As the City of Wheeling awaits the results of a study to determine whether or not to change Market and Main Streets in downtown Wheeling to a two-way traffic pattern, the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce is speaking out in opposition.
Chamber of Commerce President Erikka Storch says a large concern is utility work.
She says the gas and water lines run under Market and Main Streets, and if they would need repaired or replaced, it would create a major traffic disruption
“With any breaks with those, the flow of traffic will be disturbed, disrupted. Also, we have heard from the business community their outcry of opposition,” said Storch.
Wheeling Councilwoman Wendy Scatterday (Ward 4) says there are multiple aspects of changing the traffic pattern that are being considered, including parking policy and utility work.
“There are a multitude of factors that build into that change if it were to occur, and so those are things that are all being considered,” said Scatterday.
Storch says another major concern is how the change would affect businesses in downtown Wheeling.
Although a final decision has not been made yet, the Chamber of Commerce is advocating for a continuation of the one-way traffic pattern.
“We have raised awareness to some of the concerns with the consulting group as well as the city leadership, and we think that they’re valid concerns. We hope that they’re taken into consideration, and we think that they are large enough to show the reason why we should maintain our one-way traffic,” said Storch.
Scatterday says the intention of the change is actually to benefit local business by increasing safety for pedestrians and making the area more attractive to both locals and visitors.
“We just need to try everything that we possibly can to make downtown Wheeling a place where people want to stay and be in and linger and spend time in contrast to a place that you would just go through, and that’s the difference between one-way streets and two-way streets,” said Scatterday.
Councilwoman Scatterday says if the results of the study come back and the Division of Highways is not willing to support the project, the idea will die.
If they agree to support the project, it will then go to City Council for consideration.