First it was Main Street, and now Lynchburg’s Church Street will convert to two-way traffic on Friday, October 8th. City officials are making the change in part to make downtown more pedestrian friendly. They say the conversion of Main Street in July has been a success so far. For the next couple of weeks, traffic will be restricted on Church Street while crews work on milling and paving and then install new signs and striping. Signs will help notify drivers of the change.
Here is the news release from the City of Lynchburg:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CHURCH STREET SCHEDULED FOR TWO-WAY TRAFFIC CONVERSION
Following the successful conversion of Main Street to two-way traffic in July, Church Street (from Fifth Street to Washington Street) is scheduled to covert to two-way traffic on Friday, October 8.
In preparation for the conversion, beginning Wednesday, September 22 and continuing through Tuesday, September 28, 7:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m., weeknights only and weather permitting, Church Street will undergo milling and paving operations from Eighth Street to Washington Street. Traffic will be restricted to one lane. Motorists can expect minor delays and use caution while traveling through the work zone. Parking will be available in the City’s Mid-Town Parking Deck and at the Lynchburg Community Market.
Beginning Monday, October 4, work will commence including the installation of new signage, new center-line striping, new striping for parking spaces and removal of traffic signals at Ninth Street and Eleventh Street that will be replaced with all-way stop signs. Centerline striping will be completed under a single lane of traffic; therefore, motorists should expect minor delays. Parking spaces will be coned-off by block to allow contractors to repaint the parking stalls.
Message boards alerting drivers to the new traffic pattern will be posted at the John Lynch Bridge, on Rivermont Avenue and Fifth Street approaching downtown, and on 12th Street approaching downtown. Signs will also be posted at Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, 11th, 12th, 13th and Washington Streets approaching Church Street noting the change in the traffic pattern.
The purpose for restoring two-way traffic is multifaceted; however, the all-encompassing factor is to create a downtown environment that is more comfortable for pedestrians. The one-way traffic scenario was instituted during a time period when people did not spend time downtown.
The prime objective of the street pattern was the quick movement of cars into and out of downtown. Today, that environment is gone. Living, working, shopping, eating and relaxing are quickly returning to Main Street, Church Street and the surrounding blocks. Vehicular traffic now needs to move through the area at much slower speeds, and two-way traffic is an important component in achieving that goal.
The conversion is in accordance with the 2040 Downtown Master Plan adopted by Lynchburg City Council on November 13, 2018.