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No decision yet on Short Street reconstruction

Posted: Mon, Dec 19, 2011 9:53 PM

Decorah City Council members have asked City Engineer Lindsay Erdman to prepare a sketch and cost estimate for a two lane option for the reconstructed Short Street.

The move came at the end of a hour-long discussion Monday on the proposed Short Street project.

At issue again was the question of whether the road should be rebuilt with two lanes or three lanes and whether bike lanes and sidewalks are needed and how many there should be.

Short Street business owner CJ Lensing argued the bike lanes and sidewalks are not needed on both sides of the street, saying he had kept count over a three week period and say only 5 walkers and no bike riders use Short Street.

City council member Rachel Vagts argued in favor of the three lane street, telling Lensing, "We can't plan for what has been--we need to plan for what will be."  She added, ""This is an ambitious project, but this is an area of the city where we've been talking about for a long time."

City council member Randy Schissel said he was not seeing signs of a willingness to compromise. He asked what the cost would be for two lanes.  City council member Karen Tjossem agreed, urging greater compromise "that what has been shown so far."

But city council member Paul Wanless urged the Street Committee to come up with something that will best serve the city for the long run and Street Committee chairman Gary Rustad agreed, saying "We're going to build this street for 25 years."

The Street Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 3rd, to continue its discussion.