Baraga Avenue redesign consultants visit Marquette to get public feedback

The process of redesigning two blocks of Marquette’s Baraga Avenue is in the early stages. The consultants helping the city out have just visited Marquette to get public feedback on the designs they’ve come up with so far.

The Marquette Downtown Development Authority recently received a grant to get help redesigning Baraga Avenue from Lakeshore Boulevard to Third Street.

“There were some really great ideas and actually functional also, so I think the community really came out,” Marquette Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Mona Lang said. “I think that there’s a bright future (for the redesign project).”

The Michigan Municipal League, the Michigan State University urban and regional planning program and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority have collaborated to help the city with the design. Residents and business owners have told the design team they’d like the street to tie into the rest of downtown a bit better.

“It’s really kind of a sense of a point of arrival when you’re coming down Front Street,” Michigan State University outreach specialist Wayne Beyea said. “Also, we heard (a desire to) protect the views and the viewsheds of the lakefront and also make sure that we’re able to accommodate existing businesses and the snow removal and some of the functional aspects of the street as it exists now.”

The consultants will return in late summer after working with the feedback they’ve just received. The project should begin either next year or in 2016.

Baraga Avenue has its own Facebook page, and more information about the project is available there. The photos you’ve seen in this story, and many others, will likely be available there soon as well.