OUR VIEW: Vote ‘no’ to keep streets one-wayWe’ve been amused at the way a seemingly simple proposal to change three one-way Mitchell streets to two-way has mushroomed into a heated ballot campaign.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
We’ve been amused at the way a seemingly simple proposal to change three one-way Mitchell streets to two-way has mushroomed into a heated ballot campaign.
When the City Council voted in October to make the change from one-way to two-way traffic on Second, Third and Fourth avenues, we said we were against it but would live with the decision. We thought it was too minor an issue for a public vote.
But it was petitioned to a vote, and voters will decide the issue Tuesday.
A “yes” vote supports the Mitchell City Council’s decision to change the streets to two-way traffic. A “no” vote is for the status quo, and keeping the streets one-way.
Though we didn’t want to see the issue on the ballot, we are compelled to congratulate both the one-way and two-way folks for the active, vibrant and civil campaign they’ve waged in recent weeks and months. Jerry Toomey, the primary one-way spokesman, and Jeff Logan, who favors two-way traffic, deserve special praise for their performance at a public forum last month. Both presented such well-researched arguments that we left the forum more conflicted than ever about our position.
Yet we feel there is a clear choice on this issue.
Drive Second, Third or Fourth avenue on either side of Main Street for a few blocks and you’ll notice something: The neighborhoods consist mostly of older, row-style housing with few garages. Many vehicles are therefore parked on the streets. During the winter months, plowing is difficult because of all those vehicles on the streets, and the streets become narrowed by both the parked vehicles and the snowdrifts.
We know this because a member of this editorial board has driven Fourth Avenue multiple mornings per week for the last two years. We also know this because we’ve spoken to many people who live along the one-ways, and the great majority of them have told us they want to keep the streets one-way. There just isn’t enough room on the streets for two-way traffic.
Lastly, we just don’t believe the argument that two-ways would help the downtown area. We love the downtown district, but that argument is wishful thinking.
We will vote “no” Tuesday to keep the streets one-way.