Apalach: Speeders need their lumps, not bumps

Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 10:42 AM.

The group weighed a number of ideas for handling traffic on Commerce Street, with most people voting in favor of keeping things as they are, at least until a more careful examination is made of parking patterns and the lines of sight that motorists and pedestrians have.

Susan and Cassie Gary, who own the Owl Café, were opposed to turning Commerce Street into a one-way, an option that drew no support. The Garys were among a half-dozen people who thought the city should consider a limited closure of the street to vehicle traffic, and perhaps even allow tables and chairs into a pedestrian-only area.

Robin Vroegop said she was opposed to closing off a portion of the street. “It will be confusing to visitors and will throw traffic on to other streets,” she said. “There’s a problem of safety with delivery trucks. We have issues because we can’t see around them. There should be hours during which they can deliver.”

Susan Gary said that was an impractical alternative, since because the city is at the far reaches of truck routes, “we get deliveries when they feel like delivering to us.”

Dale Julian, who manages Downtown Books, asked the group to consider the effect street closure would have on neighboring businesses. “How would that affect businesses on a street that are suddenly on a beer garden?” she said. “That’s a lot of shops being impacted.”

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