How many of you have nearly been T-boned trying to pull out of one of the two downtown alleys, or pulling onto Main Street from Court Street?
How many have nearly been hit head-on driving on Court Street or pulling into the alley beside Cooper Park?
I have, many times.
And we know of crashes that have occurred at all these locations.
The city has tried to improve the situation with the alleys, adding a mirror by Cooper Park and converting some diagonal parking spaces to parallel on Main Street by the other alley. But most of the time someone still can’t see an oncoming vehicle from the left until it is nearly too late.
That’s true for Court Street as well, with the added danger of people leaving the Regions Bank drive-through and blatantly turning in the wrong direction on the one-way street, risking a head-on collision.
We only rarely see people speed into the alley by Cooper Park the wrong way, but they often turn the wrong way on to Bankhead and the more common problem is people leaving the snow cone stand lot the wrong way at the Main Street intersection.
Because of where our office is, I use all three of these streets a lot. They are convenient.
I would hate to see them closed.
But they need some sort of action for safety reasons.
The alley beside Jackson and Creighton can’t be completely closed without blocking the traffic from behind the businesses up the street. But the Bankhead section could be closed.
The alley by the park could be closed as well, forcing drivers to drive an extra few seconds by going the “long” way.
Reversing the one-way direction for Court Street would improve exit visibility greatly and not complicate traffic.
City officials tried closing one of the alleys but bowed to public pressure, so it remains open.
Of course it would inconvenience me a bit but the prudent course of action is to close all or part of the alleys for safety reasons.
That will only happen if enough people want it and that isn’t likely.