We think converting to two-way streets could change the trend we’ve seen towards faster, more reckless traffic. This is happening not just in Davenport, but everywhere. We have seen evidence of this in the data for speeding tickets as well as traffic related deaths. Also, some of us on this forum who have regularly driven 3rd and 4th streets in this neighborhood for years have observed it.
Some object that converting to two-way streets will mean more accidents. (Left turns can be a problem). But in recent years, many people who have studied this issue believe that two-way streets compete quite well when it comes to safety. In fact, there are those who say they are better in security and several other factors.
In 2014, John Gilderbloom, a professor of urban studies at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, led a study of a small area in that city that found that converting one-way streets to two-way streets led to lower speeds, fewer collisions and even better property values and less crime. In other words, a more livable city. The following year they took a broader look at the city and found better results as well.
Additionally, other Iowa cities that have had one-way streets for decades, such as Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, have put two-way streets in their downtowns.
One-way roads are a good way to quickly move traffic through an area. But moving cars and trucks shouldn’t be the only consideration, or even the main one, especially in our central business district, which is rapidly becoming a prime neighborhood.