Grand Junction motorists may be making a major change in their driving habits as the city considers the elimination of one-way traffic on 4th and 5th Streets.

The city is currently doing a study to determine the feasibility of converting 4th Street and 5th Street to two-way traffic. The focus is on "improved neighborhood accessibility, walkability, bicycle facilities, and economic development opportunities, as well as maintaining adequate traffic operations within the area."

The study focuses on the section between Pitkin Avenue and North Avenue.  Currently, 4th street is one-way from Belford Avenue, a block south of North Avenue all the way to Pitkin. Going north, 5th street is a one-way from Ute to Belford.

Input from the public is currently being sought by the consulting firm Bohannan Huston, and based upon online reaction, the idea of converting the streets to two-way traffic is getting a mixed response.

The Arguments For Change

  • "Slowing traffic and making it better/safer for peds and bikes should be a priority."
  • "We own a business in this block and access to 5th from the alley is very dangerous. Making it two-way would lessen the danger associated with making a blind right turn onto 5th."
  • "A two-way 5th Street instantly becomes the straightest, most direct route through downtown to Highway 50 as opposed to 4th which requires a left and then right turn...:
  • "From livability and pedestrian/bike perspective, I think whatever option would lower traffic speeds would be ideal. One-ways move traffic but also increase traffic speed, which makes it worse for everyone else."
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The Arguments To Keep It the Same

  • "Keep it one way and add a bike lane."
  • "One way is pretty nice. Why are you wanting to change it?"
  • "Just leave it the way it is, it's been like this for years."
  • "It would be easier and cheaper to just reroute 4h Street through the park and connect it straight into Hwy 50."

As with most issues, there are valid arguments on both sides. Personally, while I like things the way there are, the idea of being able to take 5th Street from North Avenue all the way to Highway 50 is appealing.

A public meeting has been scheduled in April as well as a meeting in June with a report on the feasibility study. If you have comments, concerns, or ideas you can express them here. Now is the time to speak up in favor or against.


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