Yakima City Council to vote on latest N. 1st St. design option

Yakima City Council to vote on latest N. 1st St. design option »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- We now have a clearer picture of how the changes to North First Street in Yakima could look. The latest design option to revitalize the landscape is on the table.

Dean Owens owns Owens Cycle. He couldn't be more excited.

"Here's what's on the table. What do you think?" KIMA asked.

"I think it's a great idea,” said Dean. “Any improvements to the cosmetic image of Yakima are coming into town."

Yakima's latest design idea is a combination of two earlier proposals. It could include seven-foot sidewalks on each side lined by trees, and more trees to an 11-foot median. However, the five lanes on North First would be cut to four.

Right now, four of these lanes are 10-and-a-half feet wide. The latest plan would widen two of the lanes to 12 feet and the other two lanes to 13 feet.

"Are you worried about construction affecting your business?" KIMA asked.

"No,” said Dean. “That's part of the overall improvement and it always ends. It doesn't go on forever."

Gas station employee Harold Johnson feels differently.

"We've got a lot of semi-trucks that come in for heavy fuel, and it'll make it bad for them," said Harold.

Harold doesn't like the plan to install a median to divide the street. He worries about litter and other more dangerous possibilities.

"People will be standing out there getting hit by cars because we got a lot of transients and homeless," said Harold.

Phase one of the project would run from the freeway interchange to N Street with a $3.5 million price tag.

Yakima City Council will vote on this latest plan Tuesday. Construction on phase one would start in the spring of next year.