City of Waco looks at input for two-way roads on Washington Avenue

Local

Washington Avenue could be on it’s way to becoming a two-way street.

On Tuesday, community members gave final input on what they think the city should do to pave the way for more access downtown.

Adam Tate has lived in Waco for about three years. He’s one of more than 40 people tonight looking at future plans for Washington Avenue.

“We are very engaged in the community excited seeing downtown grow and I think this will be a good part of it.” Tate said. “I think they picked the best one. The most walkable, the safest one for cyclists. It will connect Castle Heights and downtown.”

Out of the $17 million the city has to improve roads next year, they’re looking at investing $250 thousand for Washington Avenue. Officials say they want to hear from the public one more time to decide if the conversion a good idea before repaving.

“It’s very hard to remove striping once it is down,” Waco traffic engineer manager Eric Gallt said. “So it’s a lot easier that if you are going to have a clean slate to put in a two way striping with a clean slate, rather than trying to scrape off a one way designation.”

Plans include adding a secured bike lane and more parking, in addition to adding a two way access. The city says the biggest concern has been the timing.

“Some of them are concerned about the timing of this with the I-35 work coming up and if this is the right time for that, from what we’ve heard. Otherwise, it’s generally been pretty positive,” Gallt said.

Tate says he’s seen several businesses pop up around the proposed changes, boosting business in the area.

“Right now they got limited parking, they got the one way street that everyone just sails right by,” Tate said. “The two way street, people will be more likely to stop, people will be more likely to walk and bike downtown.”

The improvements could come as soon as this spring. 

The city says they will review the community’s input, they will vote on the final proposal next Tuesday at the council meeting. 

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