Bridge Reopening May Calm Traffic

It will be spring before a traffic study of the area near Harrison Street and Foote Avenue can begin.

The study came at the suggestion of Brent Sheldon, R-Ward 1, who said the intersection is one of the busiest intersections in Jamestown and that the volume of cars at peak traffic times may merit a green turning arrow or pole traffic lights. Jeff Lehman, city public works director, told Sheldon that there have only been two accidents at the intersection in the last six years — though we note that may be attributable to blind luck or the NASCAR-like skills of Jamestown drivers in avoiding crashes. Looking at the intersection makes sense if there is indeed some thought of locating more medical offices in the area or if the Gateway Lofts project moves forward.

While the study is being scheduled for the spring because of the weather, waiting until spring makes sense for another reason. Traffic issues are interconnected. The issues Sheldon has noticed at Harrison Street and Foote Avenue may actually have been the result of the South Main Street bridge in Brooklyn Square being out of commission for the past several months. Many have lamented the increased traffic and longer waits at traffic lights on Washington Street over the past several months. Diverting some of the traffic from Washington Street and Foote Avenue may alleviate some of the congestion that we have all noticed.

If it does not, however, city officials may need to expand their traffic study to the entire downtown area – particularly turn arrows for Washington Street.