Changing Directions

Changing Directions
By:  Holly Brantley
Cape Girardeau, MO - At 6:00 o'clock Monday morning, drivers can go both ways on Main Street in downtown Cape Girardeau. It's something that hasn't happened for nearly 50 years.
It might sound like a simple change, but it not only affects drivers, but business owners and emergency crews.
Main Street traffic has run one-way since the fifties, but Cape Girardeau's City Council recently decided to change directions. The council approved a switch which would allow traffic to run two-ways.
It's a decision that brings a mixed reaction from those who run businesses on the street. Some merchants think two-way traffic will make Main Street easier to travel for cars and people. But, not everyone agrees.
"First its going to cause a lot of confusion," said Gary Golightly of Pasttimes Antiques. "It's going to be a lot harder to get up and down Main Street. First of all they get an out of town organization to do a study on it when the people down here could have told you they don't want it."
Jeff Biester often travels on Main Street. "Traffic alone is terrible already," Biester said. "Then you're going to put two-way in and a lot of business will lose a lot of parking."
Meanwhile, some are ready to go with the new flow. In fact, local police officers say it will make their job easier...allowing them quicker access to areas a one-way street would not.
"On Friday and Saturday nights heavy traffic hinders you from getting to a call. If it happens to be an emergency now that's a lot quicker," said Officer Jeffrey Nichols of the Cape Girardeau Police Department.