Winona City staff and council members worked with consultants and the Minnesota Department of Transportation for more than three years to redesign Broadway in order to make it safer and to meet updated specifications. They also secured $2 million in federal grants and $1 million in state aid to make the improvements.
It would be foolish to throw away all of that hard work and return these millions of dollars. If we do, Winona will still need to make many of these changes on its own and Broadway will be less safe.
With three lanes of traffic, the bike lanes on each side will provide more room for people getting into and out of cars parked on Broadway. With the current four lanes, there is almost no room between traffic and the parked cars, especially when snow builds up along the curbs and cars park farther into the street.
There is no research to suggest that this will have any negative effect on downtown, and there is evidence that it will make the street safer. I have worked downtown for 28 years and cross Broadway twice a day nearly every day and drive on Broadway frequently. I strongly support the Broadway improvements.
There are many other advantages to the new plan. Don't be afraid of change. Tell you city council person how you feel about this issue before they vote on it this Monday.