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Green Bay city leaders develop shared vision for downtown

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 10:35 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay city leaders are looking at new ways for people to experience downtown.

Development leaders are proposing a plan that would give businesses more opportunities for outdoor expansion.

“Not that long ago, economic development was all about jobs, jobs, jobs. Now, it’s really about quality of life and creating these great experiences,” said Matt Buchanan, development specialist for the city.

The new ‘Shared Corridor Vision Project’ would be a step in the right direction to help the city stay competitive.

“We are already way behind the Titletown District when it comes to experience based stuff, they’re out ahead of us,” said Glen Sherman, a member of the Economic Development Authority.

The project includes installing more amenities along Broadway and Washington Street, such as pick up and drop off zones, protected bike lanes and parklets.

The city is looking at creating a $25,000 grant program for businesses to purchase parklets.

“They would be the owner of the parklet. It’s a removable structure. Our ordinance currently only allows parklets to be installed on city streets during the warmer months of the year,” said Buchanan.

The vision also creates a “City Loop” which would connect both sides of the river between Walnut Street and Dousman Street.

“It’s something our respective downtown BIDs have been talking about. It’s exactly a one mile loop across those bridges,” said Alder Brian Johnson.

The city is also looking at revisiting ideas like crosswalk art, an idea the public works department had shot down in the past.

“We were told it’s strictly forbidden, it’s illegal. Now, we have another organization from the outside telling us, no it’s not illegal.  I really hope that we can get over some of our internal hurdles to allow us to implement some of these things,” said Alder Johnson.

A member of the public asked if staff is looking at bike rentals.

The city’s Development Director, Neil Stechschulte says there has been talk about bringing scooters to downtown.

“I think the staff’s preliminary reaction is, we think the scooters are interesting, but we’re probably looking for someone who could bring scooters, bikes, e-bikes; a little wider spectrum of options to the city,” said Stechschulte.

Development leaders are hoping to allocate about $40,000 in funds to implement these ideas.

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