At last week’s LaPrairie City Council meeting, striping on the city’s streets dominated discussion.
The city’s streets are currently not striped. At the last City Council meeting, officials voted to paint a double yellow line on LaPrairie Avenue and Lorane Drive after the final driving surface is in place in early June. The council devoted much of the meeting to developing a plan to add striping to the city’s remaining roadways.
Meghan Bown from Get Fit Itasca spoke on behalf of that organization. Bown said that Appendix B of the Comprehensive Plan document recommends street traffic calming measures that include narrowing of driving lanes with striping.
“The wider the roadways, the faster cars tend to travel,” said Bown. She added that the recommendations in the Comprehensive Plan called for striping that would limit the driving surface to 18 feet, nine feet in either direction.
“Throughout residential LaPrairie there are opportunities to reduce driving lanes to nine feet wide,” Bown said.
If the council agreed to these striping dimensions, Get Fit Itasca would contribute 50 percent of the cost of painting the lines on Fraser Street and Park Drive, Bown said. She later added that Get Fit Itasca would pay for 50 percent of any striping trial that met the dimensions recommended in the Comprehensive Plan for any road in LaPrairie as long as an invoice was submitted prior to June 30.
Councilor Steve Feyma said that he would like to see how the new trail on western Fraser looked before committing to any striping plans. In addition, costs could be an issue. “I’m just a little worried about doing this all at one time.”
Feyma asked Bown to identify all of the streets that Get Fit Itasca would like to see striped for nine foot driving lanes. Bown responded that all of the streets in LaPrairie could accommodate the nine foot driving lanes.
Councilor Lynn O’Brien said she would like to see the striping on Park Drive, East Fraser and going north to Pleasant Street. Later in the meeting, she added Voges Avenue to her list. “I travel down East Fraser a lot and it seems like there are always kids out on bikes and a lot of cars going fast.”
LaPrairie residents Audrey Moen and Victoria Fall also spoke in favor of striping the roads. Both said that they would like to see a striped three foot path for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Mayor Mike Fall said that he had received two letters on the issue and both were in favor of striping. Fall said that he was in favor of striping but said that he would like to ease into the project so he could gage the public’s reaction. The mayor added that he wasn’t opposed to the three foot pedestrian/bicycle lanes but said that he thought the three foot paths along the roadways were a poor alternative to a trail or a sidewalk. “You can’t put trails everywhere but I wouldn’t want it to inhibit us building trails.”
The council voted unanimously to refer the matter to City Engineer Bob Beaver for further review.
In other business, the council:
• Voted to table a vote on vacating the alleyway between LaPrairie and Elizabeth avenues that is bounded on the north by Balsam Street and on the south by Fraser Street.
• Agreed to refer the city’s pet ordinance to City Attorney John Licke before taking further action at a subsequent council meeting.