PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Two downtown streets in Peoria are getting a makeover.
Members of the Peoria City Council approved a state motor fuel tax resolution Tuesday evening aiming to convert SW Adams and Jefferson Streets into a two-way street.
The conversion would affect Adams Street from N. William Kumpf Boulevard to Hamilton Boulevard, and Jefferson Avenue from N. William Kumpf Boulevard to Fayette Street.
The council unanimously approved the plan. Council member Sid Ruckriegel abstained from voting on the matter to avoid a conflict of interest, as he owns a piece of property that would be affected by the change.
“That’s even better, that’s even better,” said Peoria driver Ronnie Johnson.
While the change is exciting for some drivers, others disagree.
“I’m not feeling it. I don’t like the way they’re going to do it,” said driver Josh Foster.
As someone who drives through downtown Peoria daily, Johnson said the change will make navigating the area less confusing for people.
“You don’t have to worry about going the wrong way, car accidents, things like that,” said Johnson.
Foster thinks traffic flows better with the one-way routes.
“I think you can get from downtown from one end to the other, it’s a little bit faster. I think if they turn it into a two-way, it’s going to congest traffic up,” said Foster.
Instead of focusing on the conversion, Foster would rather have leaders address current problems.
“They should probably focus on these potholes instead of trying to put effort into something that’s not broken. Don’t fix what’s not broken. The streets are just fine the way they are,” said Foster.
According to previous reports, the project is estimated to cost nearly $5 million. That estimate comes from the INVEST in America Act, a $715 billion bill that passed in Congress with help from Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL).
Bustos argued the conversion would improve access to businesses downtown, provide direct access to I-74 eastbound, and reduce automobile emissions by providing direct access to destinations.
The funding will include mast arm-mounted signals, at eight intersections, and signals will be upgraded for two-way traffic at four other intersections. Bump-outs and new ADA ramps will be constructed at corners to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility.