More downtown Raleigh streets to be converted to two-way traffic

Posted June 23, 2014

— Driving in downtown Raleigh will get a little simpler next year thanks to a plan city leaders recently approved that converts parts of two major streets from one-way to two-way travel.

The plan will mean two-way traffic on South Street from South Saunders to Dawson streets and Wilmington to East streets. The city also will convert Lenoir Street to two-way traffic from Wilmington Street to East Street.

Both conversions – estimated to cost the city approximately $2 million – are expected to begin in the spring and should be completed in Fall 2015.

In 2016, the city has planned a $1 million project to switch Jones and Lane streets to two-way between the Oakwood neighborhood and Glenwood Avenue. Designers will be looking closely at how to handle the heavy pedestrian traffic around the museums on Jones Street.

Converting the streets, the city says, will improve navigation and accessibility in the area and reduce delays by removing unnecessary traffic signals. Bicycle and pedestrian amenities will also be improved as a result.

The rest of South and Lenoir street are already two-way after they were switched over in 2008.

Bill King, planning and development manager with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, says that conversion has led to more businesses opening in the area and more customers to those businesses.

“It’s a lot easier for visitors to understand. It’s a lot easier for drivers to understand because they can get to the destinations more directly rather than having to circle around for minutes trying to find the place to get to it,” King said.

That’s important, he said, especially as downtown businesses are competing against retailers in more suburban areas.


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  • descartes jones Jun 26, 2014

    It's actually $3 million for both projects. Looks like the curbs are changing and medians are going in on that super wide part of South St near Boylan. Probably costs what it does because of all the new traffic signal upgrades that you have to do to switch a street around like this.

  • Anita Woody Jun 24, 2014

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    Yeah. $2 million is a lot of money. I just bought a candy bar at the general store for a nickel!

  • Arthur Raleigh Jun 24, 2014
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    It was never difficult before! Just like traveling anywhere you need to look at a map and plan!

  • greenbloggirl Jun 24, 2014

    One way streets is NOT the reason I dont go downtown often. The main problem I noticed were people who were paralleled parked half way in an actual lane. With this on both sides of the road, it makes it very difficult to drive in one lane. I felt like "this is what it must be like to drive in NYC". Im originally from Jacksonville Florida, basically ALL of downtown is one way streets and parallel parking . Neither one is hard to do.

  • JennyB Jun 24, 2014

    I don't understand why this costs $2 million?

  • lewiskr45 Jun 24, 2014

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    Studies show that one-way streets are worse for neighborhoods than two-way. And the lack of adequate alternative transportation options creates more congestion than one- or two-way streets.

  • Ryan Kurtz Jun 24, 2014
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    I'm a courier for a law firm, so I'm in downtown about 4-5 times a day. It may just be me, but It's really not that hard to understand. I think a lot of what happens with people being so frustrated is that they're easily distracted by cars coming out of parking spaces, pedestrians, trying to find building numbers, etc. It's like any major downtown city in this country, just pay attention to what you're doing and you'll be find, or get a GPS.

  • HGA_Matt Jun 24, 2014

    I've never understood why everyone is so confused about one way streets... every large city has them, and it makes traffic flow evenly and makes turning off of the street you are on easier. In 15 years, when Raleigh doubles in size again and the downtown is actually congested, these will likely be changed back to better manage traffic.

  • Rod Runner Jun 23, 2014
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    The roads are already 2 way except for the parts they are going to convert to 2 way.


  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 23, 2014

    Only changing "parts of two major streets" is going to be confusing. Why not change the entire length of them and make it easier on everyone involved??? smh