Public reaction Wednesday to a proposed downtown traffic and parking plan was like the weather — mixed.
Organizers of the 4:30 p.m. meeting for the general public kept tight control of the session by not providing an opportunity for citizens to verbally ask questions or comment in front of the group.
Instead, attendees were asked to submit written questions and comments, which a committee comprised of elected officials, planners, business owners and economic development representatives will review in about a week, said Tim Mayle, Findlay-Hancock County Alliance assistant economic development director.
Citizens also were encouraged to ask questions of planners, engineers and officials who helped develop the proposed plans, while looking at sketches that were set up in the Findlay Inn’s atrium.
Mayle said organizers wanted to provide an opportunity for one-on-one discussions with the experts, so people could quickly and efficiently get their questions answered and concerns addressed.
“I think that brings validation to all of it,” Mayle said.
The downtown plan calls for reducing the driving lanes from four lanes to two on several blocks of Main Street. That would make room for angled parking along both sides of the street, creating additional parking spaces. Motorists would be asked to back into those parking spots, which is referred to as “reverse-angled parking.”
In addition, the distance that pedestrians walk to cross Main Street would be narrowed, and medians would be placed in the middle of the street, separating the driving lanes.
Three meetings about the traffic plan were held Wednesday, and were structured differently. The first two meetings, for the business community and the Findlay Young Professionals group, allowed for input and interaction from participants.
Some who attended the general public meeting, the last of the day, said they were unhappy about their session.
“I came in and asked … how many questions are going to be allowed? I was told no limit. I asked if they will all be answered, and I was told yes,” said Brad Ehrnschwender. “I don’t feel as if I’m alone in the fact that I thought this was going to be some kind of a Q&A session.”
Courier reporter Joy Brown will have more on Thursday.