City council hears proposal for downtown renovations

Trey Sherwood speaking to the city council about the 3rd street project. City Council meets every Tuesday night. (Photo by Morgan Roppe)

With plans to revamp Laramie’s Downtown, a proposal for future renovations to 3rd Street were brought before City Council on Tuesday to be reviewed.

The project was developed by 3, 2, 1 … 3rd Street! Committee with additional help from members of Laramie Street Alliance, Laramie Business Chamber Alliance and Laramie Planning Division.

“I know the idea of improving Third Street has been something we have talked about for decades,” 3, 2, 1 … 3rd Street! Committee member and Laramie Main Street Alliance executive director Trey Sherwood said. “We are just so ready to move forward.”

While the project is intended to beautify the area for the sake of local businesses, the main intention of the project is safety.

“Everything that we are asking in terms of enhancements goes back to ‘how do we make this a safe place to be,’” Sherwood said. “We want to create an environment that looks good, fosters economic development and at the end of the day is safe.”

Though ideas to renovate 3rd Street have been brought up before, prior attempts lacked funding and support. Laramie Mayor Andi Summerville told the council that 3, 2, 1 … 3rd Street! Committee’s plan could work since the project is slated to coincide with street work by Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT)

“The timing is fortuitous,” Summerville said. “Because this is the beginning of data collection and engineering design phase for WYDOT’s resurfacing project.”

3, 2, 1 … 3rd Street committee predicts the project could be done in 2020. Sherwood described to the council what 3rd Street could look like in the future.

“In 2020, this will look like a brand-new street,” she said. “We are going to have the storm drains repaired, replacement of damaged carbon gutters, ADA ramps at the intersections, traffic signal replacement and crosswalk enhancement.”

Additionally, Sherwood said the plan includes the possibility of creating bulb-outs for the crosswalks in the downtown areas. Bulb-outs are a sidewalk safety feature for both pedestrians and motorists. City Council member Charles McKinney expressed his concerns with the bulb-outs.

“I can see several issues with the bulb-outs in certain areas,” he said. “Nobody is going to be able to make a turn.”

Though the plan was well received by the council, certain council members expressed their issues with the plan.

“Certain parts of this plan, I like,” Council member Bryan Shuster said. “But before I give full support, I need to see the finished plan.”

After the discussion, Summerville said if the council decided to adopt the plan, a resolution would be brought forward during a future City Council business meeting.

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