Possible Downtown Street Changes

By: Tamara Evans
By: Tamara Evans

Bowling Green residents had a chance to voice their opinions about the streets of downtown Thursday evening.

A forum allowed residents to discuss their concerns on downtown traffic signals and on whether the one-way streets should be two-way instead.

Downtown Redevelopment Authority Executive Director, Cheryl Blaine, says she understands that traffic is a problem, but she doesn't necessarily agree with the recommendation from public works to keep
the streets one-way.

"The Master Plan recommended that 2-way would be better for College, State, and 10th Aves...and the DRA adopted that Master Plan...as well as the City Commission...I tend to agree with that right now", Blaine says.

According to Assistant City Engineer, Melissa Cansler, while the 2-way system would be convenient, it could also have its problems as well.

"There are some benefits to the 2-way system....it provides a better feel for the downtown area. I know the tourism...that they're tyring to bring that downtown...that could slow down the traffic and have them stop and look downtown...but at the same time when you lose all that parking those people no longer have a place to park if they do want to stop", Cansler says.

"The rough estimate is anywhere between 150-176 parking spaces that we'll lose in the downtown area if we go 2-way", says Bowling Green Civil Engineer, Mark Absher.

Whether or not the downtown area will make the move to 2-way is still being debated...and for now public works is focusing on just getting newer equipment that will help synchronize the flow of traffic...but Blaine believes there is an alternate plan."

"What I think that I would like to recommend is that they look at being able to go on and put the traffic signals to where we could convert them to a two way position whould we decide to do that in the future...that way its a win-win situation for everyone", Blaine says.

Bowling Green Public Works is also looking into changing the Chestnut Street area from four lanes to three, with a bicycle lane.

Overall, updating the traffic lights and changing this street will cost nearly 1.2 million dollars.

If the city decided to change the downtown streets to 2-way, it could cost up to $600,000 more.

If you would like more information on the proposed changes, you can contact Public Works at (270) 393-3628.


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