WACO, Texas — In a meeting Tuesday, Waco officials discussed making Washington Avenue a two-way traffic street. Currently, the street has four lanes that all go one way, straight past businesses and the downtown area.
The city said it wanted to implement the change for decades on both Washington and Franklin avenues. Washington Avenue is the ony street changing the flow of traffic, since it was already set for different improvements, the city said.
The city presented three different options for the two-way street at the meeting:
This option is features a center turn lane for both directions of traffic to use. Each side of the street has parking lanes as well.
This option has two travel lanes heading the same direction, a center turn lane for both sides of the two-way street to use and one lane heading the opposite direction. This design has just one parking lane.
The last option has two bike lanes separated by a buffer, and a normal two-way street with parking lanes. There is no turning lane in this option.
A Waco traffic official said hearing from residents is important for making a decision.
"Well, we want input, we definitely want input," Traffic engineer manager Eric Gallt said. "Good, bad, for, against. We want to hear it. At the end of the day, we want to make sure everyone's voices are heard on this subject."
A few residents in attendance want to do away with the one lane road.
"There's high traffic. You get a lot of people that are coming downtown that are new to the area that are not exactly comfortable with the situation of the one way traffic," Waco resident Rebecca Wright said.
One business owner said he thinks the change to two-way traffic would help businesses.
"People can't see their store when you are doing 40 to 50 miles per hour," Robert Denton said.
A resident said the city needs to be thorough before following through with any changes.
"We need to think this through, and we need to be smart about it and we need to dit at the right time for downtown Waco," David Lacy said.
Waco has not made a decision yet.