For three weeks starting Wednesday, July 18, part of Rugby’s Main Avenue will be in the midst of a makeover.
Installation and painting for Rugby Recharge, a demonstration project, begins July 18, and will be taken down Aug. 13
Volunteers-with assistance from a consultant team from Alta Planning & Design-will paint and install temporary curb extensions on all four corners of the Main Avenue/2nd Street intersection, paint artistic designs within crosswalks. On the stretch of Main Avenue between 2nd and 3rd streets, the volunteers will mark shared lanes in the direction of traffic, set up an expanded space for pedestrians and realign parking on the east side of the street from angled to parallel.
Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Darylanna Durkee, a lead on the project, said the curb extensions, or bumpouts, have pedestrian safety in mind.
“Those will hopefully enhance pedestrian safety and also encourage drivers to be looking for pedestrians,” Durkee said, adding the bumpouts will also aid in seeing around cars parked on Main Avenue.
Other interesting aspects of the project will include an artistic “street” piano, found by Lila Harstad and Daunne Heilman and painted by Julia Straley, that anyone can play. Durkee said another part of the project organizers that have been looking into are interactive spaces, with possibilities including hopscotch and a life-sized chess board.
“Our hope is to have a really beautiful project at the end that we can enjoy for three weeks,” said Durkee.
Durkee said the purpose of the project is a test to see what Rugby is willing to do to its roads and see if there are any worthwhile changes that can be made. Residents will be encouraged to take part in surveys as the project is in place. Opinions gathered will be given to the N.D. Department of Transportation, who will conduct their survey based on community input.
“Anybody with an opinion, that opinion is valid and that’s why we’re doing this demonstration,” Durkee said. “If you love the parallel parking and hate the bumpouts, that’s a completely valid stance to take. Or if you really don’t like the parallel parking but you enjoy the bumpouts and you think they make everything safer, that’s also valid.”
The demonstration project is part of ND Moves, a NDDOT-led active transportation plan whose goal, according to their own installation talking points, is to develop “a long-term vision to increase opportunities for people to get around by walking, biking or taking transit.” The plan is expected to be implemented statewide over the next two decades.
Other communities participating in ND Moves projects include Bismarck, Bottineau, Horace, Grafton, Hazen, Grand Forks, Mandan and Williston.
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