ENTERPRISE EDITORIAL: Commissioners made right choice on Main Street traffic

Friday, May 18, 2018

The city of Livingston has thankfully reversed course on its decision to convert a portion of Main Street to one-way traffic.

Back in November, local leaders were simply trying to find a way to create more parking and improve traffic flows when they approved the one-way concept.

But the idea didn’t sit well with some area residents and on Tuesday, a coalition of downtown businesses asked the commission to reverse its November decision.

The commission during its regular Tuesday meeting voted unanimously to keep Main Street open to two-way traffic. The commission and City Manager Michael Kardoes should be commended for listening to constituents and not hesitating to change course from a previous decision.

The commission’s Tuesday vote not to switch to a one-way street means that once the downtown construction is wrapped up and Main Street is repaved, traffic will continue flowing in two directions and city leaders can expand their traffic discussion to the full downtown area.

“I’d rather take a couple years and get the right solution, rather than push something through that people don’t like,” Kardoes told commissioners Tuesday. That’s a refreshing response from the city manager.

Adding one-way traffic to busy Main Street sounds like it will only lead to more confusion, for locals as well as tourists.

Two-way traffic on Main Street is the way to go and a new traffic study, completed by well-known urban planner Dan Burden, identified options to add more than 100 new parking spots, all while keeping our historic downtown open to two-way traffic.

This is expected to be achieved with additional diagonal parking in the downtown area.

In a small town such as Livingston, Main Street serves as the lifeblood of the city and should be kept open for two-way traffic, allowing access to businesses from both directions.

This is an important issue to business owners, some of whom located to Main Street for “exposure.”

Others believed the one-way proposal would take away from Livingston’s historic and pedestrian friendly, small-town ambiance.

It’s good to hear city officials are willing to tap the brakes on this issue rather than rushing down a one-way street.

— Justin Post
Enterprise managing editor