Main Avenue to stay three lanes

The Bismarck city commission has decided how many lanes to put on Main Avenue downtown.

Tuesday night, city commissioners decided to stick with three lanes for the downtown street. The switch from four lanes to three was made in June 2016 as a test run to see how it would work out. Although total crash numbers haven't gone down as much as expected, officials expect to see them go down as they look at a longer time frame. Commissioners say safety and having the street serve as a corridor for walking and businesses played into the decision. Business leaders say they like the idea.

"As it slows the vehicles and calms that, it allows pedestrians more ability to get in and out of their vehicles, leave the mirrors on their vehicles,” Kate Herzog with the Downtowners Association said. “We had some narrow lanes there as well."

Herzog says since the change they've seen an uptick in the number of commercial permits issued as well.