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City plans to discontinue street

This spring, the city plans to 'vacate' the small portion of roadway labeled on this map as East Park Street, as well as the small portion of Broadway Street that intersects with it and an adjacent alley. <i>Journal graphic</i>

An item on the Jan. 22 River Falls City Council agenda announced plans to "vacate" East Park Street, an alley adjacent to it and the part of Sycamore Street north of it.

City Planner Tony Steiner told the Council in a memorandum that the abandonment would create better safety and prepare for the eventual and future redevelopment of property south of East Park Street.

He wrote, "East Park Street is offset and does not align with West Park Street at the intersection of South Main Street and over the years has not been maintained to city standards. Traffic generated from the eventual development of the property south of East Park Street will increase turning movements and safety issues at this intersection.

"Recent development activity on a lot at the intersection of East Park Street and Sycamore Street has prompted staff to evaluate the continuance of this street."

Community Planning Director Buddy Lucero said the city has intended to vacate East Park Street for a while, but a landowner's desire to develop duplexes expedited the plan.

He said East Park Street is only partly paved and does not meet the city's standards. It is also less expensive for the city to create and maintain a cul-de-sac than to rebuild the L-shaped road.

Lucero confirmed that access from South Main Street onto East Park Street would be closed and eventually become a private drive or road. He also confirms what Steiner's memo to the City Council says: The 'vacation' is a proactive approach to the future growth and transportation safety of that area.

The Plan Commission is expected to review the matter and make a recommendation at its March 5 meeting. The City Council will hold a public hearing and take action on the street vacation at its March 19 meeting.