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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Street construction affects local businesses traffic

  • Since the start of summer, much of downtown McPherson has remained under construction.
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  • Since the start of summer, much of downtown McPherson has remained under construction.
    A reconstruction project began on east First Street after the end of the school year, and a mill and overlay project recently finished on North Main. A Nova Chip project has already begun on south Main Street.
    With reduced lanes and minimal parking, local shop owners are noticing an effect in the number of customers walking through their doors.
    “It's definitely had an affect,” said Steve Mulch, owner of Guys N' Gals. “June is usually a good month for us, especially with Father's Day. It just so happened that our side of the street was cut off that weekend.”
    The Main Street project is reducing the otherwise four-lane street into two lanes, with parking cut off on one end of the road.
    Janey Anderson, owner of A5 Western, said the lack of parking may be affecting traffic for local businesses.
    “Lots of people like to drive downtown and shop,” she said. “But if they can't find a parking space, they won't come in and shop.”
    Susan Hawley, co-owner of Nooks and Crannies, said walk-ins have slowed considerably.
    “People walking in and looking around has come to a screeching halt,” she said.
    Not all businesses claimed to have been greatly affected.
    Linda Rounds, owner of The Bookshelf and Hidden Closet, said while traffic in her store had slowed down, extra parking in the back of her business likely encouraged more to enter her store.
    “I actually met a few people I've never seen before,” she said. “I imagine (the construction) would have been bad for other businesses.”
    Richard Ragan, owner of Brown's Shoe Fit Co. in McPherson, said while there were a few slow points from day-to-day, overall traffic in his business wasn't an issue.
    “At most, you'd get people griping that they had to walk,” he said.
    Steven Schmidt, interim public works director, said that the mill and overlay project on north Main Street has completed, and the Nova Chip project on south Main Street should be completed by the end of the week. Schmidt said Main Street will continue to be separated to allow the asphalt time to set before painting in new stripes for parking stalls.
    Schmidt said at most, striping will begin in two weeks.
    “We don't want it to go too long, but we can't go too soon,” he said.
    Schmidt also wished to remind the public that First Street, from Cedars to Hartup, will be closed on Saturday.
    Page 2 of 2 - Contact Joseph Tuszynski at jtuszynski@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @JoeTSentinel.
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