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Former council member calls two-way idea ‘mistake’

A former Pulaski Town Council member thinks it will be a “big mistake” to convert Main Street to two-way traffic.
“I always like to see a council that wants to be active … wants to make a town what it ought to be,” said former councilman Glenn Aust. However, he added, “a lot of time you make big mistakes. My concern is, I figure you’re looking at a big one right now by changing the traffic down there.”
Aust said he was on town council the last time the town considered converting one-way traffic to two-way. “Every time you turned around your phone would ring. Now fellas, if you don’t want your phone to ring, you better get a cell phone so it won’t ring,” he warned the present council. “… they’re going to complain if you put two-way traffic down through there.”
Aust said one problem with changing the traffic flow is that “if you have two lanes and a big tractor-trailer comes down there, you got him blocking that whole lane and there’s no way to get around him.”
He said council should try to keep the people happy, but if they change the traffic flow on Main Street, “you’re going to have a lot of people who aren’t going to be happy … people will have to wait, wait, wait” and “today people don’t wait.”
He continued, “I’d hate to see council take the step of putting two-way traffic down there. … When you get all these people calling you, you’ll know.”
Nonetheless, he said it is good “when you get a council that wants to do things,” adding, “when you sit back and council’s not doing anything, this town is hurting.”
Aust questioned whether the town has the money to change the traffic pattern anyway.
Town Manager John Hawley said one thing the council will have to do is determine whether there will be enough economic benefit from changing the traffic pattern to justify the cost of having it changed.
He said he has sent a letter to Virginia Department of Transportation asking for assistance from traffic engineers so a cost estimate can be developed.
Mayor Jeff Worrell said he sees funding as being “a major obstacle” to changing to two-way traffic.
“I think the prudent thing to do is find out what the merchants and citizens think,” he said. He indicated he would like to see the town survey merchants on Main Street since there has “been an almost complete turnover” in the merchants who are on the street since the last time an effort to change the traffic pattern was attempted.
Worrell said he also would like the town council to hold a public hearing on the matter.
Council constructed town staff to develop a survey for merchants, then bring it to council for review and approval.
Hawley asked council members to submit any questions they would like to have included on the survey.
According to Hawley, one percent of the traffic that uses Main Street is tractor-trailer trucks.
He said that while that might not sound like much, it actually equates to about 47 trucks per day.
Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. said the Main Street merchants he has been approached by have actually requested the change.

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Former council member calls two-way idea ‘mistake’

A former Pulaski Town Council member thinks it will be a “big mistake” to convert Main Street to two-way traffic.
“I always like to see a council that wants to be active … wants to make a town what it ought to be,” said former councilman Glenn Aust. However, he added, “a lot of time you make big mistakes. My concern is, I figure you’re looking at a big one right now by changing the traffic down there.”
Aust said he was on town council the last time the town considered converting one-way traffic to two-way. “Every time you turned around your phone would ring. Now fellas, if you don’t want your phone to ring, you better get a cell phone so it won’t ring,” he warned the present council. “… they’re going to complain if you put two-way traffic down through there.”
Aust said one problem with changing the traffic flow is that “if you have two lanes and a big tractor-trailer comes down there, you got him blocking that whole lane and there’s no way to get around him.”
He said council should try to keep the people happy, but if they change the traffic flow on Main Street, “you’re going to have a lot of people who aren’t going to be happy … people will have to wait, wait, wait” and “today people don’t wait.”
He continued, “I’d hate to see council take the step of putting two-way traffic down there. … When you get all these people calling you, you’ll know.”
Nonetheless, he said it is good “when you get a council that wants to do things,” adding, “when you sit back and council’s not doing anything, this town is hurting.”
Aust questioned whether the town has the money to change the traffic pattern anyway.
Town Manager John Hawley said one thing the council will have to do is determine whether there will be enough economic benefit from changing the traffic pattern to justify the cost of having it changed.
He said he has sent a letter to Virginia Department of Transportation asking for assistance from traffic engineers so a cost estimate can be developed.
Mayor Jeff Worrell said he sees funding as being “a major obstacle” to changing to two-way traffic.
“I think the prudent thing to do is find out what the merchants and citizens think,” he said. He indicated he would like to see the town survey merchants on Main Street since there has “been an almost complete turnover” in the merchants who are on the street since the last time an effort to change the traffic pattern was attempted.
Worrell said he also would like the town council to hold a public hearing on the matter.
Council constructed town staff to develop a survey for merchants, then bring it to council for review and approval.
Hawley asked council members to submit any questions they would like to have included on the survey.
According to Hawley, one percent of the traffic that uses Main Street is tractor-trailer trucks.
He said that while that might not sound like much, it actually equates to about 47 trucks per day.
Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. said the Main Street merchants he has been approached by have actually requested the change.

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