Main Street traffic test will start on Monday

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo’s test of a three-lane section of Main Street starts Monday.
The Public Works Department will restripe a portion of Main Street on Sunday in preparation for the trial, which is slated to last at least six weeks and is designed to see if fewer lanes will make downtown more appealing to visitors and non-motorists.
Crews on Sunday will cover the current stripes and place temporary striping from Green Street to Elizabeth Street, a stretch that is now four lanes.
The new configuration will be two lanes with a center turn lane in downtown. In Fairpark, the road will be restriped to have one lane of traffic in each direction, in addition to the current medians and turning bays.
The on-street parking will remain in downtown and in Fairpark.
A dedicated left-turn signal at the Front and Main streets intersection will be turned on during the test. Digital message boards will help direct traffic on both ends of the project during the test.
The new design is being proposed by the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, whose master plan calls for a $2.9 million overhaul of a section of Main Street to make it more appealing to shoppers, diners and tourists.
The City Council already has given the group the go-ahead for the project. It also has committed money, enabling Main Street to secure state and federal funding for 80 percent of the project. However, council members have not approved a specific design, pending results of the test.
The restriping will last from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, weather permitting.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@journalinc.com.