Survey: One-way residents say they oppose changeIn a random Daily Republic survey of residents along Second, Third and Fourth avenues, many said they oppose changing the one-way streets to two-ways.
In a random Daily Republic survey of residents along Second, Third and Fourth avenues, many said they oppose changing the one-way streets to two-ways.
“I’m totally against it,” said JoAnne Bier, who lives at the corner of Gamble Street and Third Avenue.
Being near to Doty Park and Longfellow Elementary School, she said there are a lot of children who play on the equipment and have to cross streets to get to the parks.
Bier said the streets are not wide enough for two-way traffic and there are a lot of blind spots because people park on both sides. There’s particularly more traffic during the school year as the second-chance high school is not far from her home, she added.
Bier suggested the city only change the one-ways into two-ways nearer to Main Street and leave the residential areas alone. She feels there may be more accidents and young children getting hit.
“Keep our streets one-way,” Bier said.
Bobbie Sperlich, owner of Bobbie’s World daycare on Second Avenue, said she’d like to see the one-ways remain. She’s worried about the possibility of eliminating parking on one side, especially when parents drop off and pick up children
“I think it’s going to be an issue,” Sperlich said. “I think it’s going to get really congested if parents can only park on one side.”
Sperlich, however, does not feel two-way streets would pose much danger to the safety of her daycare children. When they go down the street to Doty Park, the children hold hands, walk in single file and carefully cross the street.
Henry Bos, on Third Avenue, said there isn’t enough traffic on the one-ways to support a change to two-ways. And, if it were to become a two-way, traffic would not increase, he said.
Bos has lived on Third Avenue for about 15 years and said he feels the streets would need to be widened to accommodate two-way traffic. But he doesn’t think safety would be an issue.
Lori Schleicht and her family live near the corner of Third Avenue and Duff Street, just a few blocks from Main Street.
She said the traffic is already on Main Street and making the one-ways into two-ways would not make downtown more vibrant.
“When I go up to Main Street, and I want to cross the street, there’s always traffic going through there,” she said. “They just need to make it stop, give it a reason to stop.”
The Schleichts’ home is across the street from St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and Mitchell Public Library.
“If they go two-way, the parking will probably have to be eliminated,” she said. “People are always parking their vehicles here, so I don’t know where they would go.”
She said church-goers every Sunday pack the street. While Schleicht is “lucky to have a garage in the back,” there are others along Second, Third and Fourth avenues who do not.
“They would run into a lot of people having a parking problem,” she said.
“I just think the street is too narrow. I’m not an engineer, but maybe they should get an engineer to look at this.”
Nancy Hunter lives on Fourth Avenue and said parking and driving will be a problem should the one-ways be turned into two-ways. She and her family have lived on Fourth Avenue for the last 28 years and have always found the one-way to be family friendly.
“I choose to live on a one-way because people avoid one-ways,” she said. “The streets are not wide enough for two-way traffic.”
Despite seeing many drivers speeding by on Fourth Avenue, Hunter said she doesn’t feel her neighborhood is unsafe and is not convinced a two-way will prevent accidents or slow traffic.
“If they want to slow traffic down, they should invest in stop signs,” she said of the nearby intersection. “There are so many uncontrolled intersections in this town.”
Hunter and Stephen Nicolaisen, who also lives on Fourth Avenue, have seen many cars driving the wrong way on one-ways. Nicolaisen, however, said there should be more prominent signage to alert drivers of the error.
“There’s nothing to indicate they’re going the wrong way,” he said.
Nicolaisen said commercial traffic in residential areas will not have enough room on the narrow streets as two-ways. Ground shipping companies, like UPS and FedEx, stop along his block to deliver packages several times a week, he said. Contractors often need to park along the street as well. Should the one-ways turn into two-ways, Nicolaisen said their trailers will block traffic.
Nicolaisen has lived on Fourth Avenue for 24 years and is appreciative the city widened the one-ways in the early 2000s, but said they are still not wide enough to accommodate two-way traffic.