Main Street in Garden City to get safety facelift

GARDEN CITY, Kansas – Crews in Garden City are sealing Main Street this week.  When they’re finished new lines will be painted, changing the flow of traffic in downtown.

“Main Street was originally four lane from back in the days when it was us 50 and 83, there was no bypass and we had probably three to four times more traffic,” said City Engineer Steve Cottrell.

Now that the street isn’t filled with semis and highway traffic, four lanes are more than the town needs.

There will be one lane going each direction and center lane designated as “left turn only.”  The hope is that traffic will actually move more smoothly.

“It’ll make it a little safer that thru traffic can stay in their lane and people that are going to turn left can be in a separate lane,” Cottrell said.

Plus, losing a lane will free up more room for parking.

“We’ll change the angle of the parking and gain about 50% more spaces every block.  Everybody should be able to get in and out easier,” said Cottrell.

It isn’t just about convenience though.  The changes are expected to make Main Street a safer road for pedestrians and bikes.

It’s something LiveWell Finney County has been working toward for the last two years.

“I have a lot of people that talk to me about how much they’d love to get out and walk, they’d bike to work, but they don’t feel safe doing that,” said Pat Veesart, Healthy Community Mobilizer for LiveWell Finney County.

She says a sensible traffic design is a step in the right direction.

“The easier it is for you to do the walking and the biking the more likely you are to do the walking and the biking,” she said, “I’m really looking forward to it.”

With costs from intersection work completed last year, the project will cost the city close to $400,000.  KDOT will pick up an addition $200,000.

Sealing is ahead of schedule and should be finished by Tuesday or Wednesday, painting should start next week.

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