Is it time to remove downtown Kalamazoo's one-way streets? Reading the Kalamazoo Gazette will give you the impression that the time has come.

Two weeks ago the Gazette asked the question on their Facebook page about the one-way streets downtown and got a mixed bag response running about equal between change them and keep them the way they are.

Today (November 29) the Gazette published an article attempting to answer "Why one-way streets are hurting downtown Kalamazoo." Among the points made:

City officials say converting one-way streets to two-way traffic would improve navigation, accessibility and safety for residents and visitors, but challenges to taking traffic in a new direction are myriad.

The city's recently passed master plan identifies a need to improve transportation networks. The document calls pairs of parallel one-way streets, particularly Michigan and Kalamazoo avenues, "the greatest challenge" for those who want to live, work and play downtown."

Two-way conversions are specifically sought on Michigan, Kalamazoo, Douglas, Michikal and Westnedge avenue, and Park, Lovell and South streets.

The southern blocks of Edwards Street were changed to two-way traffic several years ago and converting the northern blocks is a sure bet, (city Director of Planning and Community Development Rebekah) Kik said. Smaller streets like Allen Boulevard and the Elm Street Crossover are contingent on what happens to other larger streets.

Conversions on Church and Academy streets would eliminate a lot of necessary parking, so Kik said any conversion plan would have to include additional parking in those areas.

So do you feel it's time to make that change?

BONUS VIDEO - Michigan Urban Explorations

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