TRAVERSE CITY — A proposed project to repaint Eighth Street’s traffic lanes could cost up to $54,000 to design and monitor the results, and that doesn’t include the cost of paint or its application.
The city planning commission proposed restriping the east-west corridor from Woodmere Avenue to Lake Avenue in an attempt to change the busy street’s character and make it more pedestrian- and bike-friendly. Planners stopped short of dictating a reduction from the existing four traffic lanes, but city officials said given the width of the street a lane reduction appears likely for a one-year trial period.
“There’s nothing gained by not trying and the good thing about it is paint wears off pretty fast,” said city Planner Russ Soyring.
City staff recommends the city enter into a contract with URS Corporation to design the striping changes, seek public input, and gauge the changes’ level of success or failure. City commissioners can choose from three price alternatives that range from $26,000 to $54,000 when they meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Governmental Center.
The cost increases depending on how much the public is involved in the process and the level of monitoring city commissioners desire.
A petition from neighborhood residents and business owners initiated the project. They asked the city to try different lane configurations in advance of plans to rebuild the street in roughly three to four years
“I compliment the city for working in advance,” said Mike Coco, one of the petition drive leaders. “I’m excited. I think it’s a good investment in the choices they will make.”
City Engineer Tim Lodge raised concerns about a lane reduction, based on worries about disruptions to traffic and forcing cars into neighborhoods.
But Coco said it’s still worth a try because something has to change along Eighth Street.