Community weighs in on changing downtown Lexington streets

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The debate over whether some one-way streets in downtown Lexington should be made two-way has been going on for years. The public had its chance Wednesday night to talk traffic.

A meeting was held following the release of a three-year city study of the issue. The research looked at three downtown locations: the north side from North Main Street to Fourth Street, the downtown core of Main and Vine, and the south area around High and Maxwell Streets.

Researchers looked at how rush hour, businesses and sporting events affect traffic flow. The city says it found that for the time being, the south area and downtown core should remain one-way.

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But on the north side, the study says streets such as North Limestone, Second and Short Streets should be changed to allow two-way traffic.

Dowell Hoskins-Squier is the Director of Lexington Traffic Engineering. She says, "We think in that area the benefits outweigh the costs. [There’s] better connectivity, less travel . . . better pedestrian safety because of lower traffic speeds . . . We think that it will truly revitalize that area."

Those who attended the meeting seemed divided on the solution. Some people even brought up ideas that had not yet been considered. Lexington resident Peggy Johnson says, "I think there is going to be a problem because of the big size of these beverage trucks. When they’re making deliveries, what happens there?"

Mulberry and Lime Owner Mary Ginocchio says, "It will help us figure out how to get to our space to park to do shopping. Right now with all the one-way, it’s very difficult to navigate. How do I get to the parking lot that you have for your store? Because we have one. We just need to get people to access it."

The final proposal will be presented to the Urban County Council in the coming weeks. It will be up to it to decide the final outcome of the two-way, one-way debate.