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Olive Street now one-way to create parking

Olive Street, to the surprise and joy of Spectrum India owner Jagdish Sachdev, has recently gone one-way.

Several College Hill residents, including Sachdev, successfully lobbied for the road to run only east to west, while others tried to keep it running both ways, according to Will Touret, president of the College Hill Neighborhood Association.

Sachdev told The Herald that he spoke to City Councilman Cliff Wood, D-Ward 2, over the summer about making Olive Street one-way to increase the number of parking spots around campus. "Parking is a mess," he said. "There isn't much parking here and 15 (added) spaces would make a difference."

Sachdev, who said he was "surprised Brown people didn't do anything (about the street) on their own," complained to the University about the lack of parking more than a year ago, he said. When the University did not act, he decided to meet with Wood himself.

Sachdev said he was unaware the street had been legally changed to one-way, and upon being informed, happily exclaimed, "I had no idea."

It is easy to see how Sachdev could have overlooked the change - there is no signage at the Thayer Street-Olive Street intersection indicating the street is one-way, though there is one at the intersection of Brown Street and Olive.

But not everyone is happy about the change. A private citizen e-mailed Wood on Oct. 2, a day after Olive Street became one-way, pointing out that Angell, Olive and Meeting Streets now form three consecutive east to west one-way streets. "Commuter traffic from the West (coming up College, Waterman or South Court/Meeting streets) must now funnel from three to six blocks north on either Prospect or Brown streets to Bowen Street in order to reach Thayer Street," increasing traffic in an already congested area, she wrote.

Touret told The Herald that the essence of the complaints was that there wasn't enough public discussion about the issue, noting the lack of communication between East Side residents and the City Plan Commission. "In the process of making these changes, the left hand never seems to know what the right hand is doing," Touret said of Touret said the upcoming construction on Angell will "make the whole area more of a mess - so you would think you'd want to allow some sort of east-west direction sooner than Bowen Street."


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