Stanley Street restriping project extended
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT – City workers completed the Stanley Street restriping project on Aug. 6, but the reworked road-lining runs further than first projected.
The Stevens Point City Council held a special meeting on Aug. 5 to extend the Stanley Street restriping from Michigan Avenue to Green Avenue. An 8-3 council vote, with Morrow, Phillips, Slowinski voting no, adopted the motion.
Original plans set last year saw the restriping run from Michigan Avenue to the Indiana Avenue area.
“The extension is the length of about what I will say is about one block,” said Mayor Mike Wiza about the now finalized changes.
Wiza noted that the special meeting remained open to the public, regarding the controversial Stanley Street project.
“The reason we’re doing this in a special meeting is not to circumvent any process or do things that may seem underhanded to some,” Wiza explained.
The extension was enacted due to a city crew worker leaving to work in another municipality after local government purchased restriping equipment. Some city officials wanted to utilize the crew member’s road-lining machinery skills before his departure.
“We could wait and postpone the project, which I am not in favor of doing, until someone gets hired and subsequently trained and so on,” Wiza said.
Alder Tori Jennings added, “We are not saving money by doing this in phases.”
City leaders discussed concerns over biker safety on the extended lanes. Alder Cathy Dugan noted that as a member of the Bicycle Street Safety Commission, she is making it a priority to educate bikers on safe riding practices.
A letter from Stevens Point Police Chief Marty Skibba was read aloud at the Aug. 5 meeting, noting that he saw no public safety issues with the bike lanes.
Only one opponent of the project was in attendance at the special session on Aug. 5 to speak out against the extension. “This isn’t State Street in Madison with a bunch of little cutesy shops,” said Dave Wysocki at the special meeting. Wysocki noted that he believed bike traffic would not increase simply from the addition of the bike lanes on Stanley Street, in part due to the street’s numerous industrial businesses.
Plans for a possible roundabout near the Stanley Street and Green Avenue intersection are a possibility for future developments.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.