Approximately 120 Oak Street residents have submitted a petition to the Bonham Department of Parking and Traffic, requesting that the existing one-way section of Oak Street, going east between Main and 15th streets, be extended to the block of Oak Street between 15th and Lake.

In order to get as much neighborhood feedback as possible, Transportation Planner Harry Young has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Thursday, December 15 at 9:30 a.m., in Room 210 at City Hall.

Henry Norton, the chairman of the Friends of Bonham City’s planning committee, which supports the proposed change, says the current situation — with only one block one-way and the other two-way — has created congestion at Oak and 15th. “People think they can turn up Oak [going west, from Lake] and miss 10th Street, but then they dead-end and have to turn left onto 15th, which is only 40 feet wide and not configured to be a through the street,” Norton said.

“It’s okay to have a one-way street”, he concluded, “but make it between two thoroughfares, Main and Lake. This will help create a coherent traffic flow for those who want to use Oak Street to go out of the neighborhood, and make a big difference, in terms of quietness and safety, to the residents of 15th and Oak streets”.

When Norton discussed the change with his neighbors, one Oak Street couple expressed concern “that the intersection at Oak and Lake, which is so dangerous, would be made worse.” he said. The intersection has stop signs on Oak Street and flashing stoplights on 15th, which automatically shut off at dusk.

“They’re right,” he said, “When Oak Street goes one-way Oak and Lake needs to be reconfigured, either with stoplights or four-way stop signs.” Fortunately, he added. Traffic and Parking already have plans to do just this, whether Oak Street changes or not.