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Nashua;43.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/novc.png;2014-10-31 23:52:15
Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nashua committee to consider converting downtown one-way roads to two-ways

Turn the wrong way onto a side street off Main Street, and you’ll be heading into two lanes of one-way traffic.

If you miss your turn and want to take the next street instead, you could be walking two blocks instead of one after you park. ...

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Turn the wrong way onto a side street off Main Street, and you’ll be heading into two lanes of one-way traffic.

If you miss your turn and want to take the next street instead, you could be walking two blocks instead of one after you park.

The city’s one-way streets in the downtown area will be the subject of discussion between city officials and downtown business owners this week.

The Board of Alderman’s Committee on Infrastructure will discuss the one-way streets downtown – namely, whether they should be transformed into two-way roads.

Alderman Mark Cookson, chairman of the committee, said this discussion marks the first time officials will formerly broach the topic with consideration for launching a “downtown circulation study.” The meeting will be jointly held with members of the Planning and Economic Development Committee to examine these possibilities.

Cookson said this conversation is timely, given the progress of the Broad Street Parkway project, a throughway designed to offer a third crossing of the Nashua River by connecting Broad Street with Hollis Street.

“With some of the improvements that are happening downtown on Main Street, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at the one-way streets and really understand how that impacts the community,” he said.

Some streets in questions are West Pearl, East Pearl, the one-way couplets along Pine and Palm streets, as well as West Kinsley and West Hollis, according to Cookson.

“We’ll be talking about those and really trying to define what we want include in the study,” he said, adding that many have reached out to him in the past to express their frustrations driving through the downtown area.

“If you miss something, you have to make a left onto West Hollis and then come down Spring Street,” he said. “It’s hard to get back to where you’re trying to get to, because you can’t make a left on many of those streets.”

Cookson said the changes could affect local businesses and possibly improve their traffic problems.

“That’s why the economic development committee is interested in that, and we think this is a good time to review, especially with the Broad Street Parkway coming,” he said.

Brian McCarthy, chairman of the Board of Alderman, added that he believes the transformation of the downtown streets “is long overdue.” He said he would be in support of a study launching.

“I’ve been asking that we do this for years,” McCarthy said. “You know, there’s always suggestions about how we should reverse the streets or make it a two-way or a one-way. My opinion has always been we need somebody to get to look at it as a whole for the downtown … which is what I hope this study will do for us.”

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers on Thursday evening in City Hall.

Samantha Allen can be reached
at 594-6426 or sallen@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Allen
on Twitter (@Telegraph_SamA).