Four Streetscape “concepts” unveiled

An engineer/design company at work on Walhalla’s Streetscape project trotted out four concepts last night and stressed it’s too early in the process to know exactly what to recommend to the mayor and city council. Representatives of the Seamon Whiteside Company said they were pleased by the public’s reaction to the project during a five-hour workshop yesterday followed by a 90-minute presentation last evening in a vacant storefront in the downtown. And, afterward Mayor Danny Edwards agrees about the public’s reaction. “We’ve had tremendous support. People tell me everyday they can’t wait for it to start,” he said. If Seamon Whiteside’s timetable works out, a recommendation on which plan to adopt will be ready for city council action in December and construction could start in January. The construction manager for the general contractor, the Town and Country, was present for last night’s presentation. The design-engineers floated ideas for concepts that would include a two-lane Main Street downtown with grass or vegetation medians, as well as one that would retain a four-lane Main Street. But they stressed that among the questions to be decided are whether Walhalla wants two or four lanes from Ann to Tugaloo and whether to keep Main Street angle parking or switch to parallel parking. As Seamon Whiteside’s Blake Sanders put it, a lot is possible at this point including what he called “reverse-angle parking.” But Sanders conceded that, in the end, how much Walhalla can spend will dictate how much is done.  Possibilities including better signs, street side benches, new trees, and safer crosswalks.