Officer Dave Clancey has a dicey job, perhaps the most dangerous of any cop in Haywood County. But instead of dodging bullets, Clancey dodges cars.
Sylva is likely nearing the end of a months-long debate over a recurring question: is there a better way to do traffic on Main Street?
Based on public input and survey results, it appears the overwhelming majority of folks in Sylva are opposed to creating two-way traffic in the downtown area.
After landing a $10,000 grant from the Southwestern Commission — and putting in $10,000 of its own money — Sylva is waiting on a report to come back from JM Teague Traffic Engineering that will answer that one pivotal question: is two-way traffic on Main Street a no or a go?
“Would it be safe? That’s the main thing,” said Town Manager Paige Dowling. “We don’t want it to cut down on parking or hurt business. Also, in the 1950s Sylva had two-way traffic but cars are bigger now, as are trucks. With Main Street being a highway, could trucks make the turn on Main Street if it were to be two-way?”
Downtown Franklin is sporting some fresh paint after an October decision to spruce up the fading road lines, but over the winter town aldermen will be considering some changes that could be a tad more noticeable.
“During the winter when things slow down a little bit, it will give us time to think about it in more depth,” said Mayor Bob Scott.
It’s not much of a street now. And soon, Fry Street might not be a street at all.
“What we’re working towards there is, of course, permanent closure to vehicular traffic,” said Karen Wilmot, executive director of Swain County Tourism Development Authority.
The one-way stretch of Main Street running through the heart of downtown Sylva has a new traffic pattern. The left lane now sports turn arrows and solid white lines.
The advent of three large student apartment complexes around Western Carolina University in the past few years has prompted concern in Cullowhee over increased traffic.
Over the past half-century, traffic patterns in downtown Sylva have prompted a repeated cycle of complaint, remedy and return to the status quo. Now, the town is at the crest of another wave of request for change. The Sylva Board of Commissioners is considering looking into a request from some local businesses that they restore Main Street to a two-way traffic pattern.
Ever wanted a magic button you could press to make the stoplight turn green? Macon County Emergency Medical Services will soon hold that power for one stoplight at an intersection near its ambulance garage in Franklin.