City officials are moving in the right direction with a new traffic plan for the streets around Valdosta State University.

A one-way direction.

On Tuesday, Valdosta City Engineer Von Shipman presented a plan to one-way the main streets along VSU. The goal is to get a "right-hand circulation around VSU," Shipman said. "We want to get people to drive around the university in a clockwise manner."

To accomplish this traffic flow, North Oak Street would become one-way north from Baytree Road to Moore Street. Traffic devices and other features would be added to make this transition safer and more convenient for motorists and the city's traffic flow.

This change should also give VSU students more opportunities to safely cross these busy streets.

But the VSU change would be merely one step in the city's plans to one-way major north-south thoroughfares in Valdosta. Shipman also discussed the coming plans to one-way North Ashley Street, north, and North Patterson Street, south, from the Downtown Valdosta post office to Woodrow Wilson Drive.

The Valdosta Daily Times' support of one-waying Ashley and Patterson streets is no secret. We list it as one of our 2005 Editorial Objectives each day on this page.

One-waying these streets should ease traffic flow in and out of the city on a daily basis. Traffic has more than doubled since 1989, for example, when approximately 8,000 vehicles traveled North Patterson Street each day. Widening the streets, instead of one-waying them, would cost too much in money and time -- time which the city does not have in addressing the ever increasing traffic flow.

We understand that such changes to long-time roads in Valdosta will not be easy. Like many of our editorial objectives, one-waying is part of the growing pains which comes from living in a city with a population, tourism and economy on the rise.

One-waying is the best way to meet Valdosta's traffic needs of today and tomorrow. We see making the area around VSU an integral part of the city's one-waying plans as the only way to go.

A public hearing on the VSU traffic changes is scheduled for the May 19 meeting of the Valdosta City Council.

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