Changes coming to Third Street and Railroad Avenue in Rifle
Rifle hosts design workshop with community, unveiling three concepts for the 2020 project
The city of Rifle released design concepts last week for proposed projects for Third Street and Railroad Avenue in downtown Rifle.
More than 50 people filled the upstairs meeting room at the Rifle Library to hear the proposals on the three concepts,which are slated to begin in 2020.
The project includes Third Street from West to East avenues and Railroad Avenue from Second to Fifth streets.
Officials said that the current streets, sidewalks, landscaping and utilities need improving, which the projects propose to do.
Craig Spaulding, city of Rifle civil engineer, said the project would help alleviate the groundwater issues that are causing premature failure on Railroad Avenue.
Working with downtown business owners, the city is hoping to enhance the downtown area and make it more inviting for the public and visitors as part of the project.
Three concepts were presented each with varying degrees of differences for citizens to look over and give feed back.
Planning Director Nathan Lindquist said the concepts are a preliminary design and the final concept will likely be different.
“There’s ways to keep adjusting everything, so don’t look at these as any of the details are set. It’s very much still flowing and so we can mix and match different things,” Lindquist said. “If there’s an idea you like then keep that and fix everything around it. Keep that in mind. It’s more important to get this right and take a long time do it, than just do it fast and get it done.”
Each concept adds permanent outdoor dining space for downtown restaurants.
Lindquist said that the downtown is changing and entertainment and restaurants are the future of the Third Street and Railroad corridor.
During the meeting officials pointed out a few cons to the project including reducing parking on Third Street.
Currently, there are 35 parking spots on the east block of Third Street; with concept one parking would be reduced to 25. Both concepts two and three would take 13 parking spots away.
The lost parking spots are due to changing parking angles and the addition of patios.
“Currently it’s 60-degree parking, and we have all seen the trucks sticking out a little bit, and when you back out you have to back into the other lane,” Spaulding said.
“To remedy that you can go to the 45 degree, which make the parking more convenient both in and out.”
Spaulding said it also gives you two more feet of street or sidewalk you can use. The downfall is you lose about two spots for every 11 spaces.
With the proposed loss of downtown parking the city is currently looking at managing parking better and how to add more public parking to the area.
“Parking is extremely important to the success of businesses, and I think regardless of what happens on Third and Railroad its probably overdue for us to do a larger parking plan and really thinking about parking downtown as a whole,” Lindquist said.
With a limited budget the city is applying for grants that will pay for the project, which is slated to begin later in the summer next year.
Both Spaulding and Lindquist said that depending on funding the project could be stretched over two summers until it is complete.
The city is looking for feedback of which concept the public would like to see, and which ideas will work best for the future of Rifle.
A Third Street Design Survey survey will be hand delivered to business in the downtown. Use the following link to take a survey on the planned Improvements: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/862RTFN.
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