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Flaggs cancels plans to make Washington Street one way on weekends

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Mayor George Flaggs Jr. speaking at June 15 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. (Photo via VTV video screen grab)

Wednesday evening during a public hearing, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. rescinded his plans to alter traffic on weekend nights on Washington Street in downtown Vicksburg.

Before the hearing, a resolution was made available that Flaggs said he would present Thursday to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, which indicated Washington Street would be made one-way Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. until midnight. The purpose of the plan was to allow restaurants to expand further toward the street to allow for more outdoor seating.

Following a presentation by local business owner Daryl Hollingsworth, Flaggs said he was canceling the plan and would not be addressing the idea Thursday with the board.

Hollingsworth presented the Mayor with a study that says one-way traffic has an adverse effect on downtown business areas. He also questioned whether the proposed traffic realignment was related to COVID-19. Hollingsworth owns numerous pieces of downtown property, including the Watermark, which is inside the area where the proposed traffic realignment was to take place. He stated during the hearing and reiterated to this reporter that he was not in any way against restaurant expansion but disagreed with using one-way traffic.

Flaggs asked who else opposed the plan and several people raised their hands. At that point, he made the decision to cancel the plan and abruptly ended the hearing after less than 10 minutes.

The Vicksburg Daily News will be sitting down with Hollingsworth Thursday to further discuss the issue.

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