The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Opinion

May 14, 2014

Editorial: CATS proposal may not be convenient

You may never have been inconvenienced by driving behind a City of Anderson Transit System (CATS) bus. For the most part, CATS buses run efficiently and don’t slow the general flow of traffic on city streets.

But wait until drivers get behind a city bus near 14th and Brown-Delaware streets. Most of us may be looking for an alternate route as a string of buses attempt to negotiate into a proposed new CATS bus hub west of the McDonald’s restaurant on 14th Street.

That’s the latest proposed home for the terminal.

Currently, the terminal takes up barely one-quarter of a downtown block in the 1100 block of the southbound-only Main Street. It’s a none-too-attractive gazebo-like structure built in 1975 that could use an upgrade to make it more inviting to downtown commuters. The present location is convenient to those working in the courthouse or city hall.

Finding a new location has been a source of irritation for city leaders. Former Mayor Kris Ockomon had a site all picked out along Main Street on the near-northeast side of downtown. It would have been slightly out-of-reach for most downtown workers.

In October, Mayor Kevin Smith’s administration was at odds with the City Council over a terminal site. The council wanted the open area in front of Anderson Young Ballet Theatre at Meridian and Main streets. Smith wanted the terminal to be at the corner of 14th and Central for which the city had reportedly received federal approval.

Now, the council and Smith have compromised in finding a location at the busy, sometimes traffic-clogged East 14th Street — a two-way, three-lane route with a turn lane.

City officials came to an agreement because they didn’t want their bickering to affect $3.5 million in federal transportation funds. Construction of the terminal will also require Community Development Block Grant funds.

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