Will the popular bypass downtown be one way or two way?

HANCOCK — One-way or two-way? It’s the question the city of Hancock will have to answer concerning a popular bypass from downtown.

It’s a relatively short stretch of road with a long history of debate. White Street in Hancock is currently closed to through traffic for water main replacement, but when it reopens next month, will it allow two-way traffic?

Should the White Street bypass be one-way, or two-way?

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In 2014, the Hancock City Council made White Street one-way to reduce the wear on the city-owned road that is often used by motorists to bypass downtown Hancock coming to and from the north.

At the time,the two-lane residential street saw nearly 5,700 vehicles a day, with over 3,300 heading up the hill.

Since it was made one-way, the number of vehicles using White Street to go up has increased by 43%.

Going back to two-way may only make it worse, maybe to as much as 8,000 vehicles per day.

Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson said, “If it was made two-way again, it would be triple the traffic flow the next highest city street. It already has a much traffic with one-way up as part of US-41 in the city and, of course, it was never designed for a bypass, so the issue the city has from an operational perspective is the subbase, the depth of the blacktop, drainage, railings, safety, width is all a significant issue for us from a safety perspective.”

But some residents say the city has merely exchanged one problem for another.

They say making White Street one-way has led to motorists speeding down other streets, making them unsafe.

Anderson said, “There are some neighborhoods who think they’re getting more pass-through traffic because of White Street, Scott Street in particular. There’s only two other options—Scott Street and Elevation Street—and both have issues related to more traffic as well, as far as flow. But that’s part of the overall discussion.”

The city agreed to put speed bumps on Scott Street to slow traffic down.

A public hearing is scheduled for June 21st at 7:30 p.m. to hear comments on both issues.