A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Two-way conversion? They’ll talk about it

Written December 29th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

Are this and the other one-way street signs downtown ever going to disappear?

There’s a lot to consider if Albany should ever want to go back to two-way streets in the commercial section of downtown. The city’s Traffic Safety Commission will discuss it on Monday, Jan. 4.

A member of this advisory panel, Steph Nappa, brought up the topic as a possible future discussion item when the commission last met, on Dec. 7.

The suggestion was that First and Second avenues carry two-way traffic west of Lyon Street, as they did decades ago. (I regret to say I still have not nailed down when the one-way conversion took place.)

Theoretically at least, the traffic commission could eventually recommend that the city council authorize further exploration of such a move. But before it gets to that point, there’s likely to be a lot of talk about the pros and cons.

Ron Irish, the city’s traffic expert, sent the commission members an article making a point that should be obvious: Conversion to two-way traffic requires a professional study of the many competing goals. One of the conflicts is this: Slower traffic encouraged by two-way streets versus more efficient traffic movement in a one-way pattern. And there are many other issues.

“We’ll be going over the process involved in converting streets from one type to the other, potential benefits and drawbacks, and costs,” Irish advised commission members in an email.

Restoration of two-way traffic on First and Second downtown was one of the potential projects of the central Albany urban renewal district formed in 2001, but no one followed up.

If you’re interested in this discussion, you can watch the virtual meeting of the Traffic Safety Commission Monday by clicking the link on its agenda. The meeting starts at 10 a.m., and the agenda is here. (hh)

Going the other way on First. (The mural? That’s another story, maybe for later.)

13 responses to “Two-way conversion? They’ll talk about it”

  1. Bill says:

    Is there any reason to care about nonsense like this?

  2. Emily says:

    The person who wrote this article literally wasted my time. Why not try reporting something useful next time. But actually here is some real advice, next time you have a thought… Let it go. Or find a real job.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      You should ask for your money back.

    • Farmer says:

      Elitism is similar to racism; exalting self above others; the heart behind the cancel culture.
      Hasso is a rare gem and I’ll bet most readers look forward to his insights. Thank you Hasso.

      • hj.anony1 says:

        Cancel Culture?! LOL

        You go ahead and keep celebrating your confederate losers, farmer.

        on the flips-side, I agree with you on HH’s domination of the ‘ol blogosphere!

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I can’t say what I really want to here Emily other than that was about the rudest comment I can imagine. HH does an excellent job getting us information that we don’t get elsewhere. So next time you see his post skip on by. If not I won’t be so nice next time!

  3. Kathe says:

    For those of us who live or work in downtown on first and second. It is a very important issue that we did not know was in consideration. So Thanks for the heads up. I am really enjoying reading your post!

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Another study? This ranks right up there with Albany’s “1% for Art” ordinance as wasteful spending.


    As the title says, “No Two Ways About It, One-Way Streets Are Better Than Two-Way.”

  5. Al Nyman says:

    A better solution is to have head in parking and reduce the street to one lane. Two-way streets are a traffic nightmare because of left turns which cause the turn lane to come to a complete stop until the oncoming traffic allows the turn.

    • Sonamata says:

      I agree with this. I also remember hearing we have impending bridge repairs – if so, hope those are being taken into account.

  6. Richard Vannice says:

    Sounds to me like this is another -“If it aint broke, don’t fix it.” A “Study” is another waste of staff time and money. Save that for something REALLY important.

  7. Bill Kapaun says:

    Why do we have to keep spending money with misguided attempts to entice the citizens to shop downtown? The theory behind this stupid move is that if you’re stuck in traffic, you’ll pull over and shop.

    It’s the MERCHANTS job to provide a better product/service to entice us to shop downtown!

    Let’s boycott downtown if such a move is implemented.


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