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WMUR News 9 - NH News, Weather

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Manchester officials were asking for feedback Wednesday on a $30 million plan to improve traffic in the city.

Manchester resident Lisa Baker rides her electric chair around the city, and sometimes she worries about how safe it really is for her to get around on the sidewalks.

“My electric chair is my transportation, because I really can’t walk anywhere,” Baker said.

Baker is disabled, and one of many Granite Staters from the Queen City and beyond who shared her concerns at the meeting.

The project would add new roadways, a pedestrian bridge over Granite Street, a bike path along the railroad from Queen City Avenue and Elm Street and a peanut-shaped roundabout around Queen City Avenue and South Willow Street.

The project is still in its early phases, but city planners asked the public to offer their input on the plan Wednesday evening at the public library.

“The whole idea behind it is how we reconnect parts of the city that are currently disconnected,” said traffic engineer Kristen Clarke. “So, how do we get people of all modes back into downtown Manchester, and how can we create more development potential south of Granite Street?”

She said the project has been in development for some time.

“We’re just really excited to get this project going, after all these years of getting through the initial design,” Clarke said.

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig said she hopes the plan will help people get around more quickly.

“What we’re trying to do is build a better Manchester for everyone who lives here,” Craig said.

With the project’s completion about seven years away, Baker said she remains hopeful the city will make even more changes in the meantime to ensure Manchester is a safe place for all.

“It’s really important for the sidewalks and the plowing, and all of these things that we’re talking about, for the kids, for the bicyclists, for the pedestrians, to be good,” Baker said.

Organizers said more feedback can be shared on the RAISE Manchester website.