ASHLAND, Ky. — Imagine downtown Ashland with just two lanes running through it instead of four.
Ashland Board of Commissioner Amanda Clark thinks the idea could work.
Clark floated the idea during a discussion on revitalizing downtown Ashland at a June meeting. She presented her fellow commissioners with a report that showed how Ashland could move in a similar direction as Greenville, South Carolina. One of the main points she mentioned was renovating Winchester from four lanes to two, expanding the sidewalks and adding diagonal parking.
“We don’t want to build a city for the sake of attraction. We want to revitalize the downtown for the people who live here,” said Clark.
The area Clark mentioned bringing down to two lanes was 13th to 18th streets. There would be no renovations done to 14th street where the traffic from the bridges merges with downtown.
One of the main complaints Clark has heard when the idea comes up is the premise that no one will be able to get through this area.
“I don’t want anyone to just get through here,” said Clark. “I want you to drive to Winchester and park your car and go into a store. We want the traffic to slow down and be a destination for the people.”
Clark said Ashland is already like Greenville in a lot of ways.
Greenville was a textile industry before these industrial outlets closed. They were able to bring in BMW that created an initial 600 jobs for the city. They also brought in an anchor hotel.