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Wheeling leaders considering making Market, Main streets two-way

Talks are under way concerning making the two main arteries into downtown Wheeling two-way.

Talks are under way concerning making the two main arteries into downtown Wheeling two-way.

The study would determine whether or not it is feasible to make Main and Market streets two-way.

City leaders say it's part of their plan to make Wheeling's downtown area better for pedestrians.

Mayor Glenn Elliott -- and other city leaders -- say they think changing it could encourage more people to the downtown area as cars slow down for pedestrians.

"Sometimes when you have one-way traffic, cars go faster than you would like them to go and Wheeling is no different,” Elliott said. “Sometimes Main Street cars go down that hill 30 or 40 mph.”

In June, city council voted 6-1 to study the downtown traffic patterns.

Now, the mayor says he was notified by the West Virginia Division of Highways that the study will be paid for by state and federal government covering 90 percent. The city will only have to cover 10 percent.

He says he's hoping that study could be done by 2019, but he adds this is only the first step on a possible change.

"Drivers may not like it at first, but at the end of the day, downtown would be improved and more people would want to come downtown and two-wat traffic is just one piece -- not the only piece -- to revitalizing the downtown,” Elliott said.

The city could only have to pay about $4,500 for the study.

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