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City commission weighs traffic flow options

Stephanie Filson sfilson@civitasmedia.com

October 4, 2013

GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis City Commission will decide at their next scheduled meeting whether to make Court Street between Second and Third Avenues a one-way street. The commission will meet Tuesday, October 15.


“With more development coming into the 300 block of Second Avenue including our building here, this commission has renewed that discussion to make Court Street a one way in order to produce a few additional parking spots and also, to change the traffic flow pattern through the municipal parking lot itself,” said City Commission President Jay Cremeens during Tuesday’s meeting.


The city is weighing the option of changing the Court Street between Second and Third Avenues to one way with traffic flowing from Second toward Third. This would provide the opportunity to offer angled parking, which will also mean the addition of a few parking spaces. Currently, there are 26 available spaces. The proposed change would mean 32 spaces plus handicapped parking.


“I’ve heard I don’t know how many people tell me they’d like to see that be one way street through here,” Gallipolis City Manager Randy Finney said. “It makes it more convenient to get in and out. The real problem is trying to get onto Second Avenue from Court Street. It’s very dangerous to get out of that intersection.”


The city said the vast majority of comments from the public were in favor of the change, especially from local business owners who recognize the safety element of the current configuration.


“This gives us six more parking places and also improves safety for driving,” said Finney.


Finney also talked about the possible traffic pattern change through the municipal parking lot.


Right now, there is a free- for-all in terms of direction of entrance and exit to and from the municipal lot from Court Street and Third Avenue.


The proposal calls for traffic to flow from Court Street one way onto 2 ½ and 2 ½ Alley out the municipal lot onto Third Avenue.


The floor was opened to the public for comment.


Local property owner Russell Wood addressed the commission to propose that the city buy the empty lots on Court Street to be used for municipal parking, one of which currently belongs to him. He said that the construction of the municipal building may have only claimed a few parking places, but the employees and customers of that building have significantly increased the number of cars being parked. His proposal called for a city investment of $64,000 for an end return of 32 new spaces.


Finney said the commission is not currently in a place financially to invest in the property, and if they were, they would want to invest in new businesses on those lots.


Mike Plymale voiced his concern that a three block long street might have three different traffic patterns.


“ It’s like Charleston. You can’t go around the block. You go around the town in Charleston,” said Plymale.


Plymale said he didn’t mind a change in pattern as long as it had some continuity throughout the downtown area.


Business owners Steve Chapman and Gene Johnson both voiced their support for the changes in the interest of safety.


The commission also began discussion about reopening Court Street and State Street to two-way traffic between First and Second Avenues.


The public can still comment on these proposed changes by mailing P.O. Box 339, Gallipolis, Ohio 45631 or emailing citymanager@gallipoliscity.com.