Greenville DDA will research effect of median

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:34 am on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This is a sketch of the proposed median from 2002. The Downtown Development Authority is taking a second look at the idea and will do research on whether it would be an asset today — Courtesy photo .

GREENVILLE — Although the idea for a median on Lafayette Street in downtown Greenville was first turned down in 2002, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is giving it a second look.

The idea for the median was first introduced during the Streetscape Project by consultants hired by the city. However, after taking in comments by local residents, the city decided not to add the median at the time.

During May’s regular DDA meeting, Tom Mall, who owns a building on Lafayette Street, in Greenville, asked the group if they would reconsider the median, stating it would be a great asset to the city.

On Tuesday, while the group met for its June meeting, they received input from the City Manager George Bosanic and City Engineer Doug Hinken and decided to gather information regarding the effect it would have on Greenville.

The median would run in the block between Cass and Grove streets.

Bosanic said a major concern for the median is its effect on traffic. Because of the parallel parking on both sides, the media would cause the traffic to completely stop while people paralleled park.

“It’s a blessing, but it’s a curse,” said Bosanic, adding that the median would beautify the downtown area, but there are certain factors that need to be addressed.

Hinken said the Michigan Department of Transportation would like to see the traffic in this area flow.

“What other problems (would the median cause),” asked DDA Chairman Roy LaMarte.

Hinken said one main concern is when the city will have to repair the water main. If that’s the case, traffic will have to be rerouted.

“It’s only 10 years old, but someday it will break,” Hinken said.

Bosanic said one option would be to place flexible-construction poles outlining where the median would be. This way, the drivers will be able to experience the median and the city can receive feedback on what residents think.

Also, the city will not have to pay to place the median, then rip it up when it is not favored by drivers.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” said Bosanic of an option on how to collect research.

DDA members said a downfall to this is although drivers will be able to get a feel for the median, they will not be able to experience what the median will look like.

As the DDA collects information regarding the median, they are going to look into how it will affect public safety, public services, costs and other cities that have a median on a major trunk line.

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