SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Crews were out early re-striping St. James Street in San Jose on Thursday, the culmination of a 30-year fight by residents to see the heavily-used thoroughfare converted to a two-way street.

For years, neighbors complained that traffic on the one-way section between 4th and 19th streets moved considerably faster than the posted 25 mph speed limit.

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KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“Of course traffic moves at the prevailing speed rather than the posted speed,” said Don Gagliardi of the Northside Neighborhood Association.

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All that heavy traffic came with consequences for the entire quality of life on the street, Gagliardi said. He attributed much of the blight on that stretch of St. James Street to the fact that the noise and pollution of the cars discouraged residents from spending time outdoors taking care of their properties.

Drivers were skeptical about the change, concerned that the traffic calming measure might wind up promoting congestion in other parts of downtown.

The city is working on a plan to convert other downtown streets such as 10th and 11th to allow two-way traffic.

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