Some of Tower District's proposed changes are now off the table

September 26, 2009 8:55:42 PM PDT
Community members said people drive too fast here on Olive Ave., to slow traffic, the City wanted to install traffic circles, but not anymore.Known as a place to drive, bike and walk, the City of Fresno is moving forward with plans to make the Tower District even better.

"With the bowl bouts, it reduces the width of the roadway, which slows the cars down so cars and bicyclists can share the roadway."

Bryan Jones, Fresno's traffic engineer discussed the proposed changes at a community meeting Saturday morning.

Bryan Jones. City of Fresno said: "Well, you're going to see wider sidewalks, wider medians that will slow traffic down so we don't need as much police enforcement for speeding tickets they can focus on improving the safety in the Tower District."

Responding to traffic and pedestrian complaints, the city has been working on improvement plans for months. They initially wanted to install traffic circles, which are smaller versions of roundabouts. But the idea didn't sit well with people who live and work in the tower district.

Joseph Sample, Tower District employee said: "The roundabouts, you know, it's going to cause a lot of traffic confusion, a lot of traffic jams, and its just not going to be good for the tower district."

Bob Spickard, Tower Business owner said: "And since my business is right on the corner there where they were going ot have on of the traffic circles, i had unpleasant visions of a large truck being jammed in there."

Concerns City officials say have helped steer their plans in a different direction.

Blong Xiong, Fresno City Council said: "It's important for us to hear the concerns and you're right the traffic circles are concerns from different aspects. Some people like them, some people don't. And that's why they've been put off the table."

City officials have also proposed installing more benches and bike racks in the area to make it more accessible to pedestrians.

They will start working on a portion of that plan in the winter or spring of 2010.

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