Several downtown stop lights to be removed

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Deanna McGrew has worked at McCord Candies in Lafayette for more than a decade and said she always noticed one thing about the intersection out front.

“They went pretty fast I noticed during the green lights,” said McGrew.

That intersection is Sixth Street and Main Street where, for the last month, the city has conducted a traffic study. The goal of the study was to determine if the lights were necessary.

For 30 days, the lights were flashing red, acting as a stop sign for motorists, and as a welcome sign for many pedestrians and business owners.

“I’ve actually noticed our business has picked up more since the four-way stop, because they stop, they look around, and then they go,” said McGrew. “They don’t just go flying through on the green.”

McGrew said what used to be 5 or 6 customers on a slow afternoon, has increased to about 20.

Across the street, Robots and Rogue Bookstore owner Tricia Lewis said she’s also seen a positive change since the study began.

“The biggest benefit we’ve noticed is with the pedestrians. There’s more foot traffic now, and part of it is that it’s summer, but part of it’s that they feel safer walking downtown,” said Lewis.

It looks like the city saw something positive too, as officials have decided to permanently replace the stop lights with stop signs.

In the report obtained by News 18, it cites no traffic accidents, no traffic concerns, and positive feedback from the community as contributing factors for the decision.

That’s a decision business owners think will positively impact the community in more ways than one.

“I think it’s going to look more aesthetically pleasing,” said Lewis. “It’s going to look more like a historic downtown without the stop lights here.”

“More business for us downtown here at the small stores,” said McGrew. “To know that we’re actually down here, and it’s worth coming down and seeing us.”

The stop lights will be replaced in early June.

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