After an inconclusive 4-3 vote two weeks ago, Columbus Council voted 7-1 today to approve an ordinance restoring two-way traffic to two downtown streets.
Councilors Skip Henderson, Pops Barnes, Mimi Woodson, Evelyn Turner-Pugh, Red McDaniel, Bruce Huff and Judy Thomas voted to approve the measure. Councilor Gary Allen voted against it.
Councilor Mike Baker was not present at the meeting. Councilor Glenn Davis was at the meeting, but had left the table at the time so was not present for the vote.
Davis, Thomas and Huff voted against the ordinance last time, but had no comment on the issue today.
Davis led the opposition to the ordinance last time, objecting to the $400,000 price tag and calling the project a “want” rather than a “need.”
Deputy City Manager David Arrington pointed out at the time that the project is based not only on convenience but on public safety concerns, and that it would be paid for from leftover funds from the 1999 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, not from the General Fund.
The ordinance will restore two-way traffic to 10th Street from Sixth Avenue to Bay Avenue and on 12th Street from Sixth Avenue to Veterans Parkway.
Arrington said because there any more large events downtown than in the past, two-way traffic on 10th would allow better access for emergency vehicles and for egress after the events. It would also improve fire department response time by allowing fire trucks from Station One to go directly east on 10th instead of having to go around the block to get to Veterans Parkway.