EagleHerald Staff Writer

MARINETTE—The Marinette Common Council unanimously approved Tuesday a motion to have Ayres Associates, the engineering consultant that is designing the Main Street and Ludington Street project, conduct a pedestrian safety study to determine if traffic signals on Main Street would be beneficial.

Ayres Associates Municipal Engineer Peter Kolaszewski said the day-long study would collect data on aspects of traffic and pedestrian activity such as the number and direction of vehicles traveling down Main Street, the turns the vehicles are making, the speed at which they are traveling and the number of pedestrians crossing the intersections. The study would focus on the Hall Avenue, Liberty Street, Pierce Avenue and Wells Street intersections with Main Street. Kolaszewski also said Ayres Associates would review vehicle accident reports from the past five years to further inform the decision.

Some council members previously suggested adding a traffic signal at the intersection of Pierce Avenue and Main Street where the road turns rather than implementing a High Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) system and speed table.

Kolaszewski recommended conducting the study before moving forward with this idea because traffic signals have high initial and maintenance costs.

The cost of the study, however, does not currently fall under the scope of the city’s contract with Ayres Associates or the Economic Development Administration and Transportation Economic Assistance grants, according to Kolaszewski.

But Alderperson Jeffrey Skorik said he thought the cost of the study would be worthwhile.

“When you’re looking at reconstructing a downtown area that’s going to last for 50 years, I think that we would be remiss not to ask for some better data (to support the decision),” he said.