by Lisa Tome
Things have been much quieter on Mount Street since it was converted to one-way a few years ago.
But while Commissioner George Walker, who lives on the street, may be enjoying the quiet, he thinks the street should be changed back to allow for two-way traffic.
Walker admits that initially, he supported the change to one way. "I don't like it. I want it converted back. I would vote to convert it back," said Walker. "(Before the conversion) I said I'm willing to try it. But it jams up traffic in other parts of the town. Everybody has said, when are you going to change that back?"
Walker, who was both chief and a police officer in town for more than two decades, said he isn't aware of any serious accidents on that street when it was two way. He said he knows of a few incidents of mirrors being clipped when vehicles were passing. "In 35 years, I only know of one or two mirrors being clipped. You can't justify that as a traffic safety issue," he said. "I was willing to try it but I've come to the conclusion that it's not working."
One of the ideas that's cropped up, in addition to changing the street to two-way, would be to build a grass island at Mount and Pearl streets. Walker said he is not in favor of that and said the triangle part of the roadway is an area where snow can be pushed in winter. "We have to decide what we want to do there. But I don't want to do something that we can't change back," he said.
Chris Callahan, who is Walker's neighbor, and was a town commissioner when Mount Street was converted to one-way, questioned the need to examine the street again. Callahan was the driving force behind getting the street converted to one-way. He brought the matter up shortly after Walker took office on Tuesday at the town meeting.
"Why does Mount Street need to be looked at? Why would we need another public meeting," asked Callahan.
"I don't like it being one way. We've tried it, but I don't like it. That's as straight as I can be," said Walker.
Walker said a lot of people want the street changed back. He's willing to give up the quiet, for less traffic jams.
"It (being one-way) causes jams when there are problems on other streets in town," he added.