Our View: A 2-way solution
Craig — July 28 marks 32 years since a one-way traffic system was implemented in the city of Craig.
On that day in 1977, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in Craig, according to the Museum of Northwest Colorado archives, celebrating a new traffic system that was thought to be better.
Perhaps it’s time to reconsider that thought.
The Editorial Board contends that our community’s one-way traffic flow in spot places is not only confusing to out-of-town visitors – visitors that we rely upon, particularly during hunting season – but also detrimental to our downtown businesses.
The one-way system is a hindrance to getting more customers to downtown – a downtown that could, without proactive measures to the contrary, slowly wither away in coming years.
It is the Editorial Board’s view that downtown Craig is a necessity to small-town America and that our community is fortunate to have one as we do.
However, downtown is struggling, and shifting from the one-way could help bolster some of our local stores and merchants.
The one-way system, as it stands now, allows traffic to flow away from our downtown and to funnel to some of our larger businesses.
The board agrees that our community should do what it can for all of Craig’s businesses, but the size of some of our larger merchants means they have a built-in advantage.
Our smaller businesses don’t have the same luxury.
They need more help, and changing back to a two-way system is one small token of aid and goodwill that our community can offer to people who have put their livelihood on the line.
It should also be noted that, at times, our downtown businesses don’t do enough to help themselves, either. Expanded hours of operation is one quick remedy that downtown businesses should consider.
Closing at 5 p.m., when most customers are getting off work, is surely not a recipe for success. Translation: Downtown businesses need help, but they also need to help themselves.
Nonetheless, in this difficult economy, our local governments and agencies need to consider the future direction of the business community and what simple, smart decisions can be made to give those businesses an advantage.
Local businesses are not just competing against each other anymore. Better technology and communication means every business is competing against a global market.
Maybe switching to a two-way won’t save some from the struggles many are feeling in this tight economy, but it’s a virtual certainty that keeping traffic the way it is now only means more struggle for our downtown.
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