One Direction No More; Officials Propose Plans for Two-Way Streets Downtown

There may soon be more than *one way* to drive on a few downtown streets in Sioux City.

The city may convert a number of one-ways... into two way traffic.
Talk is cheap, but now city officials are hoping to invest in the expansion of downtown traffic by making 5th, 6th and Douglas Streets two-way.

"It's an opportunity for us to kind of introduce some, uh, and facilitate some different traffic and definitely different traffic flow. So, I think if there is, uh, there is a desire to convert, I think it's really based on, uh, presented businesses and downtown opportunities in a different way," said Public Works Director Jade Dundas.

"One-way streets are difficult to find your way around in a downtown, especially if you're from out of town," added Mayor Bob Scott."I think it only makes sense to have two-way streets. If you miss your corner, you only have to go around one block, rather than sometimes go around three or four or five to get back to where you want to go." That type of sticky traffic scenario is something downtown businesses say has hurt their potential.
They believe two-way streets could change that. "Well, anytime you've got easier access to a business, people tend to pay more attention so for example, when you're going down a two-way street, like 4th Street for example, you tend to notice the businesses that are around you so that really helps our businesses on 5th and 6th," explained Ragen Cote, executive director for Downtown Partners, an organization representing local city businesses. While downtown businesses and the city are excited for this new venture, but officials say some challenges will arise, including traffic for the two-way street near places like Martin Luther King Transportation Center. Other concerns include the cost of the project and new traffic hazards for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians use to the one-way streets.
But for people on Pierce and Nebraska Streets, you won't see any changes.
Those streets will remain one-way because of their key access to Interstate-29.
Officials will present the preliminary design in February.
The public will also be able to give their input.
If approved, the installation of signs and signals for two-way streets could start as early as 2015.
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