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A city consultant has found converting St. Paul St. and Clinton Ave. downtown to two-way traffic is feasible. The plan, if implemented, would dramatically change how traffic flows in the Inner Loop. Here’s what the consultants said in their report:

Overall, the study shows that two-way conversion is a feasible option for the full length of both the St. Paul Street/South Avenue and North/South Clinton Avenue corridors. This conversion would cause no noticeable detriment to traffic operations and would greatly improve driver way-finding and business access within the study area. The study further shows that pedestrian mobility will improve slightly with the addition of bulbouts and leading pedestrian intervals at some locations, and that onstreet parking could be increased.

The city made the streets one-way in the 1960s. But in the 1980s, many businesses left downtown. There need to “get people in and get people out” has lessened. Mayor Tom Richards doesn’t want to make it so easy to leave.

The study found the current configuration is not hospitable to bikes, pedestrians and businesses. It’s confusing to visitors, who find themselves circling around and around on one-way streets.

The conversion to two-way traffic would require extensive changes to paving, signage and traffic signals. In some cases, the geometry of the street would have to change.

The total cost is estimated to be $1.6 million to $2.6 million, depending on construction options. The city is now moving to the design phase and is seeking proposals.

11 Responses to Changing Downtown Traffic Flow

  1. May 9, 2012 at 8:34 am Carlos Mercado responds:

    50 years ago we thought the car would solve all transportation problems. We now know better.

  2. May 9, 2012 at 8:40 am dan bass responds:

    Ive lived here all my life….Having these oneways are super-GREAT TRAFFIC FLOW….TO change them is a ver BAD IDEA…..But what do u care— The crooked Major and his cronies dont listen to the people. Look at that large crater in the middle of the city…DISGUSTING!!..A nice lil park with water falls -with and area where food venders can all gather and sell there stuff!

  3. I always figured a 2-way pattern was needed to handle the new Bus terminal whether it was on St. Paul or the old Ren Sq. site.

    I also think the reduction of Main to a 2 lane ave with limited turning lanes is going to be a lot of fun when trying to turn the busses in and out of the new St. Paul terminal onto Main, especially if they are qued like they were at Main & Clinton.

    In any event, the one-way plan was to accomodate an over estimated volume of traffic at peak load times to get to e-way/loop entrances and get out of downtown to the burbs. That’s not such a factor now.

    Tinker, tinker.

  4. May 9, 2012 at 10:09 am Zack responds:

    Sorry Dan Bass. But your thinking is obsolete.

    We Need to make these changes as soon as possible.

    -a cyclist that isn’t trying to evacuate downtown.

  5. May 9, 2012 at 10:39 am Peking Humonculous responds:

    Anyone who lives or works downtown has probably seen, like me, confused motorists going the wrong way down a one way street on occasion. The routing of traffic in the city needs improvement. Trying to drive down Main St with gigantic buses on your right and cars constantly blocking traffic to make left hand turns in front of you can be a bummer.

    • You can thank the City and the RGRTA for that bus on your right shoulder. too bad they’re scrapping the plan a mere 20 years after plauding it as the greatest thing since sliced bread for downtown.

      Bread musta got moldy.

  6. May 9, 2012 at 11:24 am Mike responds:

    I think this is a great idea! It would improve the flow of traffic especially when the bus barn fiasco gets built, and make it easier for people to find their way around.

    Don’t know if what the consultants say about this making it easier for pedestrians is really true though. Most of the problems I encounter or observe when I walk down for lunch or something when I’m at Broad St are problems of user stupidity. People crossing after the lights change and drivers trying to turn on red despite large crowds of people crossing the street. Which I see a lot at 4 Corners especially. I can see how tempting it would be to run over a lawyer, but it’s a really really bad idea…

  7. May 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm Kevin Yost responds:

    Absolutely, this needs to be done, plus making S. Clinton and South avenues two-way as well, possibly meaning the need to reconfigure how I-490 crosses them. Plymouth Avenue and Brown and Smith streets also need to be made two-way as well. Another thing that should be done to change downtown traffic flow would be to connect more downtown east-west streets, including a few more bridges over the Genesee River. Also, the Inner Loop south of Main Street should be filled in and replaced with builings, as well as Park Avenue connected to the former Midtown Plaza site street pattern over that and streets cut off there reconnected. The Inner Loop north of Main should be converted to a boulevard or parkway, ending at a roundabout connecting it with Jefferson Avenue, Grape Street, and Maple Street and have a new signature bridge carrying it and the Amtrak/CSX over High Falls.

  8. May 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm Kevin Yost responds:

    We also need to get rid of a lot of the “no turn” rules in downtown, if possible.

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