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Two-way street idea dead for now

It appears the idea of two-way traffic on Main Street is dead – at least for now.
After a survey of downtown merchants and property owners showed most do not support a change in traffic flow, several members of Pulaski Town Council say they see no reason to pursue the issue at this time.
Town Manager John Hawley said, “we had a good response back” on the survey, noting 61 percent (46) of the 75 surveys were returned.
However, Economic Development Director John White said the majority of those surveyed were not in favor of two-way traffic on Main Street
White said most seemed to be concerned about the economy and that converting the road to two-way traffic won’t provide sufficient return on investment.
Although he said he is concerned by the number of people who did not respond to the survey questions, “our recommendation is to not take any action right now. We need to go back and look over the information and use it wisely.”
White wondered whether there was a question that should have been on the survey, but wasn’t, thus resulting in the lack of response to most questions from about a tenth of the recipients.
However, Mayor Jeff Worrell pointed out the staff spent a lot of time developing the questionnaire. Even though a survey conducted years ago was less comprehensive, he said “the results were the same.”
Councilman Morgan Welker agreed it is “discouraging” that more than 10 percent didn’t respond. He also was discouraged by comments on the survey calling the town “dead.
“I can assure you if we didn’t have a shortage of business we wouldn’t be talking about this,” Welker said. He said he thinks the data should be looked at “more qualitatively than quantitatively.”
Both he and Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. questioned whether response to the two-way traffic issue would have been different if council already had a means to cover the cost – such as using money set aside for four-laning of Route 99.
There are questions whether the money set aside for the Route 99 project could be diverted to a project that far from the original scope of the plans.
Hawley said he thinks that money will have to be used in an area east of Tractor Supply, but he will ask VDOT if it could be used downtown.
Councilman H. M. Kidd said he thinks it is important to improve Route 99 before changing Main Street.
Welker asked that council be polled for their opinions on the survey results.
Councilman Robert Bopp said the cost of the two-way traffic project isn’t the only problem the public had with the project. He noted that he thinks citizens should have a say as to how the Route 99 funds are used.
Worrell, Kidd, Larry Clevinger II and Vice Mayor David Clark suggested council move on to other issues since there apparently isn’t any interest in the project at this time.
According to Hawley, the surveys were distributed to businesses and property owners on Main and Third streets from Jefferson Avenue to the “Y” intersection at Duncan Street. They were mailed along with a self-addressed envelope and then town staff canvassed the “targeted area” to make sure the surveys were received.
According to a survey data sheet, 52 percent of respondents believe their business or office already is sufficiently visible to the public and 54 percent do not believe changing to two-way traffic will make it easier for the public to locate their business.
Forty-eight percent of respondents said they are not willing to sacrifice parking spaces that would be lost at intersections if the traffic pattern were changed to two-way traffic. Asked whether they think foot traffic would be increased by two-way traffic, 52 percent said “no.”
Thirty-seven percent say the town would realize a “very bad return on investment” by spending money on “signage and changing the traffic pattern.”
Asked what option town taxpayers should support in changing the downtown traffic pattern, 48 percent chose increased directional signage; 9 percent chose two way traffic between Washington and Jefferson; 7 percent chose two-way traffic on Main and Third streets between Washington and Jefferson; 7 percent chose all traffic two-way except from the “Y” intersection to Madison Avenue; no one chose two-way traffic necessitating a revision of the “Y” intersection; and 30 percent did not respond.

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Two-way street idea dead for now

It appears the idea of two-way traffic on Main Street is dead – at least for now.
After a survey of downtown merchants and property owners showed most do not support a change in traffic flow, several members of Pulaski Town Council say they see no reason to pursue the issue at this time.
Town Manager John Hawley said, “we had a good response back” on the survey, noting 61 percent (46) of the 75 surveys were returned.
However, Economic Development Director John White said the majority of those surveyed were not in favor of two-way traffic on Main Street
White said most seemed to be concerned about the economy and that converting the road to two-way traffic won’t provide sufficient return on investment.
Although he said he is concerned by the number of people who did not respond to the survey questions, “our recommendation is to not take any action right now. We need to go back and look over the information and use it wisely.”
White wondered whether there was a question that should have been on the survey, but wasn’t, thus resulting in the lack of response to most questions from about a tenth of the recipients.
However, Mayor Jeff Worrell pointed out the staff spent a lot of time developing the questionnaire. Even though a survey conducted years ago was less comprehensive, he said “the results were the same.”
Councilman Morgan Welker agreed it is “discouraging” that more than 10 percent didn’t respond. He also was discouraged by comments on the survey calling the town “dead.
“I can assure you if we didn’t have a shortage of business we wouldn’t be talking about this,” Welker said. He said he thinks the data should be looked at “more qualitatively than quantitatively.”
Both he and Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. questioned whether response to the two-way traffic issue would have been different if council already had a means to cover the cost – such as using money set aside for four-laning of Route 99.
There are questions whether the money set aside for the Route 99 project could be diverted to a project that far from the original scope of the plans.
Hawley said he thinks that money will have to be used in an area east of Tractor Supply, but he will ask VDOT if it could be used downtown.
Councilman H. M. Kidd said he thinks it is important to improve Route 99 before changing Main Street.
Welker asked that council be polled for their opinions on the survey results.
Councilman Robert Bopp said the cost of the two-way traffic project isn’t the only problem the public had with the project. He noted that he thinks citizens should have a say as to how the Route 99 funds are used.
Worrell, Kidd, Larry Clevinger II and Vice Mayor David Clark suggested council move on to other issues since there apparently isn’t any interest in the project at this time.
According to Hawley, the surveys were distributed to businesses and property owners on Main and Third streets from Jefferson Avenue to the “Y” intersection at Duncan Street. They were mailed along with a self-addressed envelope and then town staff canvassed the “targeted area” to make sure the surveys were received.
According to a survey data sheet, 52 percent of respondents believe their business or office already is sufficiently visible to the public and 54 percent do not believe changing to two-way traffic will make it easier for the public to locate their business.
Forty-eight percent of respondents said they are not willing to sacrifice parking spaces that would be lost at intersections if the traffic pattern were changed to two-way traffic. Asked whether they think foot traffic would be increased by two-way traffic, 52 percent said “no.”
Thirty-seven percent say the town would realize a “very bad return on investment” by spending money on “signage and changing the traffic pattern.”
Asked what option town taxpayers should support in changing the downtown traffic pattern, 48 percent chose increased directional signage; 9 percent chose two way traffic between Washington and Jefferson; 7 percent chose two-way traffic on Main and Third streets between Washington and Jefferson; 7 percent chose all traffic two-way except from the “Y” intersection to Madison Avenue; no one chose two-way traffic necessitating a revision of the “Y” intersection; and 30 percent did not respond.

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