By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – During the Feb. 5 meeting of Marshfield’s Board of Public Works, board members approved a change to the alley on the east side of the Wenzel Family Plaza that may make it a two-lane passageway.
City Engineer Tom Turchi said that the current traffic regulations in the alley way are problematic to drivers trying to access it.
The westward direction of traffic flow on Second Street between Central and Chestnut Avenues create a situation where drivers can only access Central Avenue in order to enter the southward one-way direction of the alley.
This is significant because the alleyway provides access to the parking spaces retained from the Burlington parking lot to accommodate the Wenzel Plaza visitors, as well as the Central Avenue businesses adjacent to it.
A two-way alley would allow access from both Second and Third Streets, allowing traffic to enter the parking area from both Central and Chestnut.
“One-way alleys in the downtown are necessary due to narrow widths and large delivery trucks,” said City Engineer Tom Turchi. “Parking next to the Wenzel Family Plaza, dictated moving parking west about 10 and a half feet to create the necessary room for turning movements when vehicles are parking. This additional width to the alley allows for a total of 28.5 feet, which would easily accommodate two-way traffic.
“The limitation is the entrance of the alley, which is 18 feet, and this width will not accommodate two semi trucks at the same time, but it could accommodate two passenger vehicles.”
The motion to move the recommendation forward to the full council passed, with one “no” vote from Alderman Ed Wagner.
“The entrance ways from both north and south are too narrow to accommodate two cars at one time,” Wagner said. “We are going to create bottlenecks on both ends. I think this is a bad idea.”
The recommendation will go to the common council on Feb. 13.