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The City of Stevens Point has made significant progress in the design plan for the Business 51 corridor redesign, with 30% completion marking a milestone. This sparked controversy among residents and business owners, who have expressed their 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, who has been closely monitoring the plan’s progress. He noted an improvement in community involvement compared to a previous plan presented in 2012, but still has worries 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 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.

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