Updated:TAVARES, Fla. —
Some homeowners in Tavares said their lives would be turned upside down if city leaders make two downtown streets one-way.
The city wants to make the downtown area more pedestrian-friendly and create a gateway to the dining district. But residents on Alfred and Caroline streets said the changes will come at their expense.
Longtime resident Tracy Schievenin is concerned about the multimillion-dollar project that will change the face of downtown Tavares.
"I think it's going to be nothing but a mess, honestly," Schievenin said.
Schievenin doesn't like the city's plan to convert Alfred and Caroline streets, both currently two-way streets running parallel, into one-way roads.
"This project improves safety significantly," Tavares City Administrator John Drury said.
Drury said the idea is to connect the downtown neighborhoods to the waterfront area so the trip is more walkable. The change to one-way should also improve traffic flow during events, Drury said.
"Will it assist in the entrance and exit of people coming to events? Yes. Was that its primary reason? No," Drury said.
Despite the benefits, Schievenin worries about her 4-year-old daughter and busy traffic.
"It's going to be a lot more traffic and I think it's going to be a mess. I hope nobody gets hurt," Schievenin said.
The road work and a new storm drain system is expected to be finished by the end of 2014.