If you’ve been hoping that two of the major one way streets in downtown Springfield could flip in both directions, prepare for disappointment.
Springfield City Council heard a presentation at their weekly Council Lunch from the city’s traffic engineers that indicated changing Campbell and Jefferson Avenues from one way to two way would not be of a benefit to the city.
The report showed that not only would the city have to pay for the costs of adding left turn lanes on both routes, there would also be a loss of over 500 parking spaces along the two routes in the downtown area where parking is already at a premium.
A chart prepared by the engineers showed Council that changing the routes into two ways could increase wait times at key intersections to levels that would be unacceptable for residents. For example, the average wait time at the Campbell & Grand intersection would go from around 36 seconds to around 81 seconds during peak times.
Jefferson & Grand could have a wait of up to 86 seconds if people did not seek alternate routes. Currently the average wait is around 27 seconds.
City traffic engineers said the change would also not reduce the number of accidents along the routes, just change them into more serious collisions rather than side-swiping style accidents.
City Councilwoman Jan Fisk noted that while listening to the presentation she couldn’t find “anything in the ‘pro’ column” for making the change. Councilwoman Ferguson expressed concerns about losing parking. Mayor McClure noted that while discussion should continue to take place about improving downtown traffic flow, there was nothing in the presentation that said to him it would be a good idea to change the two routes into a two way road.