Stevens Point Achieves Milestone in Advancement of Business 51

The city of Stevens Point has made significant progress in the design plan for the Business 51 corridor redesign, completing 30% of the project. This milestone has sparked controversy among residents and business owners, with some expressing concern about the potential negative impacts on their establishments.

At an open house held at Pacelli High School, over 25 attendees, including Cole Racine, owner of Belt’s Soft Serve in Stevens Point, got a first look at the plan. 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.

Despite this progress, concerns still exist among business owners about how the proposed reduction of lanes could affect access to their establishments. There are worries that reducing lanes could negatively impact traffic flow and make it difficult for customers to access businesses.

Mayor Mike Wiza acknowledged these concerns and emphasized that business owners understand their traffic flow best as it directly impacts their livelihood. The plan 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.

By Riley Johnson

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