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Big Spring Square could mean a narrowed Williams Avenue

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)- The announcement of Big Spring Square comes with plans for new restaurants, residences, and retail within reach of the Von Braun Center.

"Right now, there's no easy connection to the square and there's nothing else really around there to walk to," said Dennis Madsen, the long-range planning manager for the city.

The new development is meant to change the scheme of nearby dining and nightlife options. But that means you have to cross Williams Avenue, so city planners are looking at narrowing the road to encourage pedestrians to make the journey.

"There is really no easy way to cross that road on foot," said Madsen.

Big Spring Square is set for a 2016 completion, and the possible narrowing of Williams Avenue goes along with plans to keep the development and its visitors close to Big Spring Park.

"We want to make sure that whatever we do, we move pedestrians, and cyclists and cars as well," said Madsen. He said the developers want a pedestrian friendly area, but not if it leads to a gridlock in front of the new businesses.

With the increased foot traffic the new complex will bring, the city and developers are concerned about safety.

"A road with six lanes across and no pedestrian refuge or crosswalks or anything like that is too big," said Madsen.

The South Carolina developers are working with the city to refine their site design, so the road plan can be re-worked.

1 Comment

  • realist

    Narrowing a street today is like a a person wishing for clogged arteries in a few years. Downtown needs wide streets for traffic flow both now and as more development is allowed around the VBC and the Big Spring. Why not leave the wider streets as is and use the smarter system like Gatlingburg,Tn. uses with marked crosswalks and laws with heavy fines for those motorists who won’t or don’t stop when pedestrians are clearly in the crosswalk? When the nice streets are chopped,narrowed and cannibalized, it just makes another reason to not going in that area.

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