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Posted July 2, 2012 | comments 13 Comments

Streetscape islands fuel council debate

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

Design for the Downtown Streetscape Enhancement Project received some tweaking by Strasburg Town Council members Monday.

A consensus of council at a work session did not favor a traffic-calming island on East King Street as currently designed. Instead, members recommended the town go back to the firm designing the project in the hopes they would remove the island and install other measures along the north and south sides of the road.

Town staff recommended the design include islands both at the east and west ends of the downtown streetscape project on King Street. But few council members supported the islands.

Councilwoman Sarah Mauck distributed drawings she made after council's recent infrastructure committee meeting, which included columns along the street as well as other landscape features. Mauck also recommended that the town embrace the industrial area on the east end of King Street and suggested that Valley Milk enhance the sign on its butter manufacturing plant to make it more visible to travelers.

Several residents spoke in opposition to the island which, if constructed, would eliminate five parking spaces along the south side of King Street in front of the Strasburg Murseum. Also some residents questioned whether an island with a tree or two planted inside would prompt traffic to slow down as it traveled into the downtown. Several council members agreed.

Town Manager Judson Rex and Mayor Timothy Taylor reassured council members and people in the audience that Strasburg officials can and likely will continue to tweak the streetscape designs and not at any additional cost. However, Taylor did note that at some point council will need to approve a design for the project.

A second island proposed for installation on King Street near the Handy Mart and Sharpe Street drew more debate and divided council between those in favor and those who said the construction likely would sustain damage by trucks delivering to the gas station.

Councilman Don Le Vine supported the island on the west end of King Street, noting that council must think in terms of enhancing the entire downtown rather than change the design to suit one business or property owner.

The idea of vehicles damaging parts of the streetscape project also came up during a discussion about proposed bump-outs at intersections. Councilman Robert Baker expressed concern that large trucks could not make the turns created by the bump-outs and would damage the constructions. Baker suggested the town take the money it would spend on bump-outs and use it to pay for some other part of the project.

Also at the work session council members reached a consensus on the phasing of the streetscape project. Construction should first occur on both sides of King Street between Fort and Holliday streets, council members concurred.

13 Comments | Leave a comment

    I've seen school buses jump the curb at the corner of King and Holliday on a daily basis. I also watched the video of the tests and noticed fire trucks encroached the adjacent lane in order to successfully navigate the turn.

    Don't worry about a sign for Valley Milk, just breath and you will smell it on most hot days. Maybe losing parking spaces isn't such a big deal either with so many empty buildings but put in the bump-outs and they will come.

    Ole Town Strasburg: guess we'll offer carriage rides soon pulled by purple horses. Pretty, pretty, pretty!

    This town is so obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses that it lost the reason for why roads exist. They exist to make it easy to get from one place to another.

    Front Royal is looking to the future by building a new road to relieve traffic on the North side of it's town, while at the same time Strasburg is building bumpouts to obstruct traffic on over-used roads in it's downtown. Truck traffic can only get worst on the Rt.11 corridor in the future and the town is only going to make it worse with bumpouts and islands.

    Why not look to the future for once and do road improvements that will do some good. It is about 11/2 miles from Rt11 to Rt.55 on the East side of town. Why not build this road to make it easier access to residential and to factories on that side of town.

    I think bumpouts and islands in Strasburg is ridiculous. Especially now in this economy. Strasburg is usually concerned about preserving the historical look of downtown. Bumpouts and islands are certainly not historical. All this will do is reduce parking and waste money. I don't live in the town of Strasburg, so I can't vote out the council members who propose this ridiculous stuff. But I grew up and live just outside of Strasburg, attended Strasburg High School, and when I say I'm going to town, I mean Strasburg. I do support the town, its businesses, and events. So this stuff annoys the crap out of me.

    Instead of wasting money on the Downtown Streetscape Enhancement Project I think we should buy 1 way tickets out of this town for Mr Rex, Mr Taylor and town coucil members. STOP WASTING MONEY IT DOSEN'T GROW ON THE TOWN PEAR TREES IT COMES OUT OF OUR POCKETS!

    With the size of vehicles today there's barely enough room to fit side-by-side now. Lets place concrete obstacles to add to the current madness that is downtown traffic. Begin with an improvement of the intersection of Rt. 55 & Rt. 11 to start, and then focus on ridiculous ideas like concrete barriers after the real issues have been dealt with. As for beautifying the community, let's start by improving the landscape at the PVC Tree Farm across from the Food Lion Shopping Center. That's an eye sore! No to the bump outs! Let's start with the real issues and then worry about what the neighboring towns are doing. We place you in office, we can keep you out too!

    I think the thing that Rex would point to is that government funding is going to pay for all but about 460,000 or so. My feeling is just like most here. I don't think it is a good deal even if it's free. These downtown streets look just fine much less making them an obstacle course. They have looked the same all of my life and frankly I would not want them to look different. You know with the look we have now we made the top 50 small towns of the south per Southern Living magazine about 10 yrs. ago. Most out of towners I think would prefer our town over the other small towns in the area. We could use the 460,000 (don't know if that is exact, but close) for something else. Another thing, I am always a little suspicious of ulterior motives. I just have to wonder if resume fluff is in the back of Rex's head. You know this will probably be a visible achievement to his next prospective employer.

    Well hotel, no matter what the citizens want it looks like this is a done deal according to Tim taylor. All that's left is to do a little tweaking.

    mtndweller, What can you expect from the Town Council. They were all voted back in at the last election. What more of a thumbs-up do they need to keep doing what they are doing. Red Hall is the only one that has made a difference so far. The rest are just a bunch of rubber stamps. That's why the Council meeting's are a bunch of crap. They look at you like you are a dumb ass, say they understand and then do what they want to do anyway. So why fight the bumpouts or anything else they want.

      OK I am not doing to well right now, but I will try this. Red worked at factory and gradually accumulated real estate assets. That is good wealth building. Look at the people on the council with degrees, they got an easier path. I will not critic anyone for having an education. I will say though I will take Red's common sense, any day of the week, over some of the imports on our council(who have fancy credentials) who exhibit none. We need at least 4 more Reds to get a majority. I do not agree with Kim Bishop on most things, but I will vote for her again, she is better on the money side(our money). If you look at the big picture, our council has messed up parts of our town(across from Rite Aid) and is messing up other parts of our town(streetscape). But the geniuses think they are settting the world on fire. Just like a lightning bug though, the only thing that is lighting is their backside. Lights out for me!

    You are right hotel. We need four more Reds. I voted for Kim in the last election also and I will again if she runs.

    If Red holds his ground like he did during the debates over the Historic District he will be A very good councilman. Those meeting are what turned me against this council, especially when Red ask if the whole Historic District proposal could be nullified. They said no and wouldn't even bring it for a vote by the citizens. The question I have is, how do these ideas get so big that they take on a life of their own and no one can stop them, and what recourse do just a few have that show up at the meetings to fight city hall?

    and yet we can screw up the heart of town making it impossible for bigger vehicles to get around.....and yet not have a harmless popeyes...

    Why not put the Popeyes in the Island in the middle of the road? That should give something for everyone.


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