In an effort to improve its downtown, Mount Airy held a hearing during its most recent Town Council meeting to get input from residents.
At its Monday meeting the council invited feedback on four options designed to improve Center Street, Cross Street, Park Avenue and a municipal parking lot.
The council, minus Councilman Jason Poirier, decided to move option forward with an option that, among other things, would make Park Avenue a one-way street and would aim to clean up Center Street and make it more usable with less angled parking. That option, with a few additions, will be reviewed.
A few residents expressed some opposition to the idea of making Park Avenue a one-way roadway out of fear that exiting their driveways would become more difficult.
According to Mount Airy Mayor Patrick Rockinberg, the town has been discussing changes to Park Avenue for decades, but these specific variations for just months.
Option One included no changes, depicting existing issues.
Option Two included an embankment, would take Park Avenue and push it in a one-way direction, and would hold parking up along Park Avenue heading east on Park Avenue.
Option Three included no embankment and would have parallel parking, but Park Avenue would still be one-way and Cross Street would still be a two-way street. Cross Street would not move and would stay between the Shops of Yesteryear building and the storage area. The slope between the Shops of Yesteryear building and the storage area would be improved. The municipal lot would be cleaned up. There would be improvements to Center Street, including the addition of a right turn lane, cleaning up of all the trees and moving the telephone pole. This option included less angled parking.
Option Four included making Cross Street, Veterans Way and Park Avenue all one-way and the roads would become narrower to create a circle of flow.
“I suggest that we go with Option Three, we look at putting the sidewalk behind [Shop of Yesteryear], we get rid of the parallel parking up against the State Farm agency on that side of Park Avenue to allow more flow,” said Town Council President Larry Hushour, who also mentioned getting rid of an “unslightly” brown shed. “I’m willing to go one-way on Option Three with those modifications.”