Planned improvements to Manufacturers Road have been welcomed as a step in cleaning up the last vestiges of downtown's dirty past, but residents who drive the road daily are concerned beautification efforts may have unintended consequences.

Artist renderings of the plans show two lanes of the road being replaced by sidewalks and bike lanes. Bob Davies, who lives on Stringer's Ridge, says that could cause headaches -- and dangerous driving conditions. Since the Manning Street ramp to U.S. Highway 27 is closed, Davies and many of his neighbors rely on Manufacturers Road to get downtown.

"Manufacturers Road services many industries, and many of those vehicles are 18-wheelers that are loaded. To make that road a two-lane would increase congestion, and I believe would make for a more hazardous situation for motor vehicles," Davies said in an email Friday.

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