Council considers Massie Street change to one-way

FRONT ROYAL – Town Council plans to change direction in its effort to help curb traffic woes in the West 1st Street area.

Town Council recently endorsed a proposal to prohibit through-traffic from using West 1st Street and directed officials to install signs alerting motorists of the new restriction. Council later learned that the police department could not enforce the restriction, so council members took the proposal off their agenda at last week’s meeting. Councilman John Connolly asked then that the matter be brought back to council so a different approach could be considered.

At least a half-dozen residents of West 1st and Massie streets attended the work session. Town Manager Steve Burke sent a letter to residents on West 1st Street and adjacent Massie Street asking for their input on the matter, Connolly said. A couple of residents said they favored making one or both streets one-way, he added. He said he would like to see the town take the least invasive option that would address the problem without interrupting the natural traffic flow.

Mayor Timothy Darr said survey results showed the majority of respondents favor making Massie Street one-way heading north.

Studies conducted by the town showed high traffic volumes on West 1st and Massie streets.

The town can restrict traffic on Massie Street to one-way without action by council, Burke said. However, given the information town officials received, Burke said council should vote on the matter. If council endorses the proposal, it could take about a week for the town to change Massie Street to one-way traffic only, Burke said. The town would take steps during that time to notify the public about the pending change.

Holland Daniels, a West 1st Street resident leading the push to curb the traffic problem, told council that making his street one way also would affect flow on Massie Street. Daniels said he deferred to Massie Street residents on whether or not they want the town to change the traffic direction on their street. The problem remaining is how the town will handle current traffic volume on roads designed and built in the 1920s or earlier, Daniels said.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or