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Reducing a 4-lane road to 3 lanes is a common and affordable option for cities to balance multiple needs. It helps drivers maintain appropriate speeds, provides safer crossings for pedestrians, creates safer lanes for bicyclists, and creates larger and clearly marked shoulder/parking lanes for residents, delivery drivers, postal service workers, and other users.
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The city has been looking at changes to Broadway for some time because of ongoing safety concerns, as well as the age of the roadway, and the city recently received federal funding to pay for a majority of the project if it effectively addresses the safety concerns.
Pedestrian safety is the largest issue. Broadway’s design, combined with driver behavior, has led to crashes that have resulted in severe injuries and deaths. Four-lane roads present significant challenges for pedestrians, and Broadway has consistent pedestrian traffic both downtown and east of Franklin Street.
Broadway’s traffic count has been studied, and this change is not expected to create any significant issues for drivers in terms of access or travel time.
The change would create easier and more accessible crossings throughout Broadway Street, as well as upgrades to ramps and sidewalks to comply with ADA standards.
The change would provide clear, marked bike lanes in both directions, which Broadway has not previously had.
This change would create a safer and more predictable environment for emergency responders, who would only have to navigate one lane of traffic instead of two.
Stantec and the City of Winona secured funding for the majority of project costs through federal grants. The Federal Highway Administrations awarded the project an "Innovation Grant" for $1 million and a "Transportation Alternatives Grant" for an additional $900,000, leaving about $1.3 million in costs - this would be covered through Minnesota state aid funds; no local tax dollars are expected to be used.