Drivers react to proposed downtown traffic flow change

Councilman Todd Nation has a proposal that would change some downtown streets from one-way to two-ways. He presented the plan during a Planning, Zoning and Improvements Committee meeting Monday.

Posted: Feb 4, 2019 10:10 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A Terre Haute city councilman is calling for a change in direction.

Councilman Todd Nation has a proposal that would change some downtown streets from one-way to two-ways. He presented the plan during a Planning, Zoning, and Improvements Committee meeting Monday.

Nation says he has long been in favor of opening some streets to two-way traffic. His initial plan included Cherry Street but that part has now been scrapped. Nation still wants to open Eighth and Ninth Streets to both north and southbound traffic between Hulman Street and Maple Avenue.

Councilman Nation says the change would improve traffic flow around a new convention center but others argue the change in direction will not offer many benefits and will actually cause more problems in the big picture.

Some city leaders say the roads would not be wide enough to accommodate large vehicles like city buses or firetrucks if converted to two-way streets. Area businessmen say it could also make it more difficult to pick-up and drop-off deliveries.

Still, some drivers say fewer one-way streets would help them get around.

Driver Justin Farris says, "I think that the one-ways on 8th and 9th Street can make it confusing and hard to get around in that particular area."

Indiana State University student and driver Cailynn Browne says, "It'd be nice if it were two way. I think the traffic flow would be a lot better and a lot more simple and easy."

Nation will need support from his fellow council members to make the traffic changes. He wants to conduct a traffic study before moving forward with the proposal.

The next city council meeting is this Thursday. That is when the council is expected to vote to close a portion of Eighth Street to make way for the convention center project.

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