On Wednesday evening City Hall was filled with residents eager to hear and share their views on a proposed Broadway beautification project. The proposal, though it has several elements of improvements in mind — such as pedestrian lighting and a street design aimed at slowing traffic — appears to be getting most of its opposition from the suggested bike lanes, because they could replace the area along the edge of the street many homeowners now use as parking.

On Wednesday evening City Hall was filled with residents eager to hear and share their views on a proposed Broadway beautification project.

The proposal, though it has several elements of improvements in mind — such as pedestrian lighting and a street design aimed at slowing traffic — appears to be getting most of its opposition from the suggested bike lanes, because they could replace the area along the edge of the street many homeowners now use as parking.

Of those gathered in the full gallery, 17 (half were Broadway residents) addressed the city leaders, whether it was to voice concerns, ask questions or extend kudos. Afterward, all six Shawnee City Commissioners and Mayor Richard Finley offered their take on the push for premiere treatment of one of the city's oldest historic roadways.

By the close of the evening there was a distinct divide among speakers, even among city leaders — between those pushing for progress in the name of health, safety and economic development, and those dedicated to keeping their street and their lifestyles as they enjoy them right now.

Project supporters were excited about the safety issues that could be addressed, as well as showcasing the street in an enticing manner common with other thriving cities.

The clear concern of the opposition was the potential end to the home owners' ability to park on the street.

Family get-togethers, holidays and truck deliveries were cited as situations that would cause major inconveniences if street parking was taken away and — more importantly — lengthy walks from the car being forced on the elderly or infirm.

Still other speakers were torn; while they said they approved of or appreciated the proposal's intent, they did not relish imposing a hardship on their fellow residents.

Meetings and input sessions have been in the works for about two years, but no official plans have been drawn up and no actual decisions have been made regarding the future of this project; another town hall discussion was suggested as a next step.

City leaders encouraged residents to remain interactive throughout the process.

Read the resident's responses on the issue in a future edition of The Shawnee News-Star, and watch for updates. Watch videos online at news-star.com.

To share your opinion, email vicky.misa@news-star.com.