Front Royal looks at one-way Main Street

FRONT ROYAL – The town might consider switching Main Street travel to one way.

Mayor Timothy Darr’s Economic Committee met this week and continued discussion about the idea of changing the traffic pattern on Main Street from two-way to one way.

The committee, formed to look at ways to boost the town’s economy, began to talk about the topic at a previous meeting. Committee members in attendance included George McIntyre, owner of the Apple House in Linden; Rick Novak, owner of Royal Cinemas; Bill Sealock, a director on the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority board; Steven Jerome, an attorney with Lawson and Silek.

Town Manager Steve Burke stated by email that staff members developed a possible rendition of the one-way traffic idea for the committee to review. Town Council will discuss the topic at a future work session.

“The town will solicit input from residents and business owners prior to implementing any changes,” Burke stated.

Such a change could benefit downtown by creating more than a half-dozen parking spaces, some committee members said. The town would replace most parallel parking spaces along the wider sections of Main Street with diagonal spots.

“A lot of people complain about the speed on Main Street,” Darr said. “If you have parking where people back out, you’ll definitely slow your speed down.”

Parallel parking deters some drivers, Darr said. Many small towns have angled parking, he added. But the town also would need to install directional signs to help educate residents and visitors about the traffic and parking changes, Darr said.

The town would still need to seek input from the public on the concept, Darr explained. Novak suggested that Front Royal post information and the design on the town’s website.

Darr said the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority would also receive a copy of the rendering for its review.

Also during the meeting on Monday, Darr said he wants the committee to meet in May for one last time, present a final report to Town Council and then disband by June 1. The deadline helps the committee know when it should reach its goals and then the town can start implementing some of the panel’s ideas, Darr said. Committee members can continue to provide input on economic development to town leaders after the panel disbands.

“We’re not going to stop listening,” Darr said.

“Anything that you all do to boost economics, economic development, the spirit of bringing the people back downtown, then you’re achieving my goal,” Darr added.

The mayor formed the committee about a year ago, but inclement weather kept members from meeting for several months. The panel presented several recommendations to council a few months ago aimed at helping economic development in the town.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com