click on to enlarge Changes to downtown traffic coming


T.J. Heavisides, town’s visitors engineer, answered questions from residents about upcoming modifications at a Sept. 8 public assembly held at Springfield Artwork Affiliation.

The conversion to largely one-way streets in downtown Springfield, meant to alleviate visitors congestion, started in 1949 and continued for 20 years.

However that transportation plan within the current day – selling fast journey out and in of downtown amid present efforts to make downtown a extra vibrant place to buy, collect and dwell – is anticipated to alter a bit in late 2023.

That is when two main downtown thoroughfares – Fourth Avenue from South Grand Avenue to Dodge Avenue, and Adams Avenue from Sixth Avenue to Ninth Avenue – will completely change from one-way to two-way.

Changing further one-way streets to two-way will likely be thought of after railroad visitors is transferred from the Third Avenue to the tenth Avenue hall in late 2025, in response to T.J. Heavisides, Springfield’s visitors engineer.

The modifications will dovetail with a deliberate laptop software program improve to higher coordinate downtown visitors alerts so drivers encounter fewer successive crimson lights, he stated.

“It was a great time to do it as a result of we’re upgrading the alerts,” Heavisides stated.

Your complete challenge will likely be coordinated by Springfield-based Egizii Electrical, which was awarded a $4.6 million contract by the Metropolis Council in August.

Work on enhancements for about 70 visitors alerts downtown might start late this 12 months or early in 2023, relying on a supply schedule for brand spanking new gear that generally lags due to supply-chain points associated to the COVID-19 pandemic, Heavisides stated. The gear will embody some further visitors alerts for dealing with two-way visitors.

The challenge will take a couple of 12 months, and two-way visitors movement will start after the sign coordination enhancements are full, he stated.

The directional conversions had been pushed by inquiries from the general public, together with teams representing downtown pursuits, Heavisides stated. Research in different components of the nation have discovered that two-way streets promote financial exercise by making companies “somewhat extra accessible from completely different areas of city,” he stated.

“The one-way visitors is sweet for the effectivity and the movement of visitors in or out, nevertheless it has its downsides so far as having the ability to navigate the downtown, and lots of people have seen,” Heavisides stated.

Having to make further turns to achieve a enterprise is named “hostile journey,” and so companies wish to be primarily based on streets which are simply accessible, he stated.

A visitors research carried out for town by Knight EIA Inc. within the late 2010s really helpful changing components of Fourth, Adams and Seventh streets to two-way, he stated. The Seventh Avenue choice is on maintain, and a conversion for a part of Washington Avenue additionally will likely be studied sooner or later, he stated.

It will be cost-prohibitive to make sure streets that cross the present Third Avenue tracks two-way as a result of further mast arms must be put in to forestall car-train collisions, he stated. These arms could be wanted solely till practice visitors is rerouted to tenth Avenue.

Angled parking on the south aspect of Adams – presently head-in spots on the westbound-only avenue – would stay. However after the change, eastbound vehicles would again into an area, Heavisides stated.

Visitors sign coordination downtown has deteriorated lately as a result of the pc software program controlling the system stopped functioning, and fixes not can be found due to the software program’s age, he stated.

Drivers particularly discover this drawback on one-way streets akin to Lawrence Avenue and Prepare dinner Avenue, he stated.

“You are used to coming and getting the inexperienced lights in succession, when impulsively you discover you might get stopped at a kind of lights, and also you look and see the entire different lights are inexperienced, however this one’s not,” he stated.

Metropolis staff can and do make handbook, short-term fixes within the alerts’ inside clocks. “However with out having an automatic system, the effectivity actually lags,” Heavisides stated.

On-street parking on the east aspect of Fourth Avenue, between Union and Dodge streets within the Enos Park neighborhood, will likely be prohibited after Fourth Avenue turns into two-way. That is as a result of the road on that block is just too slender to securely accommodate visitors after the street is striped, he stated.

Plans name for Fourth Avenue ultimately to turn into two-way from Dodge north to North Grand Avenue someday after the Third Avenue rail line crossing Fourth simply north of Dodge is eliminated.

Choices have not been made on whether or not parking on either side of Fourth north of Dodge will likely be affected, Heavisides stated, noting that Fourth Avenue north of North Grand Avenue is a two-way avenue.

Just a few months in the past, town eradicated parking on either side of Fourth between Carpenter and Union after patrons of the downtown YMCA voiced issues about pedestrian visibility when crossing Fourth Avenue to achieve the Y’s satellite tv for pc car parking zone. The elimination of parked vehicles additionally improved visibility for vehicles as they exited the Y’s essential car parking zone, Heavisides stated.

The town beforehand deliberate to ultimately remove parking on that phase of Fourth Avenue when separate flip lanes are put in as a part of the conversion to two-way visitors, he stated.

Betsy Greenback, government director of the Springfield Artwork Affiliation, 700 N. Fourth, stated she did not suppose Fourth Avenue wanted to be made two-way north of Carpenter.

The elimination of parking on the east aspect of Fourth, in entrance of the affiliation’s constructing, will create a scarcity of shut parking areas for patrons attending main occasions on the middle, she stated.

“Everybody’s going to should be retrained,” she stated. “There will likely be an adjustment interval.”

Ward 5 Ald. Lakeisha Buy, who was appointed to the council in September 2021 to fill a emptiness, stated her aim has been to teach neighborhood residents on the visitors modifications which are coming.

“Individuals don’t adapt to alter instantly,” she stated.

Dean Olsen is a senior employees author for Illinois Occasions. He will be reached at, 217-679-7810 or

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