Possible study to question need of one-way streets in Kirksville

The City of Kirksville recently applied for a Transportation Engineering Assistance Program (TEAP) Grant. (KTVO/Ashley Hoak)

Are one-way streets needed in certain areas of town?

That's one question a possible study could soon answer.

The City of Kirksville recently applied for a Transportation Engineering Assistance Program (TEAP) Grant.

The grant, which is through the Missouri Department of Transportation, would provide funds to cities looking to conduct studies for potential safety projects.

Kirksville City Planner Chayton True says the intersection of East Pierce and South Florence streets is one of the areas an outside firm would analyze if the city is awarded the grant.

"It's a one-way street heading northbound and you have a lot of cars parked along the streets. Because we have this on-street parking, there isn't a lot of room for two-way traffic. One thing that we would like this outside firm to come in and look at using this grant funding is to determine how we could get two-way traffic back on the street."

True adds that the study would look at how much traffic passes through that particular area.

It would also address any issues related to signage.

When asked why the city is considering making the change from one-way to two-way streets, True says that one of the main reasons is for safety.

"We want to make sure that the neighborhood has safe access to safety vehicles and facilities. [When] bringing fire trucks and ambulances through the neighborhood, we want to make sure the streets are wide enough."

Kirksville officials submitted the application for grant funding this week.

In November, it will be announced which cities and towns in the state of Missouri will receive the grant.

Although no funding has yet to be received, True says that some in the area already have fears and misconceptions related to the possible changes.

He says that should Kirksville be awarded the TEAP Grant, a number of conversations will be held with those that could see an impact.

"We will get the neighborhood involved and hear the options of the residents who actually live here and own property. It's not something that the city is just going to come in and do. We want to hear input and feedback from the neighborhood."

The following is a "Project Description and Justification" from the City of Kirksville:

One-way streets can become confusing to navigate for both individuals who live and the community and those who visit. This holds true in the older sections of Kirksville where streets are too narrow to accommodate both two-way traffic and on-street parking.

This can be found in the Campus Village neighborhood, which is part of an area bound by Jefferson Street to the north, Normal Avenue on the south, Franklin Street on the west and Davis Street on the east.

This neighborhood is located directly north of Truman State University, which drives up demand for student housing in this area. Due to the increasing density and housing demand in the neighborhood, on-street parking seems to be a necessity.

However, in order to provide on-street parking, some streets are required to be one-way due to their narrow widths.

This area should be studied to identify options available for the possible conversion of one-way streets to two-way in an effort to increase safe and simple traffic circulation for all modes including pedestrian, bike, and automobile.

Another option is to conduct a sign inventory in the neighborhood to determine if adequate signage is directing residents how to park or not park in helping eliminate traffic circulation issues.

This study ties into the possible 2019 study of designating a bikeway along Florence or Davis streets, as both streets are within the neighborhood study area and would likely need to be converted to two-way for bikeway designation.

Some things to consider:

  1. What does the city/community envision for this neighborhood? Will this continue to be a dense neighborhood for college students? Will the density continue to grow?
  2. Does the current one-way street system work for the current and future neighborhood conditions?
  3. If the streets are converted to two-way and on-street parking is elimiated, could additional on-street parking be provided elsewhere? On Pierce Street?
  4. Could on-street parking exist with two-way streets if on-street parking was prohibited during "busy" hours during the week? No parking 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. M-F?
  5. Who will enforce new parking regulations?

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