Survey seeks opinion about changes on Barstow St., Graham Ave. in Eau Claire

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Acoustic Cafe is a favorite downtown spot for Jake Lindgren.

He's lived in Eau Claire his whole life and says he is downtown everyday. And so when S. Barstow St. changed from a one way to a two way road last fall, he expected some confusion.

"I was anticipating there would be a struggle," he said.

But to his surprise, the change has gone smoothly. Even made things a little easier.

"I can turn both ways as opposed to a single way or heading down a block to loop back around," he said.

At the Acoustic Cafe, Cathy Tepaske says it even made business better.

"We have seen an increase, we'd always like more business, but we have seen a positive increase," she said.

And it is feedback like this Bob McCoy hopes to get from an online survey sent out to 2,300 Chamber members and representatives.

It is an idea hatched from a chamber meeting last September after concern from downtown business owners.

"We had a very large response as far as surveys go," McCoy said.

While he would not release early results, he says reaction about the change has been positive. There have been some concerns though with delivery trucks needing to unload and load, he said.

"And I think that's one of the biggest issues of people who responded to the survey," he said.

"You still have a few slip ups periodically and stuff like that," said Benny Haas, owner of Pizza Plus in Eau Claire.

He says he has seen more traffic go by in front of his business since the change. But has heard the same issues about parking.

"There's been more tickets coming through and that’s hard to explain to customers," he said.

Still, the response has been good he says. The setup even gets approval from Casey Dormanen and Caitlin Everts, two UWEC students making their first trip downtown today.

"It was actually easy to handle the roads and everything," Everts said.

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