Focus: West Main Street may go two-way in spring

West Main Street downtown could change from a one-way into two-way street as early as spring, said Mayor Bill May. During a Feb. 11 City Commissioners meeting the subject of changing the street back to a two-way street, which it was until the 1960s, was brought up again. Co-interim City Manager Keith Parker was asked to come up with a plan that would be cost effective. May said the tentative plan, which isn’t official, is to repaint the arrows and lines on the street to change the traffic flow to two-way and added a stop light at the intersection of Ann Street and West Main Street. (Bryan Reynolds | State Journal)

Frankfort city commissioners expressed support for a two-way West Main Street earlier this year, but the groundwork is still in progress. 

This week, a State Journal reader asked what happened with the project, as Mayor Bill May previously predicted that construction could start as early as spring

City Manager Keith Parker said that he is preparing an update to give to the city commission on June 10. He was asked by the commission in February to research a "minimalist plan" that is cost-effective. When the commission explored converting the street to two-way traffic in 2017, the estimated price of the project was more than $200,000. 

Parker said that the city is currently working with Vaughn and Melton Civil Engineers in Lexington to create the design of the two-way street and determine the cost of the project. Both are undetermined. Parker said that Vaughn and Melton was the firm that originally worked on the two-way West Main proposal in 2017. While the final cost of the project has not been determined this time around, Parker said that the city is hoping for it to be less than the 2017 estimate. 

Some concerns with converting West Main Street into a two-way road included whether trucks delivering to businesses in the area would have parking. Parker said that the firm and city are looking at the possibility of designating parking spots for trucks during the day and opening those spots to the public at night, but he reiterated that the project is still evolving so nothing is definite. 

The State Journal conducted a poll in February on its website asking if Frankfort residents supported the move to make West Main Street two-way. Of 230 responses, 11.74% said that they had no opinion on the issue, 33.04% responded that it could boost downtown businesses and 55.22% said it would cause more problems than it was worth. 

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