New Albany battles converting one-way streets to two-way
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) - Increasing downtown business and pedestrian safety in New Albany is what some people say would happen if one-way streets were converted to two-way streets.
“Two Way Streets Now” signs are posted in front of homes and businesses that are accustomed to seeing speeding traffic.
“It's like walking on the interstate,” Randy Smith said.
As a downtown bookstore owner on a one-way street, Randy Smith says he supports the city's new street study. The study says newly converted two-way streets would reduce speeding and make the downtown area more pedestrian friendly.
“I mean you don't even need a radar detector. You can see how fast they travel down there. You don't feel real safe when you're walking by and have a truck go past you 50 mph,” John L. Smith said.
John L. Smith, who lives on a one-way road, says if Spring, Elm and Market Streets were all converted to two-way streets, traffic would calm down.
“The two-way streets will slow traffic down the study shows, and more importantly, it will reduce the amount of traffic that comes through that are just merely using New Albany as a conduit to get to the Ohio River Bridge,” John L. Smith said.
Opponents of the proposal are worried about head-on collisions with two-way streets. Companies like Padgett Inc. are also concerned New Albany would no longer be construction friendly. It is asking that the project be slowed down until all concerns are addressed so the street changes are correct the first time.
However, Randy Smith says he's been waiting a long time to see the change and doesn't want to wait any longer. He says the slowed-down traffic on two-way streets would increase foot traffic to his business.
“I've offered to bet people - I'll pay you a dollar for everyone going the speed limit, if you'll give me a penny for everyone who's exceeding it. And I could get very, very rich doing that. I wouldn't have to sell books,” Randy Smith said.
New Albany will hold a public information meeting about the street study on Feb. 21 and March 18.
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