In 2013, we took a glance at South Bend, Indiana, where two-way discussions were underway.
Just imagine highly placed officials in New Albany collectively taking a strong public position on complete streets, and leading.
I know, I know.
It’s genuinely unimaginable in New Albany, isn’t it?
RETURNING ONE-WAY STREETS TO THEIR TWO-WAY ROOTS, by Rachel Quednau (Strong Towns)
A recent article out of South Bend, IN suggests that the movement toward two-way streets is growing. South Bend plans to convert many of its downtown streets back into two-ways by the end of 2016 …
As the thinking goes, two-way streets provide better exposure to ground-level businesses and calm traffic, contributing to a more pedestrian-friendly environment that is conducive to retail development.
… If your goal is a productive place with thriving local businesses, then slowing traffic with two-way streets is a much better plan. It’s a tried and true method. The article continues:
A common refrain among critics of two-way streets here is that they are simply a “trend,” similar to the pedestrian mall trend of the 1970s, which turned out disastrously for many cities, including South Bend.
On that point, [Scott Ford, the city’s executive director of Community Investment] strongly disagrees, arguing that the Complete Streets philosophy represents a “return to the fundamentals” of urban planning.
“This is consistent with how streets have operated as public spaces for thousands of years,” Ford said.
As we, at Strong Towns, have been arguing for years, a return to traditional development patterns with walkable neighborhoods that prioritize people over cars will lead to higher economic productivity for our cities and towns. A return to two-way streets is a big step in the right direction.