To the editor:
On Nov. 7, the Vermillion City Council is holding a public meeting with the Department of Transportation as they are ready to go forward with the proposed improvements on Cherry Street through Vermillion.
This project is a positive step for the future of Vermillion. We hope all citizens of Vermillion will attend and voice their positive approval for the project and future expansion of Vermillion.
In 1973 the present Cherry Street was built. At the time, Cherry Street was designed as a four-lane highway from East Vermillion to Dakota Street. However, over the objection of the experts and DOT Engineers, the width of Cherry Street was narrowed down through campus from 48 feet to 40 feet wide. By doing so this affected the safety and future growth concerns along this area.
Today, the DOT experts and engineers are proposing a five-lane from the east end of Cherry Street up to Plum Street. This requires a seven foot growth in the width of the present street. No additional right-of-way will be needed as the state already owns the right-of-way.
This design will provide the area with a safer street where left hand turns do not have to stop an entire lane of traffic to make the turn. When necessary, pedestrians crossing the street can wait in the center turn land half way across the street to wait for on-coming traffic.
There are citizen concerns about the corner of Plum and Cherry, when it goes from a five-lane to a three-lane. The DOT Engineers say they have ways to minimize this problem. We as Vermillion citizens need to realize this problem was not caused by the DOT but by the citizens in 1973 when they decided they knew better than the DOT to narrow the width of Cherry Street to 40 feet through campus. Let's not make the same mistake for the future of Vermillion that was made in 1973.
If East Cherry Street becomes a three-lane street, it will restrict traffic coming into Vermillion. This in turn will affect the businesses along Cherry Street as traffic may by-pass around Vermillion.
We, as citizens, need to attend the Nov. 7 city council meeting and inform our mayor and city council to back the DOT proposal for Cherry Street and the future of Vermillion. Mayor and city council, please do not make the same mistake that was made in 1973 for the future of Vermillion.
Concerned citizens for the future of Vermillion, Dennis Zimmerman, Howard Willson, Vermillion