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Stevens Point Achieves Milestone in Advancement of Business 51

The Business 51 corridor in Stevens Point is set to undergo a major redesign, with the City of Stevens Point having completed 30% of the design plan. This milestone has sparked controversy among residents and business owners, with concerns about the potential negative impacts on their establishments.

One such business owner is Cole Racine, owner of Belt’s Soft Serve in Stevens Point. Racine, whose business is directly off Business 51, has been closely monitoring the plan’s progress and noted an improvement in community involvement compared to a previous plan presented in 2012. Despite this progress, there are still worries among business owners about how the proposed reduction of lanes could affect access to businesses.

Mayor Mike Wiza acknowledged these concerns, emphasizing that business owners understand their traffic flow best as it directly impacts their livelihood. The plan itself aims to transition from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, with an additional turning lane. While studies suggest that reducing lanes can improve safety, nothing has been finalized yet.

Elements such as driveway locations and raised medians are still flexible and subject to change based on feedback. Wiza stressed the importance of community input in the decision-making process, reminding residents that avenues for providing feedback are open through contacting city officials or local alderpersons. This public viewing at Pacelli High School may be the last until the plan is presented for council approval.

By Samantha Jones

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