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Temporary one-way conversion of Finley Street showing no signs of problems

By: Jenna Nielsen, Journal Staff Writer
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Other than a few confused drivers traveling the wrong way, the conversion of Finely Street to one-way has been pretty smooth, city public works officials said Thursday. “We have had a few people going the wrong way and we are getting the sense that there are a few residents who don’t want to give up,” said Bernie Schroeder, engineering services division manager for the city. “But other than that, we haven’t had any outbursts of protests against it.” Schroeder said city officials are emphasizing that the designation of Finley Street between High and Orange streets as one-way in the southbound direction is a preliminary test. “We just implemented it Monday and it remains to be a trial measure,” she said. “The council hasn’t made any commitments and come January, it will be evaluated and I suggest if it becomes an issue it would be evaluated sooner.” The Auburn City Council unanimously approved the one-way designation at a June 23 meeting in response to concerns of some Finley Street residents whose cars had been hit multiple times by driv-ers. City staff will conduct an evaluation of the program in January 2009. Finley Street resident Chelsea Gorre said Thursday that she was pleased with the conversion. “I think it is a good idea,” Gorre said. “My car was recently hit and I just got the front hood re-paired this week. I know a lot of people’s cars have been hit and so we will see what this change does, but if less cars are getting hit, then it will be a good thing.” The decision to re-structure the street rescinds the council’s May 12 decision to also designate Hale Street as a one-way in the northbound direction. Members of the council requested the item be brought back following an announcement of the ac-tion in local newspapers, including the Auburn Journal. Little opposition was received, city staff said. “We decided to take baby steps instead doing it all at once,” Jack Warren, city public works direc-tor said during the June 23 meeting. “There was an idea to consider only designating Finley one-way and staff believes this is a best solution and certainly worth implementing on a trial basis for the next few months. This will allow time to determine both its effectiveness and allow a ‘getting used to’ period before Placer High School reconvenes in August.” Schroeder said city staff is encouraging feedback from residents. Residents can call (530) 823-4211 ext. 144 with comments. The Journal’s Jenna Nielsen can be reached at jennan@goldcountrymedia.com.