Three remaining one-way downtown Duluth avenues will turn to two - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Three remaining one-way downtown Duluth avenues will turn to two-ways on Monday

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A number of streets in downtown Duluth have been converted from one-ways to two-ways over the years.

Three more main avenues will make that change starting Monday, July 17, and the timing is critical.  

The city says it's all in an effort to ease traffic flow in the downtown area, especially with construction on Superior Street expected to get underway in 2018.

Businesses along the avenues have mixed reaction.

First, 2nd and 3rd Avenues West are all one-ways. 

"I have my routines to come to work," said Jodi Elstad, the owner of Board of Trade Hair Care.

"Actually you see more people go the wrong way up the street," Craig Nelson, a delivery driver for Sammy's pizza, said. 

But in just a few days, the roles will be reversed.

Ellie Just, the co-owner of Bella Flora said, "I think it's going to take a little bit of adjusting and getting used to."

The city hopes this change will be for the better. 

"So everything east has actually been changed over some years now and that has actually enabled better circulation," said Pakou Ly, the Public Information Coordinator for the City of Duluth.

Businesses along the changing avenues have mixed emotions about the changes.

"I think going both ways on the street is a great plan," said Nelson. "I don't think the one-way street is helping very much because you don't see very much passing going on anyway."

Elstad said, "we just know how all the one ways are and how they all go, so when they start switching them it's going to be confusing." 

But rest assured, it's not permanent just yet. 

"In a way this is a pilot," Ly said. "And we want to understand how the traffic patterns will work, we want people to slow down and watch out for each other."

Once the changes are made, the city will observe on the street corners and send out surveys.

Ly added, "we want to be able to study and see what the traffic patterns are like."

To see if this new design helps or hinders.

"And I think it's going to be some confusion at first, but hopefully everyone will get used to it right away," said Just.

Each avenue conversion will take one to two days and in that process the avenue will be completely closed.

Stop signs will be put up and the street lights will just be covered, so nothing is permanent.

They are hoping by late fall they will have all the input they need to determine which stop lights or signs will stay, be removed or altered.

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