Business owners weigh in on traffic flow - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Business owners weigh in on traffic flow

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November 15, 2005

Albany - City leaders want input from businesses owners about the flow of traffic downtown. They're talking about opening Washington and Jackson Streets to two way traffic and improve lighting, pedestrian walkways and medians. Commissioners want to survey store owners in the area to see how traffic patterns would effect their business.

Custom Interiors recently opened a store downtown on Jackson Street, a one-way street. Michelle Davis says opening the street to two-way traffic would help her business.

"I think it will be easier for our customers to park, for one thing. They'll be able to park on both sides, without having to go all the way around the block to get to us again. I think it will also just open up the store front a lot."

City commissioners want more input from business owners like Davis, before agreeing to implement a $20-million traffic plan. The plan would open Washington and Jackson Streets to two way traffic which would make it easier for motorists to get to businesses like Custom Interiors, but could also slow traffic flow on the increasingly busy streets.

It would take a lot of federal and state transportation money and some help from the city's lobbyist, the Ferguson Group, to complete the project.

Commissioner Bob Langstaff said, "I would just like to make sure before we get the Ferguson Group to go spend time and energy trying to get us money to try to change the street from one-way to two-way, that we know that's what people want."

"I'm real pleased they're wanting to know what we would like to see to make the downtown better," said Davis.

The plan also calls for improvements to signage, medians, sidewalks and lighting to make downtown easier to navigate and safer for pedestrians. That could draw more people to the area, people who would spend money at businesses and visit attractions like the Flint Riverquarium.

City commissioners table a vote to proceed with the traffic plan so they could survey business owners.

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