One Way Bad! Two Way Good!

Here’s an interesting little study from Louisville (a town with much going for it). Apparently, an extensive network of one-way streets can kill a downtown, and if we truly want to have vibrant downtown neighbourhoods, we should probably switch to two-way streets:

Here is one simple and affordable strategy to renew our downtown neighborhoods: immediately convert multi-lane one-way streets back to two-way traffic. Such conversions reduce car speeds and encourage greater pedestrian and bike mode-share. As a response of calmer residential streets, neighborhoods become more livable, more prosperous, and safer.

The results were stunning. Two-way conversion improves the livability of a neighborhood by significantly reducing crime and collisions and by increasing property values, business revenue, taxes, and bike and pedestrian traffic. Outside consultants, with price tags of millions of dollars, never predicted this in places like Oslo, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Atlanta.

Ottawa is in love with one-way streets downtown. North-south, you’ve got Metcalfe, O’Connor, Kent, Lyon, Bay and Percy (if I recall correctly). East-west, you’ve got… pretty much all of them. It would seem we might want to change that.

(H/T: Charles A-M.)

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