Downtown Traffic Changing?

At a recent council meeting, members discussed the possibility of closing down a portion of Jefferson Avenue to help keep patrons safe when bars close.

Led by Councilman Paul Hinterlong, the proposal could close down Jefferson from Main to Washington beginning around 11 p.m. or midnight on Friday and Saturday nights when the nearby bars are full.

Officials have started to discuss the possibility, which was brought to Hinterlong’s attention by police officers who patrol those areas.

“As council members, our first priority should be public safety,” said Hinterlong. “If someone gets hurt down here or something happens we need to get ambulances and fire trucks in here. We need to have that opened up. If you’ve ever been down here on a busy night, it’s just lined with cars and kids. It’s congested.”

This isn’t the first time an idea for a Jefferson Avenue road block has come up, but this proposal does come at a time when city officials are working hard to make downtown more safe for bar customers.

When city officials feel they have worked out the kinks of the proposal it will go before the entire council for a vote.

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