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Davenport City Council approves move to turn 3rd and 4th Streets into two-ways

The discussion resulted in a split vote to turn 3rd and 4th Streets into two-way roads.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A debate on two-way streets in downtown Davenport that's been up in the air for decades has now been decided.

Davenport City Council voted Wednesday, Sept. 28, in a split vote to turn 3rd and 4th streets into two-way streets.

Mayor Mike Matson broke the tie by voting for the change.

"I think it's the best thing, the better thing for the downtown," Matson said. "There are certainly concerns and this isn't the end of the conversation."

Some said the move will benefit businesses and safety for downtown pedestrians and traffic.

"I believe change has to happen to take our downtown and the City of Davenport to the next level," 4th Ward Alderman Robby Ortiz said.

"I don't know if it would ever come to our attention just how powerful this idea is of traffic calming, putting pedestrians above cars," Downtown Davenport Partnership executive director Kyle Carter said.

Others said it doesn't address other issues and voiced their other concerns about the changes.

Some residents expressed their skepticism about the changes and dissatisfaction with a lack of a community vote

"I still do not know after all of this time do not know the specific need we're trying to address," 8th Ward Alderman Judith Lee said. "It is clear that conversion will not solve the problem with downtown panhandling, harassment and homelessness, nor speeding or reckless driving," Lee said.

Around $1.7 million will be spent on the plan for the street conversion between River Drive and Marquette Street. Roughly $700,000 is funded by the Downtown Davenport Partnership.

Officials said construction on the project may not start until spring or summer 2023.

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