Plenty of honks welcomed Donald “Pete” Hansen’s one-man protest this morning on Second Avenue and 10th Street SE.
“I’ve had a good response down here,” said Hansen, holding a sign that asks the City Council to keep Second Avenue open.
Motorists gave Hansen “thumbs up” and bicyclists stopped to voice their agreement.
The council is expected to vote in the coming weeks on closing Second Avenue between 10th and 12th streets SE to make way for Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa’s proposed medical mall.
Hansen thinks that council members could be more receptive about listening to the public on keeping the street open, which is the main route to downtown for many residents, he said.
Medical mall supporters say the closure is necessary for patient flow and safety.
The medical mall is expected to cost about $36 million, with an additional $8 million for a parking ramp.
Mike Sundall, PCI’s CEO, has said that skywalks that could connect the ramp to the mall would cost $750,000 to $1 million each.
Hansen, 3501 Sheridan Dr. SE, said if the council does decide to close the street, the city should not have to pay for the closure and associated expenses.
The self-employed businessman, who has a two-way radio business, made a run for City Council in 2005 and isn’t upset at all by his defeat.
Hansen said he would continue his protest until the council votes or “until I have to go back to work.”
He welcomed others to join him.