It only includes a half mile stretch but a potential construction project on Lincoln Avenue in Evansville has some people concerned.
Detailed in a public meeting Wednesday night, the city wants to widen the stretch of Lincoln east of Green River Road to Newburgh Road. The project calls for wider lanes, a continuous left-turn lane and sidewalks. However, some residents say the project is unncessary.
On a half-mile stretch of Lincoln Avenue comes the intersection of enthusiasm and economics. While the city wants to push for a future construction project, some people who live along Lincoln, like Alan Leibundguth, are pushing back.
"This whole project is predicated on two factors I don't even think exist along with your assessment," said Leibundguth at Wednesday's public meeting. "The bulk of the project rests on the backs of twelve property owners that live on the north side of the street. We're asked to give everything so this project can be completed with the scope of it doesn't seem to merit the project."
Those assesments include the volume of traffic on Lincoln Ave. along with the desire to accomodate people who choose two wheels instead of four. The city would have to aquire the land of people living along Lincoln to make the project happen. The city cites the increasing volume of traffic with projected totals exceeding 20,000 cars a day in the next several years and decades.
Kyle Rickenbaugh of Gilles Cycles and Fitness likes the idea but also understands people's concerns.
"We would love to see it but we're all enthusiasts here so it's not always economical," said Rickenbaugh. "There are improvements and I think they're working toward it."
Evansville has made progress in becoming more bike-friendly in recent years, according to Rickenbaugh. Although there's some work left to do, Evansville City Engineer Pat Keepes says the Lincoln Ave. project could be the missing piece.
"Some folks have serious concerns about how this will affect their property values which is perfectly understandable," said Keepes. "That was the whole purpose of the meeting tonight is to get that feedback and address those concerns."
The city's plan is only in it's beginning stages and is subject to change. One supporter says the project is much needed and should help the traffic coming in from Harrison High School.
If the project gets off the ground, construction would begin in 2015. There is no project cost at this time.