The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

January 31, 2014

Ottumwans give input on two street projects

(Continued)

Business owners and residents along those roads were quick to describe how they would be affected by two-way traffic — in mostly negative ways. The major concerns are over parking, access for loading and unloading and how two-way traffic will change the flow of shoppers past their business. Pulling a 30-foot crane trailer up to a business is hard enough with two lanes of one-way traffic, one owner said, but imagine how congested the street would be when they have to try it with two-way traffic.

Many of the businesses along Main and Second streets are already using space in front of their neighbors to unload trucks, holding up traffic and often forcing cars down to one lane, the owners said. Loading zones aren't out of the question, but they may have to be placed some distance from the building, taking away some parking spaces elsewhere.

Homeowners along the McPherson Avenue to McLean Street stretch were concerned about the basics of the entire project — where were they supposed to put out their garbage and how were they supposed to get to the bus stops during construction?

Seals assured them that the city would be working with sanitation and transit officials to make some adjustments that would work for everyone. There may also be a need, as discussions of two-way traffic continue, to meet with Postal Service officials to see how two-way traffic flow will affect post office customers. Comments were made by those at the meeting about the need to move the drive-through mailbox area and making the parking lot two-way as well.

Another seemingly simple question was raised near the end of the meeting: Who's winning if we change to two-way traffic? What's the positive side of this?

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