Downtown Study Nears Completion - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Downtown Study Nears Completion

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Bismarck's downtown study is nearing completion, and some exciting new changes could soon be coming. The Metropolitan Planning Organization and the city of Bismarck have teamed up in hopes that our downtown area may soon look very different.

It's been in the works for years and now, there's a clearer picture of how Bismarck's downtown district might look after a much needed update.

"The extent of the study was from 12th street to Washington Street- east/west and from Kirkwood Mall to Avenue B- north/south," says transportation planner Steve Saunders.

Now, some of the potential improvements *could* include: a downtown green space, biking trails, increased parking, uniform bike racks, and other urban designs which could ultimately make the area more *people-friendly*.

"Right now, it's very vehicle-friendly and that's fine. Vehicles are a big part of it. But, we wanted the folks to basically stay, not just do their business and leave, but stay and enjoy downtown," says Saunders.

"As a business, it's nice to have people on the streets walking, people stopping and people, you know, spending a day out in downtown Bismarck," says Fireflour Pizza owner Kenny Howard.

If the funding for this project is approved by the Bismarck City Commission, Saunders says, residents of Bismarck will see immediate results.

"There's kind of a five-year plan with some of the key components. And so, as soon as this is adopted, hopefully adopted, the implementation will soon follow," says Saunders.

It's a big step for the city of Bismarck, but a step that many people are ready for.

For more information on the study, you can visit www.downtownbismarckstudy.org.

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