The following is an opinion piece submitted by a reader in response to the article, "Is it time for Main Street to run both ways?"
To submit a letter to the editor, email Peter Blanchard at [email protected]
To the Editor,
In regards to your recent article about yet another study of Main Street in Cortland, I think it is a waste of taxpayer dollars. I have as much "white hair" as Mack Cook and remember when Main Street was two-way. It was awful. Many studies were done at the time before it was ever converted to one-way.
It wasn't all about creating more parking downtown. It was also about traffic congestion. Anyone wishing to make a left-hand turn off of Main street would have to wait until the opposing right-hand lane had cleared before they could proceed through the intersection. This caused traffic to back up behind them.
By the time the traffic lights changed, maybe one or two cars could proceed through the intersection. It could take up to fifteen or twenty minutes to go two blocks! On a hot summer day, with no air conditioning, this was a trial. You could walk it faster than that. People were also more polite and a little more patient than the drivers of today.
The intersection of Port Watson and Church Street (both two-way) is a good example of the problems that a two-way Main Street would incur. Drivers today have a tendency to run the yellow and red lights. They figure that if they are already in the intersection, it is okay to block traffic who now have the green light from proceeding from the cross streets. This would back-up traffic on main cross-through streets such as Groton Avenue and Clinton Avenue, East and West Main streets, and Tompkins and Port Watson streets, all at Main Street.
I, myself, would avoid this congestion and seek alternate routes to get around the city.
As an afterthought, what the city of Cortland lacks is a "destination" department store. Just my humble opinion. And it didn't cost $35,000!