SALISBURY – Bateman Street is officially becoming a one-way road after promises were made the project will be re-visited if fears come true.
An ordinance, unanimously approved this week, changes Bateman Street from two-way to one-way westbound between S. Division Street and Wayne Street (eastern leg), prohibiting left-hand turns by vehicles from S. Division Street onto Bateman Street, erecting a traffic signal and pedestrian indications at the intersection of Onley Road and South Division Street and establishing a bicycle lane.
According to the ordinance, S. Division Street near the intersections with Bateman Street and Onley Road has safety and operational issues, and the city desires to signalize the intersection of S. Division Street and Onley Road to improve the safety and operation of the intersection.
In order to signalize the intersection of S. Division Street and Onley Road, Bateman Street vehicular traffic must become one-way westbound between S. Division Street and Wayne Street.
Last Monday a special session was held on the matter featuring at least 20 Salisbury residents decked out in orange shirts, many of which were associated with Salisbury University (SU). A large number were also cycling enthusiasts and the bike lanes that will be added to Bateman once it becomes one-way was the main reason for supporting the change.
At that time, the Salisbury City Council also voted to accept a gift from SU that will go toward streetscaping on nearby Onley Road, including pedestrian crossings and lighting, as well as move the project forward to second reading.
“I have been torn on the vote on this because pedestrian safety is important, traffic safety is important, the university is important, but so are the people that call that neighborhood home, and throughout this process I think that their concerns and ideas have largely fallen on deaf ears,” Council Vice President Deborah Campbell said. “If it is implemented and turns out to manifest the fears of the people in that neighborhood … there will be opportunities for us to go back and re-visit without having to invest a lot of money like we are doing right now to make sure that it is a good solution for pedestrians, bicyclists, family’s that live in the neighborhood, and the students that are there during the school year, for the buses, for everybody.”
Public Works Director Teresa Gardner added, “To anyone who has any concerns at any time, please share them with us and we will definitely investigate them and see if we can make moderation improvements,” she said.