DAVENPORT, Iowa — Public input sessions regarding the conversion of 3rd and 4th streets in downtown Davenport from one-way to two-way traffic is complete.
The city hosted its final session on Saturday, April 2.
3rd and 4th streets weren't always one-ways. They became one-ways in the 1950s and converting the streets to two-ways has been discussed since the 1980s.
Davenport has set aside $10 million in its 2023-24 budget to rebuild and resurface 3rd and 4th Street from Telegraph to Harrison Street. It's being primarily funded by a federal grant.
The proposal is to convert the streets to two-way traffic from Marquette to River Drive, while they're already torn up and traffic is disrupted. 4th Street would also become a flood detour route, as opposed to the current Locust Street route.
Not all residents are on board with the idea, though.
Deborah Lynne Williams attended the input session Saturday morning. She's lived in Davenport since 1974 and often drives on 3rd and 4th streets to avoid River Drive.
"I don't think the two-way is a good way to go," she said. "I think it's gonna make it more congested. I think that it's going to cause more problems for U-turns, people holding up traffic when they're trying to parallel park. It's going to slow down traffic."
Williams doesn't think it will positively impact downtown businesses, as some have said.
She also thinks she saves time driving down the one-ways because of the way the traffic lights are timed.
"You'll hit every light just straight through, and that just makes it convenient," she said.
She added that the majority of the people at Saturday's input session were against the conversion. There was a table with buttons against the two-ways and bumper stickers advertising a 'Save our One Ways' website.
Converting the streets to two-ways would cost $1.7 million out of the $10 million budget. Some at the meeting pointed out that while 3rd and 4th streets should be reconstructed, and that the $1.7 million should be spent on something else, such as fixing potholes in streets throughout Davenport.
The Downtown Davenport Partnership has agreed to pay 35-40% of the conversion costs over 10 years.