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Existing Primary Traffic Routes

 

 

 

 

 


Proposed Primary Traffic Routes

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As it exists today, Illinois Route 23 is the primary north/south state route and truck route running through Downtown Ottawa. Illinois Route 23 is split into two one-way roadways. LaSalle Street carries three lanes of southbound traffic and one block to the east, Columbus Street carries three lanes of north-bound traffic. Each of the cross streets have two way traffic with the exception of two blocks of Jackson Street, which are one-way going west to Clinton Street. The northern gateway to the Central Business District begins at a newly constructed S-Curve that routes southbound traffic to LaSalle Street.

The southern gateway to the Central Business District begins with the Illinois River (Veterans Memorial) bridge descent putting northbound traffic onto Columbus Street. LaSalle Street and Columbus Street have seven traffic signals through the Downtown District, allowing for safe turning movement and east-west traffic flow through the Downtown. These traffic signals on LaSalle Street and Columbus Street are timed and sequenced so traffic moves continually. This allows traffic to accelerate through the Downtown area. With the combination of three lanes of moving traffic and time sequenced stop lights, LaSalle Street and Columbus Streets can be difficult for pedestrian activity and parking at peak hours. With LaSalle Street remaining as the central spine of Ottawa’s Downtown, it becomes difficult to cross laterally as a pedestrian. LaSalle Street traffic will only increase in the future, exacerbating the difficulties described above. See Exhibit 4.

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LaSalle Street should be reclaimed to provide a positive and pedestrian friendly “corridor”. A key proposal is to shift the south-bound traffic including the truck traffic to Clinton Street which is one block west of LaSalle Street. A new S-Curve could begin just north of the intersection of Washington and LaSalle Streets connecting with Clinton Street near the intersection of Lafayette and Clinton Streets.

The exact location of the proposed S-Curve has not been determined at this time nor has a feasibility study been initiated to study this proposal in detail. Clinton Street would either become two or three lanes of southbound traffic including truck traffic, depending on the potential for parking on the west side of Clinton Street. As the traffic flow would continue south it would reconnect with LaSalle Street near Woodward Memorial Drive on the block south of Main Street.

At the southern border of the Central Business District, Clinton Street would turn east and create a four-way intersection with LaSalle Street extending into Festival Park. New traffic signals would be placed at each intersection along Clinton Street. These new traffic signals should be sequenced to allow for efficient southbound traffic flow with consideration for lateral pedestrian movements. The existing traffic signals on LaSalle Street would be removed and replaced with stop signs. LaSalle Street would be returned to a two-way street with one northbound, and one southbound traffic lane. Parking along LaSalle Street will be redesigned to add or modify parking as permitted based on a reduction of one lane of through traffic. Each of the cross streets would be two-way with either angle parking or parallel parking. See Exhibit 5 & Exhibit 6.