Change of direction

Most downtown businesses prefer two-way traffic along Irving and Main streets, according to a survey of merchants by the Police Department. Executive Director Peter Pelissier reported at Monday night’s Redevelopment Agency meeting that 24 of 39 businesses surveyed (61.5 percent) favored two-way streets. The 15 tallied as not in favor of two-way traffic included those who were unsure, he added, while 11 were not even aware of the plan. Some merchants had concerns, including parking.
Pelissier said a circulation plan would show what parking spaces might be eliminated with two-way traffic. He would like to meet with the Police Department’s Traffic Division and city engineers to confirm the eliminations before meeting with merchants about the plan and ultimately the City Council.
The City Council approved a $360,000 bond ordinance Oct. 9 for “downtown street loop modifications,” namely signalization in the new direction at several intersections on Irving and Main streets. Changing street patterns will come via designation from council later, Pelisser said at that meeting.
The bond ordinance does not address the realignment of Fulton and Irving streets (at East Milton Avenue), Pelisser said, and would take months to implement, by May or early summer next year. The Fire Department’s main concern was along Main Street as it curves toward Irving behind the Union County Arts Center, he said, and several feet on the UCAC side of the street could be used to address the issue.