(Submitted by Mayor Jerry Wilmore)
After much consideration and almost every business writing letters to the city council, the council voted 4 to 2 to make part of Main Street and part of East Locust Street one-way streets. East Locust Street will go in the direction of the public square and Main Street traffic will go away from the public square. Most of the merchants sent letters to the mayor and council about doing something about the traffic on both streets and it was looked into as to which would be the best way to handle this. After months of consideration and planning, the public works and street dept. will be installing the signage and will be marking off the new parking spaces. It will help ease the parking and will actually add much needed parking spaces in front of every business on those two streets. Most of the merchants on those streets only have one or two parking spaces yet after the striping is done it will add much needed parking on just one side of both streets. The alley behind Macon Bank (Odd Alley or Bankers Alley) will be blocked off half way in order to keep traffic from cutting thru that street. The traffic flow will cut thru McDonald Avenue or Franklin Avenue in order to access either of those streets. Again this was not a easy decision but it has came to the point that two vehicles cannot pass safely when there are cars parked on both sides of the street. The one-way streets will begin and end at McDonald street in front of the police department. We are sorry for any inconvenience this might cause.
On a different note, the city police department dispatcher center will combine with the county 911 dispatch center. The police department will not close contrary to rumors, the hours will change and all dispatching will be done from the 911 dispatch center. During inclement weather the shelter in the basement of the police department will be open for the general public to access. Most people with emergencies call the 911 number anyway and if the emergency is inside the city limits then the 911 dispatch has to call the city dispatch. This move will eliminate the middle person. As always if there is an emergency, call 911 and that 911 person will dispatch directly to the needed entity, whether it be fire, city police or EMS services. The city lost one point on our ISO rating and this was one of the reasons the point was lost so hopefully combining them into one we can work toward getting that point back.
The one-way streets will go into effect on Monday, July 3, 2023.