Main Street used to feature two-way traffic. Soon, it will again.

Main Street used to feature two-way traffic. Soon, it will again.

It’s official.  Two-way traffic will be returning to Main and Huguenot Streets in downtown New Rochelle.

To be clear, the changeover isn’t going to happen overnight.  It’s probably about two or three years away, and lots of preparatory work needs to occur first – detailed design, parking adjustments, enforcement protocols, and public information.

But the conclusive policy determination was made last night by the City Council, when we unanimously approved legislation involving federal and state grants for the new traffic signals that will support the altered circulation pattern.

I was initially very skeptical about this change, but the weight of evidence is convincing.  Experts tell us that two-way traffic is far better for walkability and retail attraction, the computer modeling tells us that the traffic flow can be managed well, and common sense tells us it’s easier to get to our destination when we don’t have to circle around the block.  The vast majority of urban planners recommend two-way traffic systems, and the new pattern will help support our larger effort to strengthen New Rochelle’s downtown economy.

Even so, making that first turn on to a bi-directional Huguenot or Main will be a strange experience!