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More cities looking at two-way traffic

November 18, 2009

The city of Lexington heard from downtown business owners Tuesday about the need to convert one-way streets through the heart of the city to two-way thoroughfares.

From the Herald-Leader

Gay Reading, an owner of Greentree Antiques and Tea Room, said converting Short Street and Second Street from one-way to two-way would be a “huge boost” for his shop and nearby businesses.

“We are very anxious to have two-way streets restored to downtown,” Reading said. He described one-way streets as “a nightmare,” especially when trying to give people directions on the telephone. Reading said he was authorized to speak on behalf of L.V. Harkness, Belle Maison and Trillium, whose owners also want two-way traffic.

It’s the same argument that’s being used in Owensboro as part of the downtown revitalization efforts. A traffic study is under way to determine how to change Owensboro’s one-way streets through downtown to reroute truck traffic and encourage more patronage of downtown businesses.

Apparently Owensboro and Lexington aren’t alone in the push toward two-way streets, according to Lexington Planning Director Chris King.

From the Herald-Leader –

City planning director Chris King said communities across the country are converting one-way streets to two-way. Two-way streets were made one-way during the 1960s and 1970s “when so much emphasis was placed on automobiles,” he said.

Studies have shown that two-way streets help businesses, make it easier to drive around downtown and create a more positive environment for pedestrians.

Owensboro is investing $300,000 in a downtown traffic study that will include information about returning Second and Fourth streets to two-way traffic.

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