By Ann McCreary
Second Avenue between Glover Street and Highway 20 in Twisp, now designated a one-way street, will change to two-way traffic later this month.
The Twisp Town Council approved the change to two-way traffic, with parallel parking along both sides, at its June 13 meeting.
The street was designated as one-way eastbound on that block about 10 years ago, due to safety concerns about traffic entering Highway 20 from Second Avenue, according to town officials.
Returning the street to two-way traffic is intended to improve traffic flow in the downtown area, particularly if a portion of Third Avenue is closed to accommodate a proposed new civic building that would extend partially into that street.
Police Chief Paul Budrow said motorists frequently don’t see the signs designating Second Avenue a one-way street on that block, and turn their vehicles onto the street in the wrong direction.
Budrow said he favored designating parallel parking on both sides of the street because it provided wider traffic lanes than an alternative considered by the town that proposed angled parking on one side.
The street currently has angled parking on one side and parallel on the other. Changing to parallel parking on both sides will result in four fewer parking places, said Howard Moss, interim public works director.
Moss said he talked with the two businesses that front Second Avenue on that block — a feed store and dental clinic. Both were supportive of the change to two-way traffic with parallel parking.
“I’m wholly supportive of making it two-way,” Moss said. “I don’t think Twisp needs one-way streets. Second Avenue is a safe place to direct traffic onto the highway.”
Moss said the change on Second Avenue could be accomplished in about two weeks, when public works crews plan to paint parking lines on town streets.
Council member Hans Smith voted against the change, saying he had concerns about whether vehicles could safely enter Highway 20 from Second Avenue.