Main Street striping forces council to make a difficult decision

A proposal by Caltrans to restripe Main Street through the Uptown business district and reduce traffic from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction has generated strong opinions on both sides of the issue, becoming one of the most noisy local controversies in recent memory.

Uptown business owners and some local residents argue the Caltrans proposal would slow traffic through the Uptown district, increasing visability and interest for the merchants, and the recently installed bulbouts and proposed bike lanes would increase pedestrian safety and change the way residents and visitors alike both view and use the district. Main Street businesses are struggling, they say, and this proposal offers them a path forward.

Other residents argue the Caltrans striping proposal is nothing short of a nightmare for local motorists who use Main Street, raising safety issues and congestion concerns. What will happen to snow removal if we have a big winter? Some business owners have complained about losing parking places in front of their businesses.

The Susanville City Council will hold a second special meeting on the matter at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 31 to accept more comments from the public. If you have something to say to the council — that will have to make a decision soon so Caltrans can complete its work — this is your opportunity.

One thing is for sure — the council’s difficult decision could have a major impact on our city and its future.