A portion of Doughty Avenue may become permanently closed after Meadville City Council temporarily closed it for safety reasons last spring.
The section of Doughty Avenue between North Main Street and Laird Avenue faced a severe washout as well as the failure of a sandstone box culvert running under the street, which led to safety and financial concerns. The section has been closed to traffic since April.
To raise, realign and properly drain that section of the street would cost $577,000, according to summary documents provided by City Council.
Deputy City Manager Gary Johnson explained at Wednesday's work session that the city sent out a survey to 56 residents of the area, 16 of which were in favor of closing the section of street, three wanted the roadway to remain open, one respondent did not care and 36 surveyed did not respond.
Reasons given to close the section of Doughty Avenue included reduced speeding and use of the street as a shortcut, the “dangerous” acute angle of the intersection of Doughty and North Main, the overall disrepair of the section and rare use. Reasons to keep the road open were having a second way to downtown and faster emergency services access.
The summary report also detailed Doughty Avenue had 115 vehicles per day compared to Park Avenue’s 3,400 vehicles per day average.
In light of the survey results and the prohibitive repair costs given the lack of traffic, Johnson said the planning commission voted unanimously to recommend that council close the section of the road.
“It probably started out as a dirt road 100 years ago,” Councilman John Battaglia said. “I think it’s about time we close it. It would probably make that neighborhood a little bit more private."
City Manager Andy Walker emphasized how dangerous the intersection is, saying, “Every driver I think that drives it feels unsafe. It doesn’t feel right.”
Walker said the city would prepare a resolution for the Aug. 21 meeting to vote on the closure recommendation.
Tyler Dague can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.