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Published: Monday, 10/5/2009

3 downtown Toledo streets switching to 2-way Tuesday

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Parts of three downtown Toledo streets near the Lucas County Arena will be converted from one-way traffic to two-way traffic Tuesday, the city transportation division has announced.

The work to convert parts of Madison and Jefferson avenues and Huron Street to two-way operation will start at 7 a.m. and take about two hours for each street, said Gary Stookey, a senior engineer with the city's transportation division.

The conversion will occur on Madison between Erie and Summit streets, Huron between Washington Street and Madison, and Jefferson between Erie and Summit, with work done in that order, Mr. Stookey said.

It will involve activating new traffic signals, painting new lane stripes, and replacing or moving signs, he said.

Parts of all three streets have been resurfaced to repair damage from construction equipment and otherwise spruce them up in anticipation of the arena's opening. Its debut is planned for Friday with an appearance by comedian Jeff Dunham.

Metered parking on Jefferson was eliminated between Summit and Erie for the two-way conversion, but Mr. Stookey said parking was added on other streets nearby to compensate.

The arena's completion also will permit reopening of the bus-loop lane on that part of Jefferson, Mr. Stookey said.

James Gee, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority's general manager, said transit buses will resume running on Jefferson next Sunday.

By then, he said, two-way traffic will have run for several days, and Sunday is a preferable day for shifting bus routes.

All three street conversions are part of a master plan to eliminate most one-way streets in downtown Toledo.

Jefferson's conversion between Erie and Summit is the final piece for that street.

Huron will remain one-way, southbound, north of Madison, although a long-range plan calls for it to be two-way at least as far as Cherry Street, Mr. Stookey said.

He said that although a more immediate plan calls for converting the rest of Madison to two-way traffic, the section between Erie and Michigan will remain one-way, westbound, for a few months longer.

He said that numerous building basements and other subterranean spaces extend under Madison's south sidewalk between Erie and Michigan, so placement for sign posts and traffic-signal pole foundations is complicated.

"If not by the end of the year, by early spring," Madison should be two-way all the way out of downtown, he said. The street was converted to two-way traffic beyond Michigan last year.

Contact David Patch at:

dpatch@theblade.com

or 419-724-6094.



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