Possible Changes To Davenport's Harrison Street - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Possible Changes To Davenport's Harrison Street

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Davenport Aldermen are discussing making major changes to Harrison Street. The busy street currently has 4 lanes of traffic, but the city is considering narrowing Harrison Street to 2 lanes from Locust Street to 5th Street. The 2 outer lanes will be used for parking with the western lane being used for traffic between 3am and 9am. The western lane would be available for parking the rest of the day.

The stretch of Harrison Street between Locust Street and 5th Street is home to several different businesses.

"We have a lot of elderly customers that come in here," says Sandy Bivens from Rock's Anchor Grill, "It does create some inconvenience for them. So, to have parking available right outside our door would be a major help."

The city has been working for years to revitalize the section of Harrison Street that is part of the Hilltop Campus Village. However, the lack of parking has presented problems.

"It's just kind of scattered," adds Bivens, "Some people park on the side streets and some park across the street."

The city did a traffic study to find a solution for parking problems and to draw more people to the area. One idea was to turn Harrison Street into a 2 way street, but the city decided to keep Harrison Street a one way street with less lanes.

"It's more pedestrian friendly, because you don't have cars driving 2 feet away from you when you're on the sidewalk. You have a little bit of buffer between you and the driving public," says Davenport Traffic Engineer Gary Statz.

Reconfiguring Harrison Street might be a bumpy road. It's one of the busiest streets in Davenport.

"I have a little bit of concern, but I think just like anything else, if we give it some time it will work out just fine," says Greatest Grains Co-Owner Julie Martens.

The city will put up signs and re-paint the street to help people get used to the change. Narrowing Harrison Street to 2 lanes is a significant change, but those working to revitalize the Hilltop Campus Village say it's crucial.

"We think it will not only draw customers to the area, it will make it easier for them to patronize the businesses," says Scott Tunnicliff, Director of the Hilltop Campus Village.

The city will vote on narrowing Harrison Street at their meeting next week. If aldermen approve the change, the Iowa Department of Transportation will also have to give the okay.

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