Cedar Rapids gets rid of downtown traffic lights - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids gets rid of downtown traffic lights

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Stoplights at seven main downtown intersections in Cedar Rapids have been taken down.

The city says it's partly to prepare to get rid of the one-way streets and turn them all into two-ways. 

Cedar Rapids Traffic Engineering Program Manager John Witt says a study was done and it was decided there isn't enough traffic volume to justify having traffic lights downtown. 

 "There's a lot more pedestrians downtown there's a lot more people living down there in condos and and that and then also the bicycle infrastructure opening down there, a lot more people are biking," he told us. 

So far five traffic lights have been replaced by stop signs along 2nd Avenue SE.

2nd Street, 3rd Street, 5th Street, 7th Street and 8th Street. 

Two intersections on the west side of the river have been switched over as well. 

2nd Avenue and 1st Street SW and 3rd Avenue and 1st Street SW. 

The switch will be an adjustment for drivers. 

 "I think it's personally confusing just because of the fact for 40 some years living in the area, it's hard to change," says Michael Kolar. 

Signs have been put out to help drivers with the new traffic flow such as "Cross Traffic Does Not Stop."

Witt says the change also made sense financially.

 "Most of them were up for replacement anyway so if we can put stop lights out there and traffic is going to flow fine, it's hard to justify spending $200,000 a signal," he told us. 

With no traffic lights there will be no pedestrian signals. 
Next year they expect to get the one ways downtown switched over to two ways as well as get rid of the  traffic lights at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue and 5th Street. 

The traffic lights at 3rd Avenue and 7th Street and 3rd Avenue and 8th Street will stay up. 

 

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