Open Streets decision tabled
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 10:18 AM
The Decorah City Council tabled a decision Monday on a street closure request for the third Decorah Open Streets event.
Organizer David Pacquet asked the Council to consider closing Water Street from Mechanic Street to Winnebago Street 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for the event Sunday, June 9, scheduled for noon-4 p.m. Two Open Streets events were held last year in Decorah.
"I'm supportive of this, but I think it would be good if all the businesses that are affected are aware of it before we approve it," Council member Paul Wanless. "What's the point of informing them once we've already said we're closing the street?"
Pacquet said he'd talked to some, but not all the business owners that would be affected.
"It's my mistake," Pacquet said of not contacting them all.
But he added there was "overwhelming support" for the first Open Streets event that encompassed a larger area in downtown Decorah last June. Another Open Streets event was held in September on Claiborne Drive.
"Our first event was too big, and the second event was too far removed from downtown. We want to be part of our vibrant downtown," Pacquet said.
Council member Randy Schissel noted the Open Streets proposal would close the intersection of Water Street and River Street, which remains open during Nordic Fest. Police Chief Bill Nixon said he's not sure why the intersection is open during Nordic Fest, but speculated it's due to the considerable traffic the Fest generates.
He said it wouldn't really impact response time if emergency vehicles from the Decorah Municipal Center had to travel a block east to Mechanic Street.
By tabling a decision on the street closure, Council member John Franzen suggested Pacquet could discuss the street closing with Decorah Fire Chief Mike Ashbacher. The Council will revisit the request at its Monday, May 6, meeting.