LaGrange considering limiting Garfield Street to one-way

Published 9:00 am Thursday, January 25, 2024

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The City of LaGrange is considering limiting a Hillside community street to one-way traffic out of safety concerns.

The mayor and council discussed the proposed change during the Jan. 23 work session. The council is considering making a portion of Garfield Street one-way from Lincoln Street to the intersection with Jefferson Street headed west, or away from downtown LaGrange.

The change stems from safety concerns from the streetscape improvement plans near the DASH commercial renovations on Lincoln Street.

“It’s two-way traffic now. To make this whole intersection safer, we had Barge [Design Solutions] go in and look at the flow and all that sort of stuff as part of the streetscape,” Assistant City Manager Bill Bulloch said, noting the recommendation was for Garfield Street to become one-way headed west from Lincoln to Jefferson.

The city has recently engaged Principal Construction for streetscape improvements at the triangle traffic island formed by Dallis Street, Lincoln Street and Garfield Street at the request of business owners in the Hillside community.

Much of the traffic coming into the area is from Lincoln and Dallis Street, so traffic typically flows west onto Garfield anyway, city staff said. The change will also help prevent people from parking incorrectly on Garfield as well, they said.

According to representatives from DASH, they have spoken with nearly everyone in the immediate area, and they approve the change.

Only Councilman Nathan Gaskin pushed back on the issue, complaining that improvements weren’t being made to other nearby streets, particularly noting that Brownwood Avenue “looks horrible.”

“I don’t want that to be a one-way street if you’re not going to straighten up Brownwood,” Gaskin said.

Gaskin said the trees need to be cut back on Brownwood and the sidewalks need to be widened or at least fixed.

Bulloch said they can send crews to Brownwood to cut back the trees. As for the sidewalks, he noted that plans are in the works to do a study to look at accessibility and sidewalk conditions moving forward.

Mayor Willie Edmonson suggested discussing potential streetscape improvements at the council’s annual retreat work session.

A first reading of an ordinance that would modify the section of Garfield Street to one-way was held at the subsequent regular council meeting on Tuesday evening. The change could be approved as early as the Feb. 13 council meeting.