ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- The Street repair bond of 2015 is still seeing use in 2020. With much of the downtown street repair coming to a close the process of “Re-striping” can begin.
The planning began with Mayor Williams’ Downtown Task force. A group of involved Abilene citizens that took on the charge of getting other citizens input on the then future project. After multiple Town hall meetings a plan was devised.
“Now we public works are in the process of executing that plan” Says Assistant Director of Public Works Max Johnson.
Beginning last Monday crews took to the repaired streets to re-paint and re-orient some of the lanes and parking spaces downtown. To allow smoother traffic flow on some more narrow streets or those with turning lanes such as cedar. Some spaces were converted from angled parking to Parallel parking.
“Of course they’re not done with a lot of stuff but changing parking to parallel parking you know ughhh I don’t know” Said longtime downtown business owner Leif Merck.
Merck has owned and operated the 3rd street printing and sign company for 28 years. He said that though he prefers angled parking. He understands the need for change.
“With business booming downtown it’s something we need to work on. But I’m not a city planner so it’s hard for me to criticize” Merck Said.
The lanes of many streets have also been re-configured to allow for less gridlock. Some retained angled parking while others made the switch ultimately depending on the width of the street.
“Pine street for example is a very wide road where we can get 4 lanes of traffic with parking in some places” Johnson Says.
According to project officials the plan is going exactly as it should. Adding parking capacity to our rapidly growing downtown space, and bringing our streets in line with the development of the past 10 years.
“It’s an effective plan to increase the number of parking spaces downtown…and (give motorists) places to park their cars without having to walk blocks at a time” says Johnson.
“It’s a little confusing. folks just like anything else they’re going to have to get used to it. You know the stretch on clack out by the mall. That whole deal where they changed all the lanes. Same thing. People look at that and go how the heck am I supposed to understand. Now it’s great. it works wonderfully as planned.” Merck compared.