Thomas Getting Wider?

Once again the city finds itself in that wonderful place between conservation and development, this time around Thomas Road.

Click for Larger ImageIt is obvious that Thomas road is inadequate to meet even the current traffic flow. And most likely any thought of increasing the number of river crossings overall is not even on the table. Local legend has it that Wisconsin Rapids has seven bridges, and Wausau only three, and the legendary reason given is that the DOT regional headquarters is in Rapids. But be that as it may, with only a few crossings here, the streets that feed those crossings obviously need to be able to handle the traffic.

But this time I am going to leave it to the readers of the Wausaublog to sound off. To be honest, I am not sure at all where the balance lies. In some of the past road projects it seemed that a few businesses took it on the chin. On Third Avenue, I know a few places did not survive that project, and it was said more than once that the reconstruction of Grand Avenue was a factor in the closing of the Kmart there.

But then again, perhaps the new apartment complex that arose on that site is a much better use of property in the city. Actually, I have to say that they look a lot better than that old Kmart.

Thomas street is lined with local businesses, a few churches and many homes. Some of my favorite spring rolls are there on Thomas Street.

So, what do you think Wausau? How big should Thomas be and how much are you willing to pay? Is it worth losing local businesses to make traffic flow? How much change is good?

We would all love to hear your thoughts.


2 responses to “Thomas Getting Wider?

  1. I happen to live a half block away from Thomas Avenue. Something should be done to relive the traffic situation although I am skeptical (as usual) as to how this matter will be handled as was the intersection of Third Avenue and Union a couple of years back. The city forced a business to move without giving the business adequate compensation (Wausau Music Center), now you have a huge vacant lot right on the corner which nobody is rushing out to purchase, and the intersection doesn’t have nearly the traffic it once had. It was folly in my opinion. Expensive folly.

    People will have to sell their homes to the city which may not give them fair market value. It is called eminent domain. The public government has the right to displace homes which they see fit. I never liked this idea because the homeowner has no recourse to fight it.

    Businesses will have to relocate, people are going to thrown out of their neighborhood and for what?

    This matter could be easily solved by making Thomas and Sherman Avenues one-way. In the City Pages, someone said that it would be too inconvenient to them for this situation. Weigh the factors here; Inconvenience or Grammy getting forced out of the home she was born in.


  2. Good thoughts. One concern about doing it all on Thomas (as it were) is the “highway” phenomenon, which is when you widen a street folks forget they are in the city and the average speed there starts to go up. I am actually surprised sometimes how good folks here are about obeying the speed limits on Stewart, Bridge and Sixth. But do hope that if Thomas is widened as proposed that more traffic calming measures are used, which will help keep a more residential feel to that neighborhood as well.

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