The Winslow City Council voted 6-1 last week to keep one way traffic along Second and Third Street, with Mayor Allan Affeldt the dissenting vote.
Prior to voting, the council heard the transportation report developed by Woodson Engineering. After giving a brief history of why the report was needed, Woodson explained what the report showed, as well as how it was generated.
He said that the purpose of the project was more than just downtown, as the firm was focusing on the entire Route 66 corridor.
He explained that ADOT released the two streets to the City of Winslow, and allocated $8.2 million for the project. Woodson noted that the study and the public meetings were to gather information on how citizens want the roads, and how to set aside the money for the overall project.
Woodson said that with the findings of the traffic report, his firm would not recommend two-way traffic at this time, as there was no plausible reason why the town should change.
Citing safety concerns, along with hearing a vast public outcry against changing, Councilwoman Maribelle Ogilvie said she could not vote in favor of two-way traffic.
Councilwoman Dee Rodriguez said she had received a lot of calls and was herself concerned with safety and the confusion it would cause to change.
Mayor Allan Affeldt said one point that needed to be considered was how to deal with Highway 87 in the long term. The state is looking at increasing that highway to four lanes.
He added that he thought the council was making a fast decisions. "I think we need to make the right decisions, instead of the fast decision. We need to do a civic review," he added.
Affeldt explained that while the traffic report does not show any real reasons for the town to switch to two way traffic, a civic plan might show a civic planning reason to change.
"I think we are making a premature decision," he noted.
The floor was opened to public comments, and resident Georgia Nagle said she felt it was a mistake to convert for public safety, noting it was already difficult to cross both Second and Third Streets.
Marie LaMar asked Woodson if an on site comparison had been done between the intersection of Hillview and North Park Drive and the downtown area.
Woodson said that one had not been done.
Mary Wetzel asked when the streets were changed to one-way, and why.
LaMar explained that the streets were changed in the early 1950s to handle the peak in traffic the town was experiencing at that time.
Woodson noted that now the traffic analysis was done, the council would have to look at operational upgrades where needed, especially at the Berry intersections.
Councilman Robin Boyd moved to keep one-way traffic on the streets, to accept the report and to specify the council decision for the state so that it can be forwarded on to ADOT. Ogilvie seconded the motion.
Affeldt noted that he felt there had been significant misinformation given, and that a civic review was needed to make a complete decision.