Public has a chance to give feedback on trees, sidewalk design on online survey

COURTESY RENDERING - Front Street renderingWoodburn Economic Development Director Jamie Johnk and city engineer Dago Garcia presented plans for the long-awaited First Street improvement project during a public meeting Tuesday, Aug. 28. The plans included details on the ever-contentious sidewalk bulbouts, a design for the intersection of Garfield and First streets, and options for street trees. The city is taking public feedback on the project through an online survey which will be open until the last week of Sept.

The proposed curb bulbouts attracted the most opposition, and several members of the public asked whether the street plan could be redone entirely without them. The bulbout design was criticized mainly for reducing parking and narrowing the street at intersections.

The bulbouts are intended to slow down traffic and increase pedestrian safety, especially by preventing drivers from cutting corners at intersections. The bulbouts would narrow the width of intersections by eight feet on each side, to a total width of 30 feet. The bulbouts would also take up between four and six parking spaces.

The city is looking at a medallion design in the intersection of First and Garfield streets, which would be a simple circular design with the city's name. The staining color for the brick sidewalks and street inlay is also up for discussion and will be decided based on public feedback in the survey.

First Street will include three varieties of trees, based on results from the public survey. The six species being proposed for the public to pick from are all columnar, meaning they will grow up rather than out, preventing root damage to sidewalks. The city is also seeking feedback on the row of mature sycamore maple trees adjacent to Library Park. The trees have roots which grow out rather than down, causing buckling of the sidewalk and the adjacent street. If the city preserves the trees they will have to remove parking spots along First Street in order to create a buffer zone around the trees' roots.

Also part of the project, the public parking lot on Second Street would be repaved and repainted, creating 45 parking spaces. The project would upgrade the parking lot's lighting and storm drains and improve entrances on Lincoln and Grant streets.

Two alleyways between Cleveland and Garfield streets would be repaved, with new asphalt laid on the road surface and concrete pads poured for Dumpsters.

The total estimated cost of the project is $4.47 million. Improvements to First Street are estimated to cost $3,964,000, with an additional $356,000 for the alleyways between Cleveland and Garfield streets and $150,000 for the Second Street parking lot. City staff hopes to have plans finalized and ready to open for construction bids by the end of the year, with construction taking place between March and October 2019.

This story has been updated to reflect the correct dates that the First Street survey will be available. The survey will be open until the last week of Sept.

Patrick Evans



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