Compromise plan to remake downtown Merriam gets OK

Merriam Drive improvements

The downtown Merriam remodel is moving forward with an updated design for the first two blocks of the street between Johnson Drive and 58th Terrace. Above is the crosswalk just after 58th Terrace. File image

After nearly two months of discussion, a plan to remake downtown Merriam is moving forward.

The city council on Monday approved a final design for the Merriam Drive project, which intends to increase walkability and bikeability along the downtown corridor from 55th Street to Johnson Drive.

This comes after weeks of back-and-forth with designers, spurred by criticism from some downtown shop owners who argued aspects of the plan — including a proposal to cut Merriam Drive down from three lanes to two — would hurt their businesses.