Not everyone is happy with Smart Street progress

Published: Oct. 14, 2016 at 9:59 PM EDT
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The latest phase of the South Bend Smart Streets program is up and running.

As of Friday morning, stretches of Main and Michigan are now two-way.

The project is supposed to make the traffic flow easier and bring beauty to downtown.

"We think the bread and butter of the project is this downtown area because what you're going to see is the new street pattern that gets those vehicles going at a little bit more of a human pace," Mayor Pete Buttigieg said.

But with constant construction and bumper to bumper traffic being so prevalent, many have come to the same consensus.

"I think the roundabouts are stupid," Timothy Cook said.

"Do they really think that's a good idea?" Justin Harris said. "And I'm just like, I refuse to drive on these streets when I get my drivers license."

"I feel like they're slowing down traffic a little bit too much," Andrew Temple said.

Cars stopped in the middle of intersections have become an all too common sight.

"Americans- they're just in a rush nowadays," Harris said. "They want to get to their destination really soon and they're just like 'Oh! I gotta beat this next light! I don't want to be stuck here!' And I feel like everybody's just trying to rush nowadays and no one has any patience."

But not all people hate it.

"I think that it's definitely steps in the right direction." Brooke Kostielney said.

And if you're coming from out of town, there's really no complaints.

"I don't know... I mean, no, it wasn't bad," Christy and George Steffens said. "It really wasn't horrible. It really wasn't bad at all."

It's not the streets most people have problems with. It's other people.

"People around south bend don't seem to know how to use a roundabout," Temple said. "That's the big thing!"

"If you knew which lane you needed to be in when you turn into the road, it wouldn't be that hard to get to the lane that you wanted," Cook said.

"Just actually, like look at your surrounding around you, like, come on," Harris said. "It can't really be that hard if everyone tried to do it."

So, while the construction and the traffic may be obnoxious, to make things more comfortable it might be worth reviewing the rules of the road.

For those of you avoiding downtown, the road construction should be done by the end of the year. But they will be working on the landscaping aspects into next spring.