Cleveland Street open to two-way traffic

Cleveland Street through downtown Redmond is open to two-way traffic after more than a year of construction.

The street was only a one-way, along with Redmond Way, which is also being converted to facilitate two-way traffic.

Cleveland Street opened to two-way traffic on Sept. 8 and Redmond Way will follow in October.

Business owners in previous coverage had said the construction, which began in June 2016, had led to difficulties for customers trying to navigate their way through downtown.

Joe Hong, owner of Redmond Work and Western Wear, said the traffic improvements could be good for business.

He has run his store in downtown Redmond since 1977 and said the construction downtown has been hard on business.

“Getting in, getting out, is pretty tough,” Hong said.

He also said there’s still a lack of parking for his customers, especially during the afternoon and evening.

Staci Gierok manages the Asante Salon at the Redmond Square on Cleveland Street and said she’s waiting to see how business is affected by conversion.

She was concerned about drivers getting used to cars making left turns.

The city has signs placed along the stretch of the road reminding drivers of the two-way travel.

While it wasn’t always a benefit, Mandy Schwarzinger, owner of Kringles Bakery at the east end of Cleveland Street, said the construction slowdowns sometimes gave customers a chance to notice her business and let them stop in.

“It’s been a love-hate relationship,” she said of construction.

In addition to the conversion, work was also completed at 11 intersections, including utility improvements, new traffic signals, lighting, paving and sidewalk improvements and the addition of plazas.

The budget for the the project was $27 million, including right-of-way design and construction said the City of Redmond Economic Development Manager Jill Smith. The project is currently within its budget.

Cleveland Street was designed to be the new “main street” for the city.

When Redmond Way is reopened, parking will again be allowed on the south side of the street, which city staff anticipates will help with the current parking crunch downtown.

The project to convert the two streets is the final part of a strategy the city developed to connect the downtown street grid.

In recent years, the city has constructed Bear Creek Parkway, 171st Avenue Northeast, 164th Avenue Northeast and the Cleveland streetscape.

Construction by private developers will continue on the north side of Redmond Way.

Private developers will also be building a second westbound lane of Redmond Way starting east of 164th Avenue. They will also improve sidewalks and parking areas and frontage improvements.