With safety in mind, board backs move to narrow streets

Ordinance intended to reduce traffic speeds, save salting, maintenance costs
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Grafton Village Board on Monday, May 21, unanimously approved an ordinance that will reduce the widths of future roads.

According to Village Administrator Jesse Thyes, narrower roads will reduce speeding and lower the cost of maintenance. 

“It’s a two-fold approach. We look to facilitate safety in the neighborhoods by slowing down some of the traffic and also reduce expenses for long-term maintenance,” he said. “Less salt is needed on a narrower road, and there will be less long-term replacement costs.”  

The ordinance reduces the width of roadways for minor streets and cul-de-sac streets from 36 feet to 32, and the right-of-way from 66 feet to 60. 

According to the village’s Director of Public Works Amber Thomas, the streets will still have enough room to handle the fire department’s largest trucks. 

Thomas also said neighborhood streets will continue having parking on both sides of the road as well as two-directional traffic. 

Thyes said the recently adopted road specifications would be in effect for new streets, adding that narrowing the width of current roads would be considered on a case-by-case basis during future road projects.

“If there is an opportunity in an existing neighborhood, we would look to have the road go on a diet and make it skinnier in accord with the new standards,” he said.

The ordinance only applies to village streets and will not impact Highway 60 and county roads because those roads’ standards are dictated by their jurisdiction.

Thyes also said the narrower streets will help facilitate planting more trees along the sidewalk because there will be more room available and there will be less concrete to obstruct the roots from growing.

“There’s definitely a lot of little advantages built into having narrower streets,” he said. “We really want the village to be beautiful and safe for pedestrians to walk around and enjoy the streets of Grafton.” 

 

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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