The City of Valdosta's decision to move on one-waying a portion of Oak Street by Valdosta State University now rather than later is to be commended.

Given this newspaper's 2005 Editorial Objective push for one-waying portions of Ashley and Patterson streets and with the Oak Street change considered a prelude to the one-waying of Ashley and Patterson, sooner is by all means better to us.

But sooner is also better for VSU and Valdosta. A few weeks ago, Valdosta City Council approved the one-waying of Oak by VSU for a trial period throughout the fall. The problem with City Council's original plan was the Oak Street one-waying wouldn't start until nearly the end of summer when thousands of students return to VSU, public schools are back in session, most vacations are over, and the city is thrumming with renewed activity.

By opening the VSU-Oak Street area to one-way traffic now, the transition should be smoother. Year-round Valdosta residents can become familiar with the new traffic flow before VSU students return in late summer.

Still, local motorists should proceed with caution. This is a change. We think it is a good change that will be a stepping stone in more freely circulating traffic through the city. For motorists already acquainted with the one-way portion of Oak by VSU, be ready for drivers, unaware of the change, following old habits. If you haven't driven the newly one-wayed Oak Street yet, you may want to make a point of driving through it so you aren't caught unaware of the change a little further down the road.

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