Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Aug. 7, 2000

HL's Eighth Ave. becomes two-way street Sept. 1

By Andrea Vargo

Several people have been cited for driving the wrong way on Eighth Ave. through the years it has been a one-was street, but the judge threw them out, Howard Lake Police Chief Mike Simmons told the council Tuesday.

It makes no sense to have a one-block, one-way street, the judge said.

Because of the upcoming construction year on Highway 12 and the continuing problem of wrong-way drivers, Eighth Ave. will become a two-way street Friday, Sept. 1.

"We don't have any way to stop it (traffic going the wrong way). We put a sign in the middle of the street and people hit the darn sign," Simmons said.

Since the city has to make the street two-way for the construction period next year, the council felt it was in the best interest of the public to have time for people to to get used to it.

"We should look at it as a permanent solution. Basically, people have to be retrained," Simmons said.

The street will be well marked with directional arrows painted on the street. Signs will be placed to warn the public of the coming change in the traffic pattern.

Parking will also change. There will be parallel parking on both sides of the street, which will eliminate four parking spots, but will slow down the speed of the traffic flow, Simmons said.

The biggest problem, other than a lot of people going the wrong way, is people backing out of the diagonal parking spots.

If a car is parked next to a large vehicle, the driver cannot see oncoming traffic.

Parallel parking will help with visibility for drivers.

A four-way stop sign will be placed at the corner of Seventh Street and Eighth Avenue. This will also help slow traffic that continues on Seventh Street past the school, Mayor Gerry Smith said.

The council also decided to paint a crosswalk in the middle of the block. It was originally intended to be there, since the parking lot on block 18 was created, to provide safe passage from the lot to the post office and other businesses on the other side of the street.

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