Central Hillside hosts block party

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Places for People, a community outreach campaign, will hold a block party 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 30 at the intersection of Sixth Avenue East and East Ninth Street. The event will include music, food, games and opportunities to participate in community-created art such as mural painting and chalk drawing. The event is free and open to everyone.

Staying on top of road maintenance is not an easy task in Duluth. The city of Duluth has what seems like a never-ending list of street projects to maintain road infrastructure. Scheduled for repair in the near future are some major roads in the central hillside neighborhood that will affect not only residents living here, but also people traveling through the hillside area. Within the best interest of the community, these traffic projects present opportunities to make our roadways more safe and inviting for everyone that uses them. Important upcoming projects include resurfacing of East 9th Street in 2019, and a possible reconfiguration of Sixth Avenue East. The Metropolitan Interstate Council conducted a traffic modeling study on Sixth Avenue East and determined there would be no effect on traffic if the road were reduced from four lanes to three. This could provide more room to accommodate active transportation if desired by the community.

Places for People aims to engage the community by creating places where people actually want to spend their time. We hope to raise awareness of the opportunity to have 6th Avenue East redesigned to better fulfill the needs of active transportation, such as walking, biking and taking the bus, while also accommodating vehicle traffic.

At the intersection of Sixth Ave East and East Ninth Street intersection, a temporary traffic demonstration project is being put in place this summer to try out safety measures for pedestrians. Included will be repainted visible crosswalks, curb extensions to reduce the road crossing width and a pedestrian refuge island on the lower side of the intersection at Sixth Avenue East and East Ninth Street. These additions put more emphasis on the safety of pedestrians in an area that is overwhelmed by vehicle traffic.

Places for People aims to connect with the community in a more accessible way. By reaching out in the community we can gather more information from people who are often unable to participate in public meetings, the traditional method of community engagement. After the demonstration project is put up, the Places for People campaign will be promoting a survey to gather community thoughts and opinions on the traffic demonstration project. Based on the responses from this demonstration project, there is potential for permanent change. Our campaign serves to make more enjoyable public places for everyone.

For more information see the “Places for People Duluth” page on Facebook.