South Bend, Ind. A proposed change to the way we drive through Downtown South Bend is sparking some debate among the city's administration.
Right now South Bend has one-way, four-lane thoroughfares that run both north and south, getting cars through town as quickly as possible.
But some say there's growing evidence that restoring two-way streets would help support local businesses and create a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly downtown.
Mayor Buttigieg's proposed 2014 budget sets aside some $11 million for the plan, which already has its critics. Among those opposed are Council President Derek Dieter and Third District Councilwomen Valerie Schey.
They say the amount of money needed for the project would be better spent elsewhere and, with an anticipated $8 million decline in the city's property tax revenue's next year, the timing isn't right.
Plus, Deiter says he hasn't seen any research about the financial rewards that two-way streets would bring to South Bend.
“If there's something that they can show me that it'd be advantageous and there would be a spike in business or retail or population density coming because of that,” says South Bend Council President Derek Dieter. “Then yeah, I would look at it more, but as far as I'm concerned now, I'm totally against spending that much amount of money to do that.”
Dieter says a majority of council members have issues with the proposal. The deadline for a final plan will come in late October when the city budget must be finalized.