Proposed sidewalk and parking changes on Main Street in downtown Duluth will be demonstrated using visual materials next Monday, Feb. 18. Most downtown merchants are closed on Mondays. It’s also President’s Day. City officials are calling it “Practice Day.”
The changes are being considered by the Duluth City Council to complement the proposed revitalization of downtown.
Potential changes include widening the elevated brick sidewalk that runs in front of some Main Street stores by filling in the projecting triangles, adding a lower sidewalk, and turning the vertical parking slots into parallel spaces.
The mock-up will be available for viewing starting at 10 a.m. Monday in front of Steverinos’s, City Manager Tim Shearer announced. “The city will use various materials including tape, plywood and cars to simulate what it would look and feel like to have wider sidewalks, a lower level sidewalk and parallel parking,” he said.
The upper sidewalk would be widened to 14 to 16 feet. The new lower sidewalk would be about 5 to 7 feet in width. Widening the upper sidewalk would allow more space for outdoor dining, vendor displays, artisan demonstrations and performing street artists.
Also, adding three sets of stairs to the two that exist at each end of the elevated sidewalk would improve access from the street for shoppers. A six-inch-high curb would separate the lower sidewalk from the street. A decorative barrier would keep pedestrians from falling from the upper to the lower sidewalk.
The transition to parallel parking would result in the loss of about five of the 18 vertical parking spaces in front of the stores. The parallel spaces would be approximately 10 feet by 20 feet or could be made larger to make parallel parking easier. The handicapped parking spot at one end would remain.
Councilwoman Marsha Bomar suggested using the visuals on a slow shopping day at the Jan. 28 Duluth City Council work session to obtain merchant and citizen input prior to placing the matter on a regular city council agenda for action.