Street alternatives abound in EC

Why is the same solution so often offered as the remedy for different problems?

I refer here to the intention to install a roundabout at four quite different intersections along Eau Claire’s State Street, although I am heartened by the willingness of some City Council members to respond to community feedback and reconsider the proposal for a roundabout at State and Roosevelt streets.

It’s time to resume pursuing a combination of alternatives to a roundabout at this intersection. Consider these as examples:

• Better lighting to make pedestrians and cyclists more visible, especially between Garfield and Roosevelt; however, out of consideration for residents, lights would have to vary in both intensity and timing according to when the need is greatest.

• Reducing pedestrian traffic across State Street by increasing Third Ward parking restrictions — necessitating fuller use of alternative off-campus parking with shuttle services to UW-Eau Claire. However, any Third Ward parking restrictions must necessarily preserve access to residences for homeowners, visitors, service vehicles, etc.

• Speed bumps or equivalent to slow the downhill traffic on State Street while maintaining safe access for snowplows and other official vehicles.

• Eliminating left turns from eastbound Roosevelt onto northbound State, just as left turns have been eliminated at the intersection of Park and Summit.

• Traffic islands, such as at Park and Summit, would provide increased safety for crossing State Street but with less disruption to the street and its neighboring properties than would occur with a roundabout.

• Routing traffic to make more use of the stoplight at Garfield and State would also help.

A systemic combination of changes would serve better than any one single solution, whether that combination consists of these examples or others. When considering one single solution to solve different problems, it’s good to remember that one size fits few.

Michael Lindsay

Eau Claire