Traffic changes could be coming to Shockoe Bottom

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Changes could be coming to Shockoe Bottom. The mayor's office announced Wednesday it will look into changing some of the one-way streets in the Bottom to two-way traffic.

The mayor's office has not figured out which streets it might convert to two-way traffic but will conduct a study to try and figure out which are the best options. Drivers we spoke to have mixed feelings about any traffic changes in Shockoe Bottom.

Shockoe Bottom is full of old, narrow streets that all-too-often are only open to traffic going one way.

Meghan Carmody works in Shockoe Bottom and says getting around can be tricky sometimes.

"It can be a little frustrating sometimes," she said. "There are a lot of streets that only go one way or another basically in this whole part of town so if you're trying to get somewhere fast, that can be a problem."

Would changing some of these streets to two-way traffic help? Mary Holman thinks it would.

"With the construction, with people that are not familiar with Richmond, it would cut down on a lot of drive time to have the two-way streets," she said.

But not everyone is sold on the idea just yet.

"Maybe it would make traffic and getting places easier," Carmody said. "But some of these roads are old and narrow and I'm not necessarily sure that would be the best thing. It might cause more delays than it might actually help."

Jennifer Tucker also works in the Bottom. She admits, she's had her issues with one-way streets before.

"It's hard to know which way to go," she said. "I have gone the wrong way on a one-way street before and that was really scary."

She says she's gotten used to the current traffic patterns and any changes would just create more confusion.

Matt Deans agrees. He says if it isn't broken -don't fix it.

"I don't really see the need," he said. "Sounds like it'd be a lot of work, a lot of new signage, probably widening some roads unnecessarily."

Converting some of the one-way streets in Shockoe Bottom was brought up as part of the mayor's Capital Improvement Program. The mayor has budgeted nearly $15 million for a variety of transportation projects.

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