BLANCHESTER — Whether a portion of Cherry Street will be a one-way road is still up for debate — especially among council members and those who work around the area.
The possible change would affect the portion between South Broadway and South Wright streets, near the railroads, which would mean vehicles would only be allowed to travel eastbound.
Oppositions toward the change comes from owners and workers of businesses on Cherry Street.
Luiza McQueen, owner of Luiza’s Hair Salon, opposed it. She stated during a special council meeting on Aug. 31 that she had personally almost been in three accidents at that intersection.
Melissa Irwin, general manager of Newborn 2 Teen clothing store, thinks the change would hurt the store.
“A lot of the people I get in here don’t even realize it’s here,” she said. “They drive by it a hundred times a day until the train comes by — they can’t go, then they look over and say, ‘Hey, there’s a store over there.’ If they change that it’s going to cut down traffic in here by half, at least.”
The change is also rejected by other community members including council member Cindy Sutton. She believes that if the Wright or Church Street railroad crossings were smoother, than it wouldn’t be an issue.
The ordinance was first brought up during the Aug. 31 meeting when council member Tyler McCollister informed them of a meeting he had with railroad personnel a couple of months before. McCollister recalled seeing a driver trying to turn onto Cherry Street and that driver wasn’t able to make it without a car coming or causing a back-up.
“The turn backed up about six or seven cars, leaving a car on the tracks,” McCollister advised.
The ordinance passed the first reading but the attempt to perform a second reading at a later council meeting failed.
Gary Bauer, council member and chairman of the Safety Committee, said they would bring the topic up again at a future committee meeting.
“We haven’t had another safety meeting about what we’re going to do about it. If we go forward we’re going to have to do the readings over again,” said Bauer, who is in favor of the change.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574