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In Your View: Winchester traffic, parking study

After many years of discussing the concept of additional parking downtown and making Winchester diagonal parking to help with that need, as well as slow down traffic in the heart of downtown, nothing has been done or attempted.

We are speaking of the four-block area from The Delta Hotel (14th Street block), to the Pendleton (15th), to the Old Post Office/Kentucky Power (16th) and the First Baptist Church (17th) for parking and shopping since we have the commercial bypass highway called Greenup Avenue for bridge and mall traffic.

Over-engineering this simple idea to include a concept of four roundabouts is extreme. It may look pretty and emulates a city in a different state that was designed specifically and built around that concept.

The city isn’t very successful with consulting engineers in making decisions such as the water plant, which has been designed with new filtration systems and failed a couple of times with nobody accountable for that mistake. I should also state whoever engineered the Mill Street warehouse for trucks and equipment, which is now an office place with showers, bathrooms, etc., failed to design correctly the floor elevation, causing the street to be permanently closed and having to purchase additional property due to the lack of firewall on the side property line. The state building inspector shut the project down in the middle of the project — not to mention the budget overruns.

Would this roundabout concept end up like the 29th Street CSO project? I hope not.

I would advocate the simple design of head-in diagonal parking stripes, reducing Winchester to two lanes with the proper signage to bypass the downtown area on the other alternative routes, specifically Greenup Avenue. It should also be noted that the traffic lights for that stretch need to be synchronized for proper flow between intersections.

This concept has very little up-front costs to try and monitor for six months fairly. Like all new things, it will take some time getting used to — but it is a worthy idea that has been used for many decades across the country, too. It’s not some enviable, fancy fad to try first and force here, in my opinion. You can always try the roundabouts next year if the diagonal parking doesn’t work this year.

Vincenzo Fressola


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