Mar 21, 2014 1:20 AM
The town of Paradise held a workshop Thursday night for the Downtown Paradise Safety Project to hear from the public on the new proposed plan. The project would redesign a portion of the Skyway to improved public safety including reduced lanes, more street lights, better crosswalks and more. "The Downtown Paradise Safety Project affects everyone in our community and even outside the borders of the town of Paradise. We found it very important to reach out, get in touch with the stakeholders, get in touch with the businesses, and do general public workshops,” said Marc Mattox, Paradise Town Engineer.
Many residents at the workshop expressed concerns about the proposal and its effects on the community. "I don't think your studies have taken into consideration driving habits and patterns and styles of people that are above 65 and maybe many of them above 75," said a Paradise resident. Others supported the new crosswalk designs and improved lighting but thought other parts of the design did more harm than good. "A number of these features in your presentation could be done without compromising or reducing it down to 2 lanes."
Even if these changes ending up saving one life on the Skyway, supporters say it's worth it. "This community has a choice. Whether or not we're going to move forward and improve safety in downtown or if we're going to leave it as it is. Is it working? Based on our collision data, we can say confidently that it's not working. So we can trade seconds on our daily commutes for safety. I think that's something that we should move forward with," said Mattox.
There were some members of the downtown business community at the meeting. They supported the idea of making the downtown area more pedestrian friendly. The council is expected to vote on the project at the May 13th town hall meeting.