Public Works

For questions or comments:

Traffic Engineering: 319-286-5176

Email: traffic@cedar-rapids.org

Two-Way Conversions

Work is underway to remove the inconsistent one-way/two-way street network downtown and transition all downtown streets to two-way travel. This will make the downtown and surrounding districts easier to navigate and held reduce confusion.  Two-way streets also help encourage slower travel speeds, and allow for pedestrian and bike accommodations. 

Project update: June 20, 2018

The Union Pacific Railroad continues to work on the installation of safety gates and crossing arms downtown. Gates and crossing arms on both sides of the roadway are necessary for two-way traffic flow. Below is a summary of the work currently taking place:

2nd Avenue Tracks
The railroad work is nearly complete at 2nd Avenue. Crews were required to fully close 2nd Avenue at the railroad tracks June 19 - 21. We anticipate the railroad will complete the installation at this crossing and complete final items by the end of next week (June 29), fully opening 2nd Avenue to two-way traffic at the tracks.

4th Avenue Tracks
The railroad is doing some preliminary underground work at these tracks; 4th Avenue remains open at this time.

5th Avenue Tracks
Union Pacific will begin working on these tracks next week. 5th Avenue is currently closed between 4th Street and 5th Street for both railroad work and utility/pavement replacements. Library access is available on 4th Avenue in front of the library; the back parking lot is available off 5th Street.

Two-Way Conversion
Public Works crews recently re-painted 5th Avenue SE between 3rd Street and the 4th Street railroad tracks, changing it from one-way to two-way travel. With the closure at the library and the current one-way layout of 5th Avenue in this area, this conversion will make it easier for businesses such as Klinger Paint, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and Geneva Towers to get in and out of their buildings.


Quick Links


2018 Downtown Projects

2nd Avenue SE, from 1st Street SE to 8th Street SE

  • Two-way conversion
  • Milling, resurfacing
  • Traffic signal removals
  • ADA / Sidewalk improvement
  • Bike lanes
  • Parallel parking remains 
  • Completed Last Year: Pedestrian bump-outs at two intersections

3rd Avenue Bridge

  • Transition from angle to parallel parking
  • Milling, resurfacing
  • Protected bike lane 
  • Possible aesthetics such as trees/planters

4th and 5th Avenue SE, from 3rd Street to 5th Street

  • Two-way conversion
  • Milling, resurfacing 
  • Pedestrian bump-outs at four intersections
  • ADA / Sidewalk improvements
  • 4th Ave bike lanes
  • 4th Ave transitions from angle to parallel parking 

5th Street SE, from 4th Avenue to 5th Avenue

  • Storm sewer replacement
  • Pavement resurfacing 
  • Pedestrian bump-outs at 5th St/5th Ave and at 5th St/4th Ave

Conversions Scheduled for 2019

  • 3rd Avenue SE, from 3rd Street to 8th Street
  • 3rd Avenue SE, from 12th Street to 19th Street

Railroad Crossings
Continued collaboration with Union Pacific Railroad means that safety improvements will also take place this year and next at the railroad crossings, including the construction of new arms and gates. These are necessary to support two-way traffic and will also help secure a quiet zone. 

Installation of Railroad Gates & Crossing Arms 
Construction and timeline governed by the railroad

  • 2nd Avenue, 4th Avenue, 5th Avenue | Spring/Summer 2018
  • 3rd Avenue | 2019 
  • 1st Avenue | 2019 - 2020

Following the completion of the installation of gates and crossing arms, the City will apply for a Quiet Zone Designation. While not all train horns will be eliminated due to federal safety requirements, the noise level will be substantially reduced. 


Benefits of Two-Way Travel:

  • Support for residential, downtown living
  • Increase in retail
  • Increase in pedestrian safety and activity
  • Slower traffic speeds
  • Opportunity to bike, drive, or walk 

Pedestrian Safety | Painted Islandspainted pedestrian areas downtown

  • Reduces walking distance for pedestrians. 
  • Increases visibility for those trying to cross the street. 

Protected Bike Lanes on 3rd Avenue

  • 3rd Avenue is a primary bicycle route. 
  • Protected bike lanes separate cyclists from moving Protected bike lane with signagevehicles
  • They create a more comfortable experience for those riding bikes, and decrease incidents of “dooring.”

Traffic Signals 

  • Signals in the downtown area that have been removed do not meet traffic warrants, which means traffic could be accommodated comfortably by stop signs.
  • Stop signs also help eliminate unnecessary idling and the yielding that comes with waiting for oncoming traffic.
© 2018  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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