After 67 years of being one-way streets, Second, Third and Fourth streets could end up open to two-way traffic.
The matter came up during Monday’s city council meeting at the request of Mayor Todd Heitschmidt, who said he’d had several people ask why the streets are one-way.
“I didn’t have an answer,” Heitschmidt said.
City Administrator Roger Holter reported that Ordinance 671, passed in 1949, made Second and Fourth Sts. between Main and Santa Fe one-way north to south, and Third St. one-way south to north.
The logic at that time was to ease traffic congestion, Holter said. In 1949, Marion had just under 5,000 residents and the county had about 24,000, he said.
Although council members didn’t make a decision on allowing two-way traffic flow, they decided to look into doing so.
Sherry Soyez, manager of the Historic Elgin Hotel Bed and Breakfast, 115 N. Third St., said she’s seen several people in recent years come the wrong way on Third.
When she gives customers directions to reach the Elgin, it’s confusing to them, Soyez said.
Not only would two-way traffic be easier for her customers, it would be easier for many people if traffic flowed both directions, Soyez said.
“I think it would probably be a good thing,” Soyez said.