The following is a press release from Magnolia City Hall:
“In preparation of making the square more pedestrian friendly, the city has installed one-way traffic signs indicating Jefferson for southbound traffic and Washington for northbound traffic. The signs are in place for traffic flow between Union and Calhoun Streets.
Converting most of the parallel parking spaces to angle parking spaces is also part of the process. The City Street Department will begin painting over the current lines today and begin marking the angled spaces Tuesday morning. The angled spaces will be in place along east and west sides of the square.
“We have talked about turning Jefferson and Washington for at least three months during our city councils meetings. A number of factors were considered in determining if Washington and Jefferson were good candidates for parallel-to-angle parking,” says Mayor Vann. “There are numerous studies that weigh the pros and cons of conversion, which also include one-ways.” He also stated the safety of pedestrians and motorists as the number one concern. According to Vann, the studies he and his team found indicate the severity of accidents to be less due to low traffic volumes and speed.
The City Inspector and City Street Department Superintendent have worked to ensure the areas are within street guidelines for having enough space to physically handle the parallel-to-angle parking, while allowing room to safely back out into the streets. “Jefferson and Washington Streets are ideal candidates for angled parking,” says Jerry Lewis, City Street Department Supervisor. It was hopeful that the parallel-to-angle conversion could also include Main Street, between Jackson and Vine Streets. Lewis continued, “Main Street is not a good candidate for the conversion to angled parking. Main Street produces a higher volume of traffic at higher rates of speed. Those conditions topped off with red lights at each end of square will lead to unsafe conditions for motorists as well as congestion.”
Ellie Baker, Director of the Magnolia Economic Development, sent a map to all the merchants around the square requesting their input about the parking and streets. “The responses from the merchants were all positive,” says Baker.
Officers and firefighters will be in place Wednesday morning to help direct motorists.”