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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Some changes could be coming to the Peace Plaza and surrounding areas in downtown Rochester.

Patrick Seeb, the EDA Executive Director for the Destination Medical Center initiative, discussed the issue during his regular monthly appearance on News-Talk 1340 KROC-AM and 96.9 FM during the Rochester Today Show. Since the revamping of the public space was completed last year, critics have complained about the impact of the raised-letter pavers covering most of the Peace Plaza on people with mobility impairments. Seeb says those criticisms have been heard and some modifications are being considered.

As a first step, Seeb says the artist who created the pavers and designers are looking at ways to fashion a demarcation that would clearly signal to an individual that they are entering an area of artwork in an effort to eliminate any sense of surprise by a person navigating a wheelchair or other mobility device when they encounter the raised lettering. Seeb says they are also considering creating pathways through the field of raised-letter pavers that would provide a smoother surface for walking or rolling through portions of the Peace Plaza while leaving most of the artwork in place.

James Rabe - TSM
James Rabe - TSM
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He also addressed concerns about the regular pavers that replaced the concrete sidewalks in areas adjacent to the Peace Plaza. Seeb says there has been some settling of the pavers that has created uneven surfaces that will require maintenance work to resolve. He noted it is common for settling to occur during the first year or so after pavers are set in place.

Rabe - TSMR
Rabe - TSMR
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Seeb did not offer a timeline for the changes being considered at the Peace Plaza, but stated that with a “signature investment” like the Peace Plaza there is always continued learning and “continued work to do to improve the experience for everybody.”

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