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Collinsville IL Still Has One-Way Streets

November 20, 2010 Metro East, Planning & Design 3 Comments
ABOVE: Downtown Collinsville IL
ABOVE: Main looking east from Clinton, Collinsville IL

Yesterday I was briefly in downtown Collinsville IL.  I’d forgotten how nice their Main Street looks.  I last wrote about their Main Street in July 2007 when it looked like they may undo what never should have been done: Collinsville IL May Finally Correct One-Way Main Street Mistake.  Unfortunately, Collinsville still has a one-way couplet — Main St eastbound and Clay St westbound.

Does the direction of auto traffic matter to pedestrians?  Yes!  On the sidewalk you feel like you are next to an escape route. Decades ago traffic engineers convinced nearly every town, big & small, to install one-way streets to move traffic faster.  One-way streets in a small town make little sense but undoing what has been in place for so long is nearly impossible.

It is a shame too, Main St in Collinsville has very charming buildings and a decent streetscape. Changing Main & Clay to be two-way again would have huge benefits.  The vibe would instantly be different.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    In the hierarchy of balancing moving cars and preserving urbanity, I place the one-way couplet in the middle, with the bypass being much, much worse. When you do a couplet, at least you can maintain on-street parking and eyes on storefronts. Collinsville, like many other towns, could've elected to make Main Street 4 lanes by eliminating on-street parking, which would've been more devastating. While I agree that making Main Street two-way with one lane each way and on-street parking would improve the charm and the vibe of downtown, I don't know, and I doubt that you do, either, the larger vehicular movement challenges. Traffic is like water – it follows the path of least resistance. If it's not on Main and Clay, it's gonna end up somewhere else, and in a town like Collinsville, that could easily be a residential street.

    • The bypass did accelerate moving to the edge but it also left the downtown alone by moving high volumes of traffic somewhere besides Main St. A street grid is supposed to spread the traffic out rather than bunch it all up in a couple of streets.

  2. urbin says:

    “Changing Main & Clay to be two-way again would have huge benefits.” And what would those benefits be?


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