The sticky issue of one-way to two-way conversions
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Stuck with one-ways?
Yesterday, The Ticker explored a
possible unlikely conversion of Front St. (Ticker)* into a two-way street. The issue has been raised here before . Generally, I’m in support of it, but don’t necessarily think it is the most pressing issue in the city…now, conversion of our other one-way streets–State St., 7th St, and 8th St.–those are discussions worth having for the immediate future (In the future, I would like to play with the Front St. as a one lane idea though.)
As guest writer Pete Spaulding has explored, State St. under performs as anything other than a conduit for moving and parking cars. While in the neighborhoods, the two broken streets of 7th and 8th inhibit a full functioning city grid while at the same time exacerbating the concerns over speeding traffic. Two way traffic through a residential street helps to smooth and calm traffic, while still utilizing the public right of way efficiently and improving safety.
Most of the arguments against two-ways too heavily focus on congestion, as if it is a disease that shall not be mentioned. Problem is, congestion can actually be a city’s friend in a downtown context. It slows down speeds, it gets more people walking, increases safety and comfort for those walking, and has shown to better serve commercial interests. The term I keep seeing that might apply here, is that two-way streets can help make a place “sticky”, meaning a place that people come to rather than pass through. And, for me, sticky is what we want our community to be.
Read more about one-way/two discussion in Traverse City below the pro and con list:
One-Way/Two-Way Posts in the MyWHaT archive:
- A Temporary One-Way to Two-Way Conversion May Just Stick (James Bruckbauer)
- Part I: One-way & Two-way Streets Reflect a Community’s Priorities (Peter Spaulding)
- Part II: A One-Way Desert of Parking: State Street (Peter Spaulding)
- Part III One-Way to Decrease Residential Livability (Peter Spaulding)
- Conversion of a City’s One-way Street back to a Two-Way Begins with an Ask (GHowe)
* I say unlikely, because it is clear from the comments by city staff most likely to help achieve a conversion that it is a process they don’t want to lead. Without staff leadership, I don’t see conversions going anywhere anytime soon.
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