Salem to add another two-way street

The one-way Northeast Court Street will be turned into a two-way street, in an attempt by the city to improve accessibility in downtown Salem.  

Beginning Thursday, Feb. 16, two lanes of Court Street will close to build a new median at Northeast High Street. The project will also add crossing islands, traffic signals, lighting and new paint.

The changes were recommended by the Central Salem Mobility Study, adopted in 2013. The project suggested High, Court, Church, State and Cottage Streets as potential one-ways to be converted.

The city completed a similar project in 2021 that turned State Street into a two-way street.

Court street used to be a two-way street around the 1980s, but was then converted to a one-way, city spokesman Trevor Smith said. The project aims to increase pedestrian, biking and other alternate transportation options to cars while maintaining parking in both directions.

The project will convert the westbound three-lane road into a two-lane road with left turn lanes.

The changes to Court Street will cost $500,000 for design and construction, with funding coming from the Riverfront Downtown Urban Renewal Area, whose funding goals include supporting downtown businesses.

The contractors and supplies are ready to go, Smith said, and one island has been installed already.

Completion of the project will require a stretch of sunny days to properly cure the new striping on the road, Smith said.

The city will be updating the project’s progress on its social media, and on its online construction dashboard.

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.

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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.