City okays study to look at conversion of downtown Bettendorf's State and Grant Street one-ways

Roadway reconstruction related to the new Interstate 74 Bridge may be a puzzle now to motorists in downtown Bettendorf, but an even more significant street reconfiguration may be on the horizon – conversion of the Grant and State Street one-ways to two-way traffic.

The city council Tuesday (Aug. 2) approved hiring a traffic consultant for $100,000 to conduct an analysis of the two downtown one-ways with an eye toward making them into two-way streets.

Snyder & Associates of Ankeny, Iowa, will analyze not only traffic, but the impact such a change would have on downtown businesses "to determine suitable uses for areas targeted for redevelopment within the study area. . ."

The analysis would cover the State and Grant Street corridor bounded by 15th and 26th Streets, and is expected to be complete by the end of November. Two public meetings are included in the project schedule.

The two one-ways with three lanes of traffic in each direction have long been viewed as a detriment to redevelopment of the downtown into a more walkable and pedestrian friendly area for business and residential use.

"The proposed realignment would turn State Street into a lower-speed two-way local road with on-street parking to help encourage the continued economic redevelopment of the area and provide increased pedestrian accessibility," the city engineering department explained in its request to award the contract. "Grant Street would be expanded as needed to become a two-way highway thoroughfare and remain under the jurisdiction of the Iowa Department of Transportation."

The new Bettendorf Business Network and its downtown business group has been urging the city to improve the downtown corridor and convert Grant and State to one ways. An Iowa Economic Development assessment last fall identified the one-ways as significant obstacles to attracting economic development downtown.

That assessment stated converting State and Grants Street from one-way to two-way travel would "help facilitate the economic well-being of the downtown district, which will function better in a two-way system that slows traffic, enhances the pedestrian environment, and increases direct access to downtown destinations, (and) making the downtown more navigable."

The city also is working with Russell Company on an overall downtown redevelopment plan that would make use of the city-owned Town Square property across from the events center between State and Grant and 20th and 21st Streets.

CLICK HERE to download the traffic study contract/schedule.

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