ST. PETERSBURG — City officials are in talks with downtown property owners along First and Second streets between Central Avenue and Fifth Avenue N to finalize plans to convert the one-way streets to two-way traffic.
Joe Kubicki, director of transportation, said the city is meeting with owners and building maintenance crews of the properties along the one-way portions of First and Second streets to identify any concerns with access to businesses and condos when traffic flow changes.
There is no expected time set for when the $50,000 project will begin and end.
Kubicki said shifting from one-way to two-way operations can be done within a week. This includes changing the traffic signals, and resurfacing and repainting streets.
"It's a very brief process," Kubicki said.
He said the conversion is part of a request by city officials two years ago to modify First and Second streets for two-way traffic from Fifth Avenue N and Fifth Avenue S. Last year, the streets were converted to two-way traffic south of Central Avenue.
City leaders hope the conversion will eliminate confusion among drivers and alleviate downtown traffic congestion. Other downtown one-way streets will be converted to two-way corridors in the future, Kubicki said.
Currently, First Street's one-way traffic goes north, and travelers along the one-way portion of Second Street go south.
Evan Mory, city parking manager, said the two-way conversion is still in the design phases. He did not know officially how many parking spaces will be affected but anticipates the loss of about 10 spots.
The city, though, gained 21 parking spaces with last year's conversions along First and Second streets south of Central Avenue, Mory said.
"Overall, we'll have a net gain of about 10 spaces," he said.
Eddie R. Cole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8779.