Sunday, August 23, 2009

What Is Happening On Two Way Streets

Today's question is about the impending change of the one-way streets in downtown to two-way streets. There has been much said about it in the press this spring, at least to a point, then nothing. They say it has to do with the "complete streets" concept yet beyond the streetscape project currently in progress very little has been publicized.

I am aware of several meetings of a "working committee" about the first pair of one-ways to be considered, Second St and Short St. There have been visual inventories made with aerial photos and a video taken along the two streets and lots of notes. I also hope that there have been discussions with more than a few of the affected businesses and property owners.

I think that we all have heard the fall out from the South Limestone corridor owners and their claims(valid or not) of a lack of timely notice, understanding of the total concept or awareness of the late changes in the scope of work. If there is any way that these problems could be avoided in this venture, can we make sure that we do it RIGHT this time?

I read from the comments on a post on UrbanCincy, that some Cincinnati council members are also considering the elimination of some of their one-ways, and Charlotte, NC. has already started.

The controversy in Charlotte also appears to be very similar to Lexington, in that they have a number of one-ways like Vine St. No storefronts or places for pedestrians to pause for, and certainly no reason for the autos to slow down for. The wide roadway and timed lights make for a quick way to get through town but absolutely no reason to stop in town. Vine St is not a destination(Main St is little better) so it is no wonderthat during the '70s and '80s some people thought of proposing to bridge it when considering the redevelopment of some of the downtown blocks, a la the Galleria proposal.

It seems like such a simple thing to do, just make one of the lanes flow in the opposite direction, but after many decades of living with the traffic flow as it is it could be a traumatic situation for some. Some of these streets have been one-way for better than 70 years, but changing them to two-way may set the course for the next seventy.

For now, I just want to know what the progress is.

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