Traffic from fairgrounds makes road nearly impassable

By Kellen Olshefski

Correspondent

The City of Elkhorn is looking to widen and improve a section of East Page Street abutting the fairgrounds that is heavily affected by exiting traffic from fairgrounds events.

According to Public Works Manager Matt Lindstrom, there are three homeowners with driveways along the most eastern section of East Page Street that ends at the back side of the fairgrounds parking lot across from the fair’s main entrance off of East Court Street.

Lindstrom said at last week’s Municipal Service and Utilities Committee meeting that residents approached the City with concerns, noting that when traffic exits through the parking lot after events, such as the flea market, bands and the Walworth County Fair, East Page Street essentially becomes a one way street exiting to North Lincoln Street.

With a normal lane being about 11-feet wide to accommodate a single car width, at about 15 feet, Lindstrom said that the street is just too narrow to support two-way traffic when vehicles are exiting from the fairgrounds parking lot.

“So, if car was to try and head east on East Page Street during the time that someone was exiting from the fair, you wouldn’t be able to do that, someone would be forced to go onto the grass,” he said.

Lindstrom said the roadway is also actually signed as a one-way street during fair events, meaning residents are unable to turn onto the street during fair events and would be forced to enter from East Court Street and drive through the parking lot just to get home.

“That would obviously cause backups at times during the heaviest moments of the fair,” he said. “There would also be moments, from what I understand, where the fair would shut off the parking lot when it’s full, so now they have no way of getting down there except for going down East Page Street as people are trying to leave.”

Additionally, Lindstrom said the other concern is that people also use it as a pedestrian route into the fairgrounds, and as there is no sidewalk, pedestrians are currently walking along the narrow roadway.

Lindstrom said he received a cost estimate from Kapur and Associates for the reconstruction of a 28-foot roadway with curb and gutter, a sidewalk for pedestrian traffic and storm sewer at a cost of about $113,400.

City Administrator Jim Heilman said he would like to include the project in the City’s 2020 budget.

Under current City ordinances, residents would not be required to pay for the addition of the sidewalk.

Alderman Karel Young said she agrees that something needs to be done along the stretch.

“Every time I leave that way, I think, this is just horrible,” she said. “You feel like you’re going from the fairgrounds into someone’s driveway.”

Alderman Ron Dunwiddie made a motion to advance the full reconstruction to the full Council, noting that the cost of the project would be included in the 2020 budget. Seconded by Young, the motion was approved unanimously.

 
 

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