When did Eighth, Seventh streets stop being one-way streets?

The northwest corner of Eighth and State as seen in September 1962 was the start of a northbound one-way traffic to Broadway. Two-way traffic on Eighth was restored in 1963. | Submitted Photo
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 31, 2018 2:55 pm

Seventh Street was one-way south and Eighth Street was one-way north between Broadway and State in 1962. When did they change them back to two-way streets?

Both Seventh and Eighth streets between State and Broadway were one-way streets in 1962.

They were converted at 2 a.m. Sept. 24, 1961, along with Vermont and Hampshire between Third and 18th, Jersey and York between Third and 12th, and existing Third and Fourth one-way streets between Maine and York were extended north to Broadway.

The 1960 comprehensive plan for the city of Quincy advocated for one-way streets. St. Louis firm Harland Bartholomew and Associates said that one-way streets would improve traffic circulation and permit exclusion of traffic from the business district where certain areas should be reserved for pedestrians.

The street plan was adopted Aug. 14, 1961, with an 11-2 vote by the Quincy City Council.

The change did not last long for Eighth Street, however. Business owners complained it hurt business.

In a Jan. 29, 1963, article in The Herald-Whig, representatives for the State and Eighth Merchants organization said residents in the southwest and northwest sections of Quincy between Front and 11th streets had difficulty traveling north and south across town and had relied on Eighth as an artery.

The group suggested another street be selected for one-way traffic for the city's traffic flow program.

On Feb. 26, 1963, the City Council voted 12-1 approving an ordinance to restore two-way traffic on Eighth Street, though Seventh Street would continue to carry southbound traffic.

Eighth Street reverted back to two-way traffic on March 15, 1963.

It wasn't until November 1964 that the City Council approved an ordinance to restore two-way traffic to Seventh Street.

However, that move was nearly postponed until economic and engineering studies in the downtown area were completed and a development program was drawn on the basis of the studies, which could have changed the street pattern.

Few other changes have been made to the city's one-way streets since the changes to Seventh and Eighth streets.

The city's central business district revitalization plans in 1993 and 1995 called for converting the one-way streets to two-way to encourage accessibility and to slow down traffic and the city converted portions of Hampshire and Vermont to two-way streets.

Businesses along Jersey opposed conversion because it would lead to the inability to load and unload without substantially blocking traffic.

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