LYNCHBURG, Va. – Heads up drivers: Some big changes will be happening in Downtown Lynchburg over the next several months.
Two-way traffic will be returning to Main St. and Church St. for the first time in decades in accordance with the 2040 Downtown Master Plan adopted by Lynchburg City Council on Nov. 13, 2018.
The transition from the current one-way streets to two-way streets will occur in three phases in order to mesh with the current Main St. Renewal Project.
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.
“People don’t want to get out of downtown, they want to be here. They want to enjoy the environment,” Project Manager Jim Talian says. “They don’t want cars zooming by, they’d rather have a more comfortable, pleasant experience and of course we have to have traffic to get here.”
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. Traffic needs to move through the area at much slower speeds.
The phases are listed below:
- Phase 1 - Main St. from Fifth St. to 11th St.: During the week of Jul. 26, Main St. will become two-way between Fifth St. and 11th St. while the 1100 block of Main St. (between 11th St. and 12th St.) will remain closed to all through traffic. All east-bound traffic on Main St. will be required to turn right at 11th St. due to the closure of the 1100 block. All west-bound traffic on Main St. will be detoured at 12th St.
- Phase 2 - Main St. – full length: Near the end of Sept. and upon completion of the arrival pad in the 1100 block of Main St., that block will open to two-way traffic allowing through traffic in both directions on Main St. from Fifth St. to the end of Main St. beyond the Lynchburg Expressway.
- Phase 3 - Church St. – full length: Also occurring near the end of Sept., Church St. will be converted to two-way traffic from Fifth St. to Washington St.
Seventh St. and Eighth St.: Concurrent with the conversion of Church St. from one-way to two-way, Seventh St. (between Main St. and Church St.) and Eighth St. (between Commerce St. and Church St.) will be converted from their current two-way configurations back to one-way.
Traffic on Seventh St. will become one-way only heading downhill from Church St. towards Main St. Traffic on Eighth St. will become one-way only heading uphill from Commerce St. to Main Street to Church St.
This will allow the addition of more parking spaces in all three of these blocks. Signs will be posted on Main, Church and Commerce St. alerting drivers.
Rivermont Ave. Approaching Fifth St.: The split of traffic from the Rivermont Ave. Bridge towards Church St. and away from Main St. will retain its current one-way configuration.