A plan for improving Third Street could clear its last hurdle today at the Laramie City Council meeting after receiving support from local commissions and the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
Approved by the Laramie Traffic Commission and the Laramie Planning Commission, a plan sponsored by the 3, 2, 1 … 3rd Street! committee is slated to be reviewed by the council again.
During a February work session, councilors initially looked at the plan, which could guide the improvements slated to coincide with a WYDOT Third Street resurfacing project scheduled for 2020. The council took no action on the plan in February.
“We did clarify pieces of the plan we realized were being misread,” said Trey Sherwood, a 3, 2, 1 … 3rd Street! member and Laramie Main Street Alliance executive director. “There was a misperception parking would be removed, but that’s not true.”
The plan details several Third Street projects that could be completed alongside the 2020 resurfacing project to improve automobile and pedestrian safety, beautify the corridor and improve consumer traffic to Third Street store fronts.
Some of the proposed projects listed in the plan are curb extensions at intersections, lowering speed limits, restricting left turns during peak hours and installing medians and gateways.
During the February work session, Councilor Charles McKinney questioned whether the improvements would hinder semi-trailer traffic.
“We looked at the scenario of ‘can a vehicle that doesn’t have the ability to make tight turns,’” Sherwood said.
“Using specs of the (Laramie Fire Department’s) largest vehicle, we determined that it could.”
To clarify some of the confusion surrounding the Sherwood’s presentation of the plan in February, 3, 2, 1 … 3rd Street! added an addendum to the plan.
“I’m hopeful the addendum will help,” Mayor Andi Summerville said. “I know there were council members who had specific concerns about the plan.”
By approving the plan, she said the council could task qualified staff with addressing specific concerns rather than getting bogged down in the details and missing an opportunity to adopt the plan as a guiding document.
“We recognize this resurfacing project is offering a critical opportunity to make some much needed improvements to downtown bicycle and pedestrian safety,” Summerville said. “We’re putting together some low-hanging fruit that we can do with this resurfacing in the current fiscal climate.”
While the city has reviewed proposals to renovate the thoroughfare before, she said aligning the proposed projects with WYDOT’s plans decreases the overall cost to the city and could yield a future financial return.
“We have this major highway that is bisecting the downtown, and it is a real adventure to cross,” Summerville said. “Giving Third Street a makeover and face-lift could have some real economic benefit.”
With no public comments regarding liquor license renewals during the council’s work session March 28, the renewals are slated to be approved by way of consent agenda today.
For the purposes of discussing personnel and litigation, the council is scheduled to end today’s meeting with an executive session.
“I can’t give any clarification at all about what those (executive session) topics are,” Summerville said. “I’m precluded by state statute.”
The Laramie City Council regular session is at 6:30 p.m. today at City Hall, 406 Ivinson Ave.
IF YOU GO ...
What: Laramie City Council regular session
When: 6:30 p.m. today
Where: City Hall, 406 Ivinson Ave.