Traffic changes in downtown South Bend are part of research, city engineer says

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

The city of South Bend is testing some changes to traffic flow in the downtown area — but some drivers and pedestrians are wary.

The traffic signals at Calvert Street on Main and Michigan streets, Broadway Street on Main and Michigan streets and South Street at Michigan Street are covered with black bags and will continue to be covered up for about 90 days.

That means drivers going north or south on Main or Michigan streets can travel through the intersections without stopping or slowing, while drivers on Calvert, Broadway or South streets should wait until cross traffic is clear before proceeding. There are stop signs marking those intersections.

Pedestrians will need to find other areas to safely cross the street.

So why is the city doing this? In part, to improve traffic flow in consideration of when the roads transition from one-way to two-way streets.

“We looked at the traffic counts and so we determined that it did not meet the needs for having a signal,” Corbitt Kerr, South Bend’s city engineer, told our news partners ABC 57. “One of the ways we can maintain a similar travel time is to remove a couple of the signals and when we do the two way conversion, it’s going to go from in some cases four or five lanes to three lanes.”

The traffic lights might not be gone forever. In 90 days, city leaders will evaluate the change to determine if there were any major issues that developed.

The initial reaction to the lack of traffic signals at those intersections isn’t exactly happy. Read about how some drivers and pedestrians feel about the changes in the full story from ABC 57.