“The power under the constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can and undoubtedly will, be recalled.”

~ George Washington (1787)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Walla Walla City Council: 2 Lanes Are Better Than 4

 Several business owners say city plans to 
reconfigure the four-lane arterial is a bad idea.
WALLA WALLA — A handful of Rose Street business owners at Wednesday’s City Council meeting lambasted plans to remove two lanes of through traffic after a repaving and stoplight project is completed later this year.

The $2.2 million Rose Street reconfiguration from 13th Avenue to Myra Road was not on the Council’s meeting agenda. But that didn’t stop local business operator Tim Demitor, four other business owners and a home owner from saying they thought taking away driving lanes to add biking lanes was a bad idea.

“My big thing is that Rose is an industrial arterial. It is not a walk in the park,” Demitor said, adding that industrial rigs from businesses like Koncrete Industries and Ferrellgas rely on a steady flow of traffic provided by four lanes.

“It’s just basically a bad idea. Keep it four lanes. Repave it. Throw in a light and I would be happy,” Demitor said.

Council members last month argued over the plan to remove two driving lanes in exchange for a center turn lane and bike lanes on each side of the arterial.

The reconfiguration plan narrowly passed 3-2, with Council members Jerry Cummins and Mary Lou Jenkins voting against the configuration. Mayor Jim Barrow and Council members Barbara Clark and Chris Plucker voted for the lane reduction and addition of bike lanes.

Members Conrado Cavasos and Shane Laib were absent.
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