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Waynesville opts not to alter Main Street to aid eateries
Wednesday, 01 July 2020 22:28

From Staff Reports

WAYNESVILLE — The Waynesville Board of Alderman took no action June 9 and moved on to other business after receiving a report on the results of a survey of downtown Waynesville merchants who expressed little interest in a proposal to temporarily change the traffic pattern on Main Street to allow expanded outdoor dining opportunities into the street during the period that restaurants, by mandate of the governor, must operate at a much-reduced capacity stemming from coronavirus social distancing restrictions.

Buffy Phillips, director of the Downtown Waynesville Association, first presented the idea to the town governing board in May, according to a June 13 story in The (Waynesville) Mountaineer, “and was asked to conduct a survey of the downtown businesses.”

 In her report of the survey results at the June 9 town meeting, she said the survey indicated 13 businesses — or building-owners — favored the idea, while 20 opposed it.

“The town board thanked Philips for the information and took no action,” the Mountaineer reported.

The leader of the effort to help the downtown restaurants was Janet Metzger of Moose Crossing’s Burl Wood Gallery. Metzger contended that the restaurants are a major reason many visit the downtown area.

The proposal would have required that Main Street be reduced to a one-lane traffic plan, with lane shifts, as some of the restaurants are on one side of the street and others on the other side.

“Because Main Street is a state highway, nothing could be done without action from the N.C. Department of Transportation,” the Mountaineer reported. “The department has turned down similar requests around the region (including from Highlands and Andrews) because of liability concerns.”



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