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Cascade Project delayed after hang-ups

October 18, 2012

Cascade Avenue ribbon cutting
The Cascade Avenue ribbon cutting to celebrate the finishing details of the Cascade Project was on Oct. 12. River Falls Mayor Dan Toland is pictured on the left next to Chancellor Dean Van Galen, City Council Member Tom Caflisch, City Engineer Reid Wronsky, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Northwest Region Planning Chief Tom Beekman and State Senator Sheila Harsdorf. (Alicia Carlson/Student Voice)

The Cascade Avenue project is coming to an end after six months.

The estimated ending date was Oct. 12, 2012. However, due to lighting difficulties, the opening of the road has been delayed.

It is expected to open in approximately two weeks.The ribbon cutting ceremony was an opportunity to thank those involved throughout the project.

The University and the state itself have set objectives of the project; such as developing a traffic plan for the neighborhood around the University, expansion of parking areas and ensuring safety of pedestrians.

Despite these objectives, the project has brought about concerns on several levels that they hope to correct.

Chancellor Dean Van Galen at Cascade Project ribbon cutting.
Chancellor Dean Van Galen took the opportunity of the ribbon cutting to thank those involved with the Cascade Project. (Alicia Carlson/Student Voice)

The concerns include poor street lighting,  excess speed of vehicles, delays for traffic, no turn lanes, distance being blocked by parked vehicles and lack of adequate parking for individuals on the UW-River Falls campus.

The construction has led to commuters needing to make other parking arrangements such as parking in the commuter lot near Ramer Field. There is also pay by space.

Deborah Johnson, Police Service associate at the UWRF Police Department states, “There’s meters and pay by space. Pay by space. People purchase time across the street.”

There is also distribution of parking permits for commuters and the general public.

Parking on the east side of Cascade will be unavailable from Oct. 15 to Oct. 19.

As well as vehicle issues, there are problems with regard to safety, such as motorists yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks and there are no sidewalks on the north side Cascade.

There is also a lack of bicycle facilities on campus.

Due to the road being blocked off, methods of travel in ways other than by vehicle, are being used.

For example, there has been an increase in the number of bicyclists on campus that has added to on-campus traffic.

With the combination of foot traffic, use of skateboards and use of bicycles, it is necessary for members of the campus community to be aware of safety; to be careful of traffic other than that on the road.

The re-opening of Cascade will improve the conditions for individuals of the UWRF campus and the general public.

The opening of the street can make campus traffic safer as well as improve the driving conditions of the downtown area.

Opening Cascade might also improve the conditions of parking for commuters and the general public.

The project ending will also save individuals money on parking and decrease the amount of traffic on the sidewalks on campus.

The problems and concerns with the project will likely be solved.

This will mean there will not be not as much of a concern for safety and will make parking easier for drivers.