The city council has changed its mind about turning Ninth Street into a one-way street.
During Monday’s meeting, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen rescinded its previous action to turn Ninth Street into a one-way street. The entrance to the emergency room of Baptist Medical Center Yazoo is located on Ninth Street, and hospital administrators asked the city council to reconsider the idea of making Ninth Street a one-way street.
Rob Coleman, CEO of Baptist Medical Center Yazoo, sent a letter of reconsideration to Mayor Diane Delaware and Alderwoman Elizabeth Thomas.
“Our emergency entrance is on Ninth Street,” the letter reads. “Making the street one-way would require that any vehicle traveling on Grand Avenue make the block before gaining access to the hospital. In an emergency situation, seconds matter.”
“Hospital visitors enter by Ninth Street as well with the parking striped for that means of entry,” the letter continues. “If the street were made to travel east only, it would require visitors on Grand Avenue to make another block to enter the parking area.”
The board’s decision to previously turn Ninth Street into a one-way street was approved during a city council meeting last month.
“The hospital has requested this through security for years,” Delaware said.
However, Rucker said he spoke with hospital administrators who said they did not want Ninth Street to be a one-way street. Coleman’s letter was also sent after the board’s original action.
“I accept that Baptist hospital may have changed their minds,” Delaware said. “But we were asked to do that. But I have no issue with it. (Alderman Andre Lloyd) is also very aware that Baptist Hospital asked us to do that.”
“What,” asked Rucker. “Six years ago? I talked to them, and they said they did not.”
Rucker added that he would like to see future requests, contracts and other information provided to the city council as a whole.
“It is hard for me to trust people when we have been through this more than one time,” Rucker said. “We were told that this person said this, and that this other person said this. And then they would come (before us) and clear it up. We were told that Baptist wanted this, and then they told us that they did not. I can’t trust what some people say.”