Concerned over two-way traffic

I read with interest the article about turning River Street into a two-way street for traffic. I agree with the statements about improving

signage and increasing our tourist base but I disagree with the contention that making River Street two-way would increase tourism or improve the situation for visitors to our downtown.

Off the top of my head I can think of more advantages than disadvantages to keeping River Street one-way.

• Currently there is one central entrance to River Street which is easy to find with proper signage. Division and Washington Street

business areas can be easily accessed from River Street with the current one way status.

• A tourist driving west on River Street currently has the choice of north or south side for on-street parking. It is just a matter of

changing lanes. With a two-way street they would have to circle the block to park on the other side.

• If a person is trying to parallel park on the two-way street the driver behind them has to wait until they have completely parked even if the on coming lane is clear.

• Almost all the businesses on River Street need to have their deliveries made through the front door since there are no alleys behind them. Currently during busy times, it is a challenge for drivers when a delivery truck is stopped in front of a store. I can

only imagine what it will be like for a tourist trying to go around a delivery truck with on coming traffic.

• The focus should be on attracting people off the highway. Beach goers have already found the beauty of our beaches and I am sure they can find the downtown. Either way they will have to make a turn off

First Street to get to River Street.

• Is it really better for tourists to enter our business district through an access point that takes them through residential

neighborhoods as would be the case in the north access point such as Harrison Street?

Manistee is fortunate to have a number of very successful businesses downtown that have done well with River Street being one way. Finally,keep in mind that Traverse City has shown that it is very possible to have a booming downtown on a one way street.

 

Jim Goodwin

Filer Township

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