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Bemidji City Council nixes center turn lane for Irvine Avenue

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Bemidji City Council nixes center turn lane for Irvine Avenue
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Irvine Avenue's layout will return to its former self following this summer's reconstruction project.

The Bemidji City Council voted 5-0 Monday to have Irvine Avenue striped without a center turn lane, opting instead for a two-lane road with parking shoulders/bike lanes.

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The roadway between Third and Sixth streets has always been planned to remain the same - but the council had been asked to consider two striping options for the street between Sixth Street and Paul Bunyan Drive.

Irvine Avenue has traditionally been a two-lane road with a parking lane/shoulder.

However, last summer, during the reconstruction of Bemidji Avenue North, Irvine Avenue was striped to have two lanes with a center turn lane.

Five individuals addressed the City Council during its discussion; all were in favor of the traditional layout.

"I liked the center turn lane," said Mayor Richard Lehmann. "However, I don't see it necessary through the whole length."

There will be a left-turn lane at the intersection with 15th Street, said Public Works Director/City Engineer Craig Gray.

Councilor Greg Negard asked about the possibility for a left-turn lane at the intersection at Seventh Street, near the Beltrami County campus, but Gray said it did not seem necessary.

"The most I've waited there is 15-20 seconds for one or two left-turning vehicles," he said.

bwesley@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pioneer staff reports
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