With just shy of 300 votes cast in Develop New Albany’s on-line poll, 72% of respondents believe two-way streets would be beneficial. Meanwhile, Hillsboro is a city of 91,000, situated a short distance to the west of Portland, Oregon. New Albany business owners might consider the approach of Hillsboro’s Kay Mattson (underlined passage below), who exercised two simple tasks by doing research and observing how two-way changes worked for the better in other places.
It ain’t rocket science.
Old downtown Hillsboro revitalization push may get new boost with two-way street, development plans, by Katherine Driessen (Oregonian)
… An infusion of cash from an income tax-sharing program could help check a larger, long-planned task off the list: converting the downtown area’s one-way grid to two-way streets. The move comes with its own inherent tension, both symbolic and substantive. Though an OregonLive.com poll with more than 300 respondents showed that slightly more readers favor the change, many don’t believe it will do much for the area.
Artfull Garden owner Kay Mattson knows that logic well. When she first heard about the two-way idea, she didn’t think it was wise. Mattson, once the downtown business manager for the now defunct Downtown Business Association, said her customers didn’t seem keen on the idea, so neither was she.
”The buzz in here was pretty negative,” said Mattson, whose store sells everything from candy to lattes to garden art. It’s the kind of place where people linger and talk over a cup of coffee at clustered tables strewn with local papers.
But those customers, Mattson said, mostly live in the surrounding area. If the streets become two-way, neighbors will simply have to get used to the change out of necessity, she said. And for those driving from other parts of the city or county, Mattson said, the two-way format will make the stores more accessible.
What really changed Mattson’s mind was research she did as the downtown business manager. Looking at similar historic downtown areas around the state, the two-way approach appeared central to their success.
(Doug) Sellers agrees. He is among a group of business owners that approached the city about the two-way change.