The portion of Muncie Road that's adjacent to Xavier Catholic School could become a one-way street again.
Leavenworth city commissioners seemed supportive of the idea when it was discussed during a meeting Tuesday. Commissioners took no formal action during what was a study session, but they reached a consensus for city officials to move forward with reverting Muncie Road back to a one-way street between Lakeview Drive and Hughes Road.
Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said commissioners will need to change an ordinance to limit the street to one-way traffic.
That section of Muncie Road previously was a one-way street for eastbound traffic. City officials turned the road into a two-way street after Muncie Elementary School, 541 Muncie Road, closed in 2010. The old Muncie School property was acquired by the Leavenworth Regional Catholic Schools, and the property now serves as Xavier Catholic School.
Kitchens said three people who live or own property in the area recently requested that the street be restricted to one-way traffic.
Kitchens said there had been an anticipation that the Catholic school would generate less traffic.
"The traffic is essentially the same," he said.
He said the residents also had concern about drivers speeding as well as the width of the road.
Kitchens said the city's traffic safety committee discussed the issue.
"There is not a strong recommendation one way or another," he said.
He said the Leavenworth Police Department has focused a traffic enforcement effort in the area. He said Muncie Road is probably no different that any street in the city that has an occasional problem with speeders.
Eric Snodgrass, who lives in the area, said he understood the thought process of city officials when they made Muncie a two-way street. But he said residents are concerned about the safety of children who walk in the area.
"It may not help all things," he said of restricting Muncie to one-way traffic.
But he said it may cut down on traffic.
Commissioner Larry Dedeke said he believes the best advice commissioners can receive is from the residents.
Del Sanders, who owns property in the area, said it would be ideal to widen Muncie Road. But he said the necessity to move nearby gas lines would make the project too expensive.
City Manager Scott Miller said city officials postponed a project to widen Muncie Road between Fourth Street and Hughes Road because of the expense of moving a gas line.
"It became a very cost prohibitive project," he said.
Sanders said Muncie Road in that area is "very narrow."
Sam Sanford, another area resident, also expressed concern for children's safety. He believes cutting down the traffic a little will make it safer.
Page 2 of 2 - Kitchens said the principal of Xavier sent a notice to parents about the issue of Muncie becoming a one-way street. He said input from parents was "essentially neutral."
Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Preisinger asked if the residents were asking for the road to be open only for eastbound traffic.
They indicated this was their request.
Kitchens said he would like to make the change during the summer. He said city officials can advertise the change.
None of the four commissioners in attendance voiced opposition to making the change. One commissioner, Davis Moulden, was absent.