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Thread: Two-way street conversions

  1. #1
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    Two-way street conversions

    Does anyone know of good case studies on successful conversions of downtown streets from one-way to two way? The size of the city isn't important. Any help pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Clayobyrne, CB
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    Our city is actually in the midst of a little battle over city plans to switch five blocks of the main downtown commercial street from one-way back to two-way. The idea was proposed by a consultant in the city's downtown plan and supported by city staff and city council. Currently the street has parallel parking on one side, and angled parking on the other side. The sides switch every block, essentially creating chicanes.

    Many see the current design as very pedestrian friendly and worry about two-way traffic, while others believe that auto drivers should be able to travel in both directions and see all of the storefronts without leaving their cars or driving around the block.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Dunno about a case study, but two fairly important streets near where I work (old Street and Great Eastern Street) were changed from 1-way to 2-way in recent years (1-3 yrs ago, can't remember).
    As a pedestrian user of these streets, I haven't noticed a change around the usage trend (which was massively on the up BEFORE the conversion). Cars drive a little slower but you have two directions to check out so I would say that crossing Old Street is unchanged but Great Eastern is maybe harder to cross, now (away from the improved crossing sites, which are another issue).
    Driving-wise, it seems to work a bit better, though the connecting streets (these two streets are semi-parallel) are often narrow/one-way or even dead ends.

    I guess the imapct would be greater in the case of a smaller urban context not as rich/complicated as East London and where there are two aprallel main drags that are 1-way. I've expereinced that in the US beofre (liek in Coral Gables) and I didn't like it as a a motorist.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    K, Try Ann Arbor, similar sized area to what you are probably looking at.

    http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/0203/Aug11_03/01.shtml
    "State Street Development Project: An Urban Design Workbook." A study by the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the Ford School of Public Policy and the Business School JT

  5. #5
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    This doesn't look to be shaping up as an easy fight. As always it's engineers vs. planners. I need as much ammunition as I can get to advocate for two-way traffic.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Albuquerque recently converted a number of one-way streets to two-way in our downtown. There was lots of grumbling about it when it first happened (myself included) because it disrupted people's normal driving patterns, but I think it has overall been a good thing for downtown redevelopment.

    The one way streets were good at moving people through downtown, but not so good at facilitating movement within downtown (it was harder to go around the block with the one-way configurations). To make the area a destination unto itself (which a downtown should be), this kind of connectivity is pretty darn important.

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