News and Tribune

Floyd County

September 22, 2013

Gahan ‘generally supportive’ of two-way streets in downtown New Albany

NEW ALBANY — Mayor Jeff Gahan said the Ohio River Bridges Project should be taken into account before switching downtown streets to two-way traffic, and added a study would paint a clearer picture of what the city needs to do to usher in such a change.

“I’m generally supportive of more two-way traffic than we have now,” Gahan said. “We just need to have more definite information and more factual information before we make sweeping changes.”

His comments came Friday, one day after the New Albany City Council approved on initial ballots chipping-in half the cost of a $60,000 downtown traffic study. The appropriation, sponsored by Councilman Greg Phipps, was approved, while a separate resolution offered by Councilman John Gonder calling for the immediate conversion of some downtown streets to two-way traffic was turned down.

Regardless of the council’s actions, the administration and the New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety have the final say on the use of the city’s streets.

Gahan said the city needs some data and information to back up a conversion of streets like Spring, Elm and Market to two-way traffic.

The last study performed on downtown was administered in 2007, and it was considered limited in scope in terms of providing guidance on how to convert streets to two-way use.

Gahan said the council is on the right track by approving funding for a new study on first and second ballots. The final reading will likely be taken on the appropriation Oct. 7.

“I’ve had numerous discussions over the past year with [Phipps] and [Gonder] and some of the other council members,” Gahan said. “I think it’s worthy of the study and as soon as the appropriation has been approved, we’ll get started on it right away.”

City officials have estimated it could take a year to finalize the study.

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