Major vote for Broadway reconstruction Monday

Posted at 10:12 PM, Mar 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-12 23:12:41-04
Plans to reconstruct one of the busiest streets in Council Bluffs have residents torn about how it should be done.
Voices of those for, and against, installing medians along parts of Broadway, are getting louder.
Both sides agree, Broadway is in need of repairs and beautification.
The $35 million project would completely redo the street from the interstate to downtown Council Bluffs.
The plan includes medians and that's what many disagree on.
"We all want to do it right,” said Council Member Roger Sandau. “We do have one shot to do it and do it right. Both sides are passionate, the people for the medians and the people who don't want the medians." 
Sandau used to be the sole council member against the medians.
Now, there is at least another council member against them, and one on the fence.
They'll decide Monday night whether or not medians will be removed from the project.
"In this case it's hard because some people want one thing and some want the other thing,” said Council Member Melissa Head. “We're weighing what's really the best outcome we can come up with."
When we talked with Head in October, she supported the medians because she says they make intersections safer. 
Now, she says she's on the fence.
"Especially those that will be impacted by the medians, hearing their concerns, hearing the possibility that they could harm the businesses, obviously that's not our goal,” Head said. “Our goal is to support those long term businesses.”
There have been more than 2,000 petitions signed against the medians in the past few months.
Many are concerned medians would restrict access to certain businesses.
"That, to me, speaks volumes,” Sandau said. “You get a couple thousand people to sign a petition, that's a lot of people."
A woman who spent much of her life in Council Bluffs, and recently moved to Omaha, says she doesn’t want Broadway to change regardless of medians. 
 “They have something better to do with the money, maybe,” said Tonnya Fargnoli. “I feel like Broadway is slow enough already. There are stop lights every few blocks.”
Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh says research shows that medians improve businesses rather than hurt them.
Walsh says Broadway has an unusually high number of crashes, and medians, he said, would reduce wrecks.