DULUTH — A dangerous section of the iconic Skyline Parkway could become a one-way loop for travel this year after two people died in crashes there this winter.

City officials presented proposed plans in a community meeting Monday night, sharing ideas that include a pedestrian and bike lane, new signage and road striping and a one-way loop of just part of the 28-mile roadway that overlooks the length of the hillside city.

Kenneth Bickel, 70, died in February after being struck by a car when he was walking on a section of the parkway near Enger Park. Logan Woock, 26, also died that month after rolling his car in the same vicinity. The deaths sparked a public outcry for the city to increase safety on the road that travels past a preschool and regularly sees walkers and people pulling over to take in the view.

"Pedestrians are overlooked in this city, and it's too bad because [Skyline] is a beautiful place to walk," said Judith Johnson, who lives in a nearby neighborhood. "But it's just not safe."

In the past decade, the parkway has seen 22 crashes, three of them fatal. The city conducted a speed study following the second death and found that 15% of the vehicles traveling the parkway drive more than the posted 30 mph. The roadway saw about 1,100 cars daily during its period of study this winter.

The majority of cars are traveling under the speed limit, said Joe Jurewicz, an engineer with the city, "And, of course, it can only take a couple of outliers to cause all sorts of problems."

The designated Minnesota Scenic Byway has narrow shoulders, no dedicated space for pedestrians and cyclists, tight curves and several trail crossings, some with blind spots.

Nearby residents shared stories of near-misses and 50-mph cars careening past families dropping kids off at the nature-based preschool. A teacher at the school described the pains she goes through to safely get her charges onto nearby trails. Many asked for that section to close.

The city is considering closing the overlook part of the loop the way it did during the pandemic to allow people to recreate safely, said David Montgomery, interim chief administrative officer, but that complicates compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and forces all traffic to one side. It will also consider closing a connection to Skyline at W. Fifth Street that many use as a shortcut.

Making traffic drive just one way would be a trial, he said, and while the city proposes the direction to be west to east, it hasn't been decided. It's also seeking a grant to pay for more police enforcement in the area.

The first section of the historic parkway opened in 1892, and seven separate sections were joined in 1929.