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City explores two-way traffic change for King, 8th streets near downtown

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 1, 2001

ST. PETERSBURG -- Members of a City Council subcommittee voted Thursday to recommend converting the one-way part of Dr. M.L. King (Ninth) Street to two-way traffic with an eye toward soon doing the same thing on the parallel stretch of Eighth Street.

Next week, the City Council will consider the subcommittee's request to hold a June 21 public hearing to see what city residents think of the idea.

Changing pavement markings and traffic signals on the section of King Street (which is southbound-only between Ninth avenues N and S) will cost about $1.9-million if the council approves mast-arm signal supports to replace the concrete poles and wire now used, according to a consultant's study. Improvements in later phases, such as adding medians or landscaping, would cost more, as would making northbound-only Eighth Street two-way and returning its character to that of a neighborhood street.

Members of the Public Safety, Public Services and Infrastructure subcommittee said they are interested in converting other one-way street pairs to two-way traffic if the King conversion is approved and works well.

"We're going to kind of set the precedent on what's going to happen with this," council member John Bryan said Thursday.

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