Downtown streets, including the controversial 500 block of Main Street, will be returned to two way traffic, despite nearly two hours of testimony from proponents and those who wanted to see Main Street all one way.
After a two hour workshop Wednesday evening, where engineers Mitch Avalon and Dick Duncan presented renderings of what Main Street could look like with one way traffic from Alhambra Ave. to Court St., the City Council voted 3-2 to return all of Main St. to one way.
There was testimony from many shop owners at Wednesday’s workshop. Those on the 500 block supported keeping the street one way, arguing that it slowed traffic and helped attract customer attention to shops and restaurants there.
But shop owners in other blocks of Main were opposed to turning the whole street into one way, saying it would make deliveries and customer parking more difficult than it already is.
After the workshop, the council continued taking public comments at its regular meeting, but in the end, Mayor Rob Schroder and councilmembers Mike Menesini and Janet Kennedy opted to return the 500 block back to two way traffic, citing public safety concerns.
“As much as I appreciate all the work that’s gone into the alternatives, my original priority has always been public safety,” Kennedy said. “Downtown has enough problems. I support everything going two way.”
“This is the right decision for the community,” said Menesini.
“There are two sure things going to happen – merchants and property owners are going to scream bloody murder, and second thing is after six month, everybody will have forgotten about it because it will be so successful,” said Mayor Rob Schroder.
“You’re willing to forge ahead and destroy what’s there now,” said Lara DeLaney.
Do you think the council made the right decision? Tell us in the comments.