Researchers share results of South Bend street study - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Researchers share results of South Bend street study

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Could changing downtown South Bend's one-way streets to a two-way layout help the city's economy? South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg believes it will, and he wants people to get on board with his idea.

He's got until October 31 to convince the public and the Common Council that switching the streets around would make downtown a more attractive place to do business. But some, like Common Council member Valerie Schey have said they're not sold on that idea yet.

A company called DLZ made a presentation Thursday to the public. The city hired DLZ to conduct focus groups on the matter back in January. The area Buttigieg wants to change would include St. Joseph, Michigan, Main, Lafayette and William Streets.

Transportation engineering expert Ian Lockwood walked through benefits he has seen in other communities across the country who are making the change to two-way streets. He talked about making downtown more walkable, providing safer parking options, slower streets and smaller blocks. He pointed out problems he has seen in downtown South Bend, such as dangerous conditions for cyclists, speed problems, weaving in and out of lanes.

While no plan is in motion yet for South Bend, Mayor Buttigieg is ready to take action. "If other cities are creating value and seeing their tax base grow by doing this then why should we be left behind? The only thing holding us back is ourselves right now."

He has made room for the project in the 2014 budget, which the Council will vote on in late October.

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