WAR IN THE STREETS

If Mayor Jim Langfelder needs a second gig, he might want to consider being a traffic engineer. After announcing a plan to close Adams Street to vehicular traffic on weekends, the mayor now says that he wants to allow parklets – think jersey barriers fronting bars and restaurants that allow for al fresco while protecting patrons from cars – on both sides of Adams Street while retaining a single lane that would allow cars to keep going westward on the one-way street. Langfelder says he made his call after speaking with concerned business owners, including proprietors of JP Kelly's, a bar, and Haxel Law, a law firm that's been on Adams Street for at least five years. Noise from live music that would be played on a closed street, also, is a concern, the mayor said. "The compromise that I came up with was...if you put parklets on both sides of Adams Street, which is kind of narrow anyway, you get some outdoor seating and you enable just one lane of traffic going through." The owner of JP Kelly's couldn't be reached for comment. "I just want traffic flowing down the street and reasonable controls to be kept on outdoor noise," says Martin Haxel, owner of the law firm, whose building also has residential tenants. "I think it is a given that most people just want to be able to get where they want to go easily and park nearby. That means keeping a street a street."