Main Street's traffic change begins

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The first day of two-way traffic on Main Street saw a few hiccups and a compromise with local businesses.

City engineer Jay Stencel said when the two-way changeover went into effect at 6 a.m., there were three cars parked facing south in the newly northbound lane.

Drivers of the cars were notified and all the cars were moved during the morning, he said.

City hall also elected to change the parking restrictions on four new delivery zones. The zones were originally 24-hour no-parking areas. But after protests from local businesses, officials decided parking will only be prohibited from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The concession to business owners goes against recommendations made by the transportation engineering firm hired by the city to conduct a traffic study. The firm recommended the city prohibit all non-commercial parking in the loading zones to avoid the possibility of vehicles being left in spots overnight.

"It was strictly an enforcement-type issue," said Stencel. "The traffic-study recommended we start off with the most stringent restrictions and then re-evaluate later if we needed to, but we had lots of requests from business owners, so we decided to try it this way."

Stencel said he expects cars parked in loading zones outside of the proper hours to be promptly towed.

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