Update: Two-way traffic to begin Tuesday morning, January 10th before the AM commute. See Press Release in the comments below.
Signs are up on Weybosset and Empire Streets alerting drivers that those streets will become two-way in “January 2012.” When exactly in January, it doesn’t say.
My understanding is that the final striping and signage and such to convert the streets will be put in place on a Saturday and Sunday morning, Ta Da!, two-way streets. I can’t imagine that work will take place on New Year’s Eve, so I’m speculating we have at least another week to go.
This is of course all part of the Downtown Circulator Project which got underway in April, and was due to be completed in November, oops!
The rebuilt intersection of Weybosset, Richmond, and Mathewson Streets, aka PPAC Square, is also part of this project.
If previous plans hold true, work should begin next year on Phase 3 of the Circulator Project which will include the redesign on Emmett and LaSalle Squares, conversion of Sabin Street in front of the Convention Center to two-way traffic, and the possible two-way conversions of Exchange Terrace and Dorrance Street between Washington Street and Emmett Square.
Interesting that they’re doing this at last. Washington street was the first to go two way and it worked out well.
Empire on the other hand will only be two way from Fountain to Weybosset, or at least that’s how it looks right now until LaSalle Square gets a re-design.
I’ve been confused there the last couple of days expecting two way traffic but only seeing it go one way.
I keep seeing it repeated that Weybosset and Empire were two-way in the 1970s is not true. I remember both as one-way in the 60s either walking downtown or when my parents drove us into the city. I got my drivers license in 1970 and the two streets were definitely one-way because I drove on them. See link, where the newest cars are from the early-mid 1950s showing Weybosset as one-way headed toward the Financial District. The Narragansett Hotel, which was torn down in 1959 is just behind the Outlet Company.
Empire must have been one way at least since the current configuration of LaSalle Square was constructed. From what I can find on the Interwebs, the Broadway and Atwells exits on 95 opened in late 1964. I don’t know if LaSalle was reconfigured as part of that highway project or the Cathedral Square project which as far as I can tell was started in 1966. The Civic Center was built starting in 1970, but I assume the current LaSalle Square preceded that. Anyone have any better information on LaSalle Square?
Empire was two-way in 1962:
^ we see an example of a parking lot that was redeveloped. One Empire Plaza is on that lot now.
Washington Street was made one way before the 70’s. This is Trinity Rep from 1956. Notice the One Way and Do Not Enter signs at Washington.
Weybosset was definitely one-way. My recall of Empire was off, since the first Regency building was completed in 1966. I’m fairly certain that Empire was one-way by 1970. Empire must have been made one-way shortly after Weybosset Street was cut-off from Cathedral Square by the I.M. Pei plan of 1969, though it could have been a few years later.
Man, check out that awesome street wall on Empire in 1962. I may not like 4 lanes of traffic, but I’d love to have those buildings over the now-38 Studios (even if I’m happy they’re occupying the space).