Recommendations On Converting To 2-Way Streets Due In February

Thursday, December 7, 2017
Wade Walker
Wade Walker

Recommendations on the feasibility of converting several Chattanooga streets to two-way are due in February.

Tommy Trotter, a city official who is manager of the project, said there will be a second public hearing on the issue at that time. It will then go to the City Council.

Streets involved are Fifth Street, Sixth Street, Seventh Street, Eighth Street, Walnut Street, Lindsay Street and Houston Street.

Some two dozen people showed up for an initial low-key public meeting at the Development Resource Center on Thursday night.

That was in contrast to 2002 when some residents were adamantly opposed to changing McCallie Avenue, Bailey Avenue and MLK Boulevard to two way. However, it was pushed through under the administration of Mayor Bob Corker.

Wade Walker, of Alta Planning + Design, said one-way streets are effective in moving people in and out of town. He said that was a plus when very few people lived in downtown Chattanooga.

However, he said a growing number of people are now choosing to live downtown or in nearby communities.

He said two-way streets also are better for street-side businesses and safer for pedestrians.

Mr. Walker also said the aim is "how to move people, not just cars." He said walkers, bikers and others, as well as landscaping, need to be factored in re-purposed "complete" streets.

Jonathan Smith of the Barge Waggoner engineering firm, said each street is being studied separately. He said, "It is not one size fits all."

Cost of the current study is $70,000.

No cost figure was provided for the conversion.

Blythe Bailey, city transportation director, said the effort got earlier boosts from the River City Company and from the mayor's Chattanooga Forward effort.

 

Jonathan Smith and Tommy Trotter
Jonathan Smith and Tommy Trotter

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