Discovery Walk.jpg

A map shows the area covered by plans for "Discovery Walk," which would extend south of Destination Medical Center's Heart of the City subdistrict.

Community insights will be gathered Thursday for the planned "Discovery Walk," a four-block segment of Second Avenue Southwest.

The Destination Medical Center project extends south from Heart of the City through Discovery Square and down to Soldiers Field, and planners hope it will become a practical, safe and appealing way to move between sub-districts.

"Connecting existing and future assets of downtown is essential," said Patrick Seeb, director of economic development and placemaking for the DMC Economic Development Agency. "Discovery Walk will be an integral piece of the greater plan for the DMC District."

Discovery Walk is among several downtown streets to be redesigned as part of the DMC initiative.

"Several options for how the street could be restructured are being considered," Seeb said.

At one end of the spectrum, the street would be completely closed off to vehicles, making it a pedestrian- and bike-only route. At the other, the entire four-block segment would remain open to both vehicles and pedestrians with lanes shifted to accommodate safe passage for both groups.

The project's design team have already hosted community outreach events at Mayo Clinic's Hardwick Building and the People's Food Coop. From 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, they will gather additional feedback in the Fireside Room at Zumbro Lutheran Church on 624 3rd Ave. SW.

A final plan is expected to be produced within the first three months of 2018.

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