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Checking in on the College Avenue “road diet”

Posted at 6:24 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 19:24:57-05

APPLETON (NBC 26) — Six months after College Avenue lane changes, the city and businesses say they're seeing a positive impact.

  • Smart Streets Appleton aims to increase safety and get people to stop and stay a while in our downtown.
  • Six months after the lane reconfiguration we’re seeing positive results.
  • Click here for more on the six-month project report.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Appleton’s changes to downtown traffic flow aimed to increase safety and get people to stop and stay a while.

I’m your Appleton neighborhood reporter, Olivia Acree, and six months in people tell me the changes are working.

While the City of Appleton is working to make our roads safer and more convenient – Smart Streets is just one example.

“We’re off to a strong start. Some metrics are proving to be more positive than we would’ve anticipated,” said public works director Danielle Block.

That’s public works director Danielle Block. Six months ago, Appleton reconfigured downtown traffic from four lanes to three, added bike lanes, and left turn lanes.

“We took this past six months, and we reviewed crashes, traffic counts, travel time, travel speeds,” said Block.

They’re happy with what they see. The same goes for Anthony Carter who works at downtown’s Lawlss Coffee.

“Before the changes it was more congested definitely situations were biker meets machine,” said Carter.

He walks to work and has coworkers who bike.

“I think it all bodes well for the environment that I hope we’re trying to create here,” said Carter.

An environment that’s safe and accessible no matter how many wheels you're on.

“The crashes at 48% was a huge aspect to this project,” said Block.

Block says crashes, racing, and police road closures are all down. So is the noise level, according to Eco Candle Company owner Shelley Nystrom.

“It is quieter it slowed down a little bit. I think overall it will be good it just needs a little time,” said Nystrom.

The Smart Streets pilot project isn’t over. They’re only six months in out of 18 and the next step is all about feedback.

“What we’re gonna do this next phase is work with ADI and reach out to those businesses directly to get feedback on what their customers are telling them,” said Block.

With 12 months left in the project, the city wants to hear from you next. Click here to join the conversation.