Last of the One-Way Streets in Odessa Could Soon Become Two-Way Streets

By Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - A proposal before the Odessa City Council could pave the way for the last of the one-way streets in town to become two-way streets.

City officials say it's a necessary move but they're not the only ones behind it.

A handful of streets in downtown Odessa were the most recent ones to get a change in direction.

That was about six years ago.  If this proposal gets the green light, close to 19 city blocks on Tom Green and Hancock, will see the same.

"Those are the last 2 one-way streets in the City of Odessa," City of Odessa Traffic Coordinator, Hal Feldman said.

Feldman says several factors played a role in the decision to make this proposal.
A recent traffic study that showed the low traffic on these streets and a request from a property owner.

They're trying to redevelop a property and thought that it could generate more business with a 2-way operation than a 1-way operation," Feldman said.

Even though the majority of the 19 block stretch of road is primarily residential, business owners like Doyle Shoemaker of Four Seasons Plumbing on Hancock are glad the subject finally came up.

It would bring more traffic our way, for business.  This street seldom gets used because it's a one-way street.  So, I think it's a good idea," Shoemaker said.

Libby Almada is the General Manager of Brownback Sales on Tom Green and she says hey have a different issue they want to see taken care of.

We have people coming the wrong way all the time.  Two or three times when I was turning from 8th to Tom Green, I almost got into a head on collision with other vehicles," Almada said.

Converting the one ways into two ways should only run the city about $2,000 and take a couple of months to complete.

"We don't have to make any traffic signal changes.  We'll be going out, changing markings on the roadway and doing some sign work," Feldman said.

Almada says she's thankful for the positive effect the street changes could have on business, she's also hopeful the changes go in effect before something serious happens.

"I feel that would be wonderful," Almada said.  "They're going to avoid a real bad accident.  They're waiting for someone to get killed to do something about it?"

The first reading of this proposal happened at Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

It still has to go through one more reading next month before Council members can vote for or against it.