up for discussion at Monday night's meeting was that of the Hotel Carlton Heritage Presentation Site Designation.

It was ultimately decided that things are too convoluted and not ready to have any action taken quite yet, as there is confusion on the current designation of the Hotel.

Council member Nick Campion suggested the hotel to be nominated as a landmark property under the new ordinance. 

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