The future look of downtown Brainerd streets is coming into focus.
The Brainerd City Council Monday unanimously adopted several recommendations from the Brainerd Main Street Advisory Committee for sidewalks design, street design and other amenities in conjunction with the downtown reconstruction project. Council member Bob Olson, who is a downtown property owner, abstained from voting.
Streets affected by the project, set to start in 2009, will be Laurel Street from South Sixth to South Eighth street, Front Street from South Sixth to South Eighth street and South Seventh Street from Maple to Front street.
The project will include street surface, infrastructure and streetscape reconstruction.
The recommendations, which followed several months of advisory committee meetings and public hearings, include:
Opening Front Street to two-way traffic, building a trail along the street and adding parking.
Putting diagonal parking on all streets.
10-foot, scored pavement sidewalks with decorative bands between light poles.
Intersection and alley curbed bump outs.
Install decorative lighting that can hold banners and hanging flower baskets.
Plant trees at intersections, alleys and city-owned parking lots while avoiding trees in front of store signage. Trees would have star burst grates installed around their bases.
Steel frame benches.
Planter seat walls at intersection bump outs.
Bicycle racks, parking lot edge treatments with fences and shrubbery, information kiosks and a gateway monument at South Sixth and Laurel streets.
Public art opportunities.
Council member Anne Nelson Fisher said she was in favor of all ideas accept the possibility of reducing trees in downtown. Council member Mark O'Day said the recommendations are conceptual and more trees could be added during the final design of the project.
Several council members commended the advisory committee for its work on the recommendations.
"I'm really excited to see a unified plan," council member Bonnie Cumberland said. "It's been years since a group if business people said, 'Yep, we're on board,' with something."
"It's been a balancing act," responded Tim Houle, civil engineer with the city's consulting firm on the project, Widseth Smith Nolting Inc.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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