Study proves turning Davenport’s 3rd and 4th Streets into two-ways would work

DAVENPORT-- Ask any business owner in downtown Davenport and most would say they're ready for change.

The idea is to make 3rd and 4th Streets, which are now one-way streets, into two-ways.

The idea was researched, put on paper and presented formally to city leaders on Tuesday.

"Today was the first time our study got the light of day," says Downtown Davenport Partnership's Executive Director Kyle Carter.

The study says two way traffic is helpful in areas where drivers stop in downtown destinations. With new businesses popping up every year, project heads say 3rd and 4th Streets are a match.

The study also looked at street width. Both streets are about 55 feet wide, which makes them wide enough for one lane going both directions with a center turn lane, plus bike lanes and room for parallel parking in both directions.

Finally, the study looked at traffic volume. It shows if both streets exceed 15,000 cars per day with no reasonable by pass route, a one way is best. The study shows 4th street has about 9,300 a day, and 3rd street has about 11,000. In addition, River Drive qualifies as a by pass route for the downtown.

Idea heads say the change wouldn't take very much construction.

"The heaviest lifting is just changing stop lights and interchanges. That's where most of the cost and time is. Otherwise you're talking about paint," says Carter.

Ask any business owner. Most would tell you the change will improve customer parking.

"It is very hard with the one-ways. You have to go around and around to find a parking spot all the time," says Tess Sellers with Infinity Salon & Spa.

Others see signs of safer streets and sidewalks.

"It's going to slow down traffic. Right now traffic really gets buzzing along here, and it's not always that safe," says Bill Collins with Me & Billy.

On Tuesday, the findings were presented to city council members. They say they want a more finite answer to how much the project would cost. An estimate was thrown out that it would cost anywhere from $1.2M-$1.5M to complete.

The study was done and funded by the Downtown Davenport Partnership, a division of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.