in Cheap Thoughts, Musings

Cheap Thoughts: One-way streets

Last week as I helped plant trees around Chavis Park, I wondered about the one-way streets around the park. I’ve never been a fan of the one-way streets in Raleigh’s downtown area but seeing them pass through the East Raleigh neighborhoods gave me a different perspective. How do one-way streets affect property values, I wondered? If NCDOT’s goal is to speed cars out of town, as it often is with the one-way streets, how does that stream of fast-moving traffic affect the neighborhoods?

Later that day, I sent a note off to city staff asking if there had ever been a study about how one-way streets affect property values. It appears that there isn’t such a study, and as one staffer pointed out it would be difficult to gather accurate data for such a study.

I asked specifically for property value data but what I’m really looking for is more of the sociological impact that a one-way street has on the surrounding neighborhoods.

I consider driving on a one-way street a lot like driving with blinders on. If you see something interesting but see it too late, it’s a challenge to return to it. I think neighborhoods with two-way streets are likely healthier neighborhoods.

Anyway, I need to see if any research has been done on this.