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North Cedar Phase II Underway, Eliminates Street Parking

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
North Cedar Phase II Underway, Eliminates Street Parking

Phase two of Cookeville’s North Cedar Avenue Streetscape project underway, with the removal of streetside parking underway.

Cookeville Public Works Director Mary Beth Elrod said 17 roadside parking spots will be removed. She said the street is too tight for two lanes of traffic and parking on each side of the street. She said this phase of the project spans from 2nd Street to Broad Street just beyond the railroad tracks.

“The on-street parking is convenient, but it’s not safe,” Elrod said. “So, we’ve had many near misses and possible hits of cars, pedestrians, several accidents from people stepping out between cars and not seeing traffic coming.”

Elrod said phase one of the project began at 7th Street and added new sidewalks, bike lanes, and curb and gutter. She said this phase two more challenging because existing sidewalks cannot be removed without affecting businesses. She said crews are focused on repaving the street and hope to have this phase knocked out in under a month.

“Last year, the Public Works Department built the new parking lot there on the city property just south of 37 Cedar,” Elrod said. “We put in 24 parking stalls there, and then we also did a partnership just north of the Biz Foundry on 2nd Street with CRMC and we did striped parking as well, and I believe there’s 20-30 parking spot in that lot.”

She said those lots were added in anticipation of this project. Elrod said the work would also extend a bike lane to the rail trail, making downtown a safer, more mobile area.

“This will be a more safe area for all patrons of the downtown area to get in,” Elrod said. “They will have to park just a little bit farther away in the public parking lot, but they can still, at least for handicap access, pull of to the curb, allow someone to get out, and go park elsewhere.”

She said handicap stalls are being added to all public parking lots as well. She said the city is working with downtown businesses to have their lots designated for public parking after 5:00pm every day.


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