Planners to unveil Third Street vision

MARQUETTE – A group of planning experts who spent the better part of a week in Marquette earlier this year will return next week to present a long-range plan developed for the Third Street Corridor.

The plan will be presented twice Tuesday during morning and evening sessions in the Marquette Commons.

Robert Gibbs, the head planner at the Gibbs Planning Group, voiced a desire last spring to see Third Street evolve into an area that is more pedestrian friendly. The goal, he said then, would be to make the area more attractive to walkers and bikers, while making the entire district a destination.

After the five-day planning process, which included input from interested citizens, Gibbs and his team suggested a sustainability plan and a form-based code that would allow for newly constructed buildings to be taller than the current limit of 30 feet. Additionally, setbacks could be enacted, requiring new construction to be set back five feet from the sidewalk and 15 feet from the back lot line.

Among other items, Gibbs said he would like to see the code also stipulate that the sidewalk-facing wall of new construction be made of about 60 percent clear glass in an attempt to create a more attractive street for walking.

The group also suggested utilizing better bicycle-related signage and street markings, as well as creating a designated bike lane running south from Fair Avenue, and a bike sharrow – a lane shared by vehicular and bicycle traffic – heading north.

The initial presentation of the completed plan and code is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday in the Marquette Commons. There will be an open drop-in session for community questions and comments from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and another presentation of the plan and code is set for 7 p.m.

The planning process has been grant-funded. The city of Marquette, with support from the Marquette Downtown Development Authority and Northern Michigan University, received a $75,000 “placemaking” grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.