New Albany debates turning one-way streets into two-way - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New Albany debates turning one-way streets into two-way

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- The city of New Albany is bracing for an expected traffic gridlock after the Ohio River Bridges project is finished.

One proposed solution to the problem has touched off a major debate.

The New Albany City Council has given preliminary approval to funding a study as to whether some of this city's one-way streets should be turned into two-way.

Charlie Harshfield has lived on Elm St. near downtown New Albany for a dozen years. He says the neighborhood has greatly improved. But there's one nagging problem.

"We've not been able to do anything about the speeding," he said.

Harshfield thinks it will only get worse when the bridge projects are finished.

The Sherman Minton into New Albany will not be tolled, and that's expected to increase commuter traffic through town.

"I don't think the neighborhood should accommodate commuters. And that's what we do," said Harshfield.

Harshfield thinks the two-way street idea is worth considering. So does councilman Greg Phipps, who supports spending $30,000 to help fund a study.

"Most of the studies suggest that it's more business-friendly, and it's certainly more neighborhood-friendly in terms of slowing down the traffic," said Phipps.

But not everyone agrees.

"If something is working well, why mess with it?" said Bob Caesar.

Caesar's family has owned this New Albany jewelry store since the 1800s. He's also on the city council.

He believes traffic and parking changes could hurt downtown business.

"You want to come in, get what you want, get it and go someplace else. And if you slow that traffic down enough, people just won't come. And that's the big worry," he said.

"I live here everyday. Those that pass through going 40 and 45 miles an hour, they could care less who lives here. They don't have to deal with it day by day," said Harshfield.

A final vote on funding the study is expected next month.

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