Murray city leaders, students look to other options for 16th Street

Murray city leaders are scrapping the original plans for the 16th Street project. The street runs right through the middle of Murray State University’s campus. 

After listening to feedback from those living in the city and Murray State students, Murray city leaders say they want to do the project right the first time.

The state gave the city of Murray $800,000 to study how to best remedy 16th Street. The Murray Road Department conducted a study in 2013. With more than 7,100 cars and 4,600 people using the road every day, Murray State students, faculty, and staff say the road is a danger to drivers and pedestrians. That’s why students met with Murray city leaders to voice their concerns. Both groups believe starting over is for the better.

16th street is one of the busiest in town for pedestrians and drivers and, while progress has slowed down, students say safety is the number one concern and want to get involved.

Murray State Student Government President Clinton Combs says the student government considered cost, parking, and convenience, but they couldn’t support any of the plans. "Unfortunately," he says. "None of them fit the overall goal we wanted."

Murray Mayor Jack Rose listened when the students could not give their support. He says the three plans have been put to the side. Rose says the students are an asset in their town. He says hearing new ideas and putting together new plans does not put the project behind.

"Maybe we ought to slow this down, and I think the biggest issue is let’s get it right," Rose says.

But the goal for 16th Street goes back to one point: the safety of the students. And, for something that could change their campus forever, the students want to help do it correctly.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make some change to 16th Street," Combs says.

Rose says sometime in the next couple of months they’ll want to close 16th Street to research other routes drivers would take. He says the city has not used all the $800,000 from the state. He estimates that, with new research this round, the total will be brought to $500,000.

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