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Study reveals Coalville residents most concerned about safety on Main Street

Coalville has three new councilmembers: former planning commissioner Brandon Brady, NS Unite treasurer Lynn Wood and entrepreneur Shaun Powis.
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Coalville contributed $3,000 to the study, and $47,000 came from the Mountainland Association of Governments.

If you want to start a small business on Main Street, the study has recommendations about that, too.

Coalville City received a $50,000 grant to study Main Street last year.

It culminated in a new, 50-page document with data and recommendations for safety, economic revitalization and trail connections, drawing on community engagement.

“What we heard loudest and clearest was safe crossings, and routes to school,” said Lars Erickson from Kimley-Horn consultants at the March 11 Coalville City Council meeting.

Ironically, Erickson said, the crash data don’t show a large spike in incidents. But anecdotal data do: Coalville residents have complained about near misses on Main.

Mayor Mark Marsh penned an open letter asking motorists to slow down, especially around the crosswalk closest to school. The city has also installed new speed limit and crossing signs.

The other two themes the consultants dove into were economics and pedestrian and bike mobility.

For the latter, they used data from the fitness tracking app Strava to help recommend new trail connections in town and to the nearby rail trail. The consultants reiterated earlier recommendations for how to make crossing Coalville’s 80-foot-wide Main Street easier.

Councilmember Louise Willoughby was excited by the economic data too.

“I’m like, ‘Wow, we live in a really cool place with a ton of potential,’” she said at the meeting. “My big thing is…OK, we've got all this information. Who's going to see this? I want our community to see this.”

Kimley-Horn also identified businesses most likely to survive Coalville’s current market and those that would not. Recommended businesses include bookstores, furniture, pet supply, specialty foods and certain restaurants.

Willoughby suggested high schoolers, older residents, parents, business owners and others look at the plan.

Click here to download the full Main Street study.

The council will discuss the consultants’ recommendations again at its meeting Monday, March 25.

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