A public meeting was held Wednesday in Lexington’s Central Library to discuss the results of a study on converting the city’s one-way streets. Paid for by grant money and carried out by Canadian firm Stantec, the study suggests two-way roads improve traffic flow, but there are different trade-offs depending on city region.
The study says Main and Vine streets could be converted to roads with either one lane each way with a central turn lane, or two lanes each way. The conversion would cost between $800,000 and $2.75 million, and would reduce traffic speeds, increasing travel time. However, Stantec Principal Tom Creasey says two-way roads downtown could bring several benefits.
“…that reduce circuitous travel, and thus making it easier for visitors finding their way around town, more routing options on how to get from Point A to Point B, especially in the event of an incident and detours, and also the visibility for businesses,” he explained
The city is taking a wait-and-see attitude as it studies the potential traffic effects from the Newtown Pike Extension and Town Branch Commons. Stantec also examined roads outside the downtown corridor, with their report suggesting that converting northern streets such as 2nd and Short would have more benefits than drawbacks. However, for streets near the University of Kentucky, Creasey was less optimistic.
"If the South Area streets were converted to 2-way, one of the things we would definitely would see would be more traffic backups on certain streets and South Limestone, particularly in the mornings, would be one of those," he said.
The results are awaiting public feedback, and more information can be found online.