Traverse City Record-Eagle

September 7, 2013

City official: Rename Division Street

By BRIAN McGILLIVARY bmcgillivary@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — A proposal to change Division Street’s name to Water Street, and two proposed construction projects at waterfront parks will dominate the city commission’s next study session.

City Commissioner Jim Carruthers said he expects his proposal to change the name of Division Street to raise more community consternation than Michael Moore’s request to put a theater marquee with flashing lights on the renovated Con Foster Museum in Clinch Park.

Both items are on the city commissions agenda for discussion when it meets Monday at 7 p.m. in the Governmental Center.

“People are going to get riled up about this,” Carruthers said. “Some people are going to be really (angry).”

City officials have talked about renaming Division Street for some time, Carruthers said. City officials have spoken with the Michigan Department of Transportation, the agency that controls the busy section of U.S. 31, about a redesign of the corridor to slow traffic and make the highway less divisive. But funding woes mean that project is years from becoming reality.

“While we are waiting for whatever we do, why don’t we do something that’s an easy, progressive and positive change,” Carruthers said. “It brings people down to the water, so why not Water Street?”

Moore and the Traverse City Film Festival proposed a free-standing marquee with flashing and blinking lights to make the city’s new movie house look more like a theater.

They are asking the city to amend its sign ordinance, which bans moving or flashing lights on all signs, to make an exception for theaters.

City Manager Jered Ottenwess said the other construction project is a proposal to construct two buildings that would cover about 3,000-square feet combined to hold rowing, or sculling boats at Hull Park. The rowing program would operate similarly to the sailing program at Hull Park on Boardman Lake, providing boats and classes for a fee to the public.

The buildings would be paid for through donations. The city Parks and Recreation Commission supports the request.