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Owen Brown Road Underpass

On tonight’s consent agenda you will find item 21-33. A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACT WITH THE THRASHER GROUP, INC. FOR THE OWEN BROWN STREET SIDEWALK IMPROVEMENT PROJECT.Brief Description: The purpose of this proposal was to solicit proposals from professional design, engineering and surveying consultants (Consultant) for the analysis, engineering and design of a 5-ft. pedestrian sidewalk, traffic signage, pavement striping, retaining wall design and a raised walkway under the Norfolk and Southern RR underpass on Owen Brown between Lennox and Morse Road along Owen Brown Street.

The intent of this is to improve downtown safety. This underpass is used by vehicles both as a downtown cut-around during rush-hour, and normal access to downtown by a fairly large population near downtown. The Atterbury – Brentwood – Lake Forest region walks through this to get into downtown too. I see runners all times of day and cyclists on a regular basis.

So you have some details on safety – most roads in Hudson are built to be 26 feet wide today. Older roads like Boston Mills which are closer to 20 feet wide feel narrow by comparison. This underpass is only 15 feet wide because of shifting side-stones over time. No lighting. No sidewalk.

The goal: improve safety with a minimal impact on usability to vehicles. The plan proposes a one lane road with signs stating it can only be used by alternating traffic. Ie: 1 car at a time. 5 feet would be assigned to pedestrians with a rail to protect those on the sidewalk from vehicle traffic. 10 feet would remain for vehicles. There would be a stop sign along with a yellow warning sign “One Lane Underpass”, still permitting traffic to pass in either direction.

Addressing downtown safety, given community growth, is a requirement in my opinion. I hope you agree with me that this provides safety without dramatically hurting vehicle usability.

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