Grace Street Two-Way Traffic Seen as Beneficial to Downtown

For the first time in several decades, East Grace Street between North 4th and North 9th Streets will open to two-way traffic. Currently vehicles only move westbound. The conversion will permit cars to travel eastbound as well.

Converting this five block area of East Grace Street is included in the 2009 Downtown
Plan and is, in part, being implemented to help attract more businesses to downtown
and make it easier for motorists to travel in the area. In addition, the change will provide
a direct connection to the Capitol Square and reconnect it to the balance of the central
business district, like many other streets in the vicinity.

“City officials have long discussed ways to enhance East Grace Street in an attempt to
restore it to its former splendor,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “This improvement is one
important step in that direction.”

The City predicts there will be prime opportunities for economic growth along the
corridor, evidenced by renewed interest from sidewalk café users, restaurants, offices
and developers. Earlier improvements, such as streetscaping and widening sidewalks,
have made East Grace Street more pedestrian friendly.

The Department of Public Works expects to have the street conversion completed by
the end of July. The work will include new two-way traffic signals and pavement
markings, electrical work, handicap ramp modifications and modifications to pedestrian
countdown signal heads. The $376,000 cost for the project is being shared between
the city and the state.

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