Many of the streets in Downtown Nashua were converted to one-way movement in the early 1970s as a means of moving higher volumes of traffic through Downtown. Typically, streets were converted in pairs, on in each direction (such as Kinsley and Hollis or Pearl and Factory). However, there are “orphans”—that is, they are not paired.
Over time, the proposed benefits of a one-way system have not materialized. While they do move more traffic, there are several negatives, including:
Faster traffic, therefore a less pleasant pedestrian experience
Confusion and frustration for drivers who cannot move through Downtown based upon intuition
Reduced retail visibility
Higher speeds increase crash severity
Diminished access to parking and other destinations because of restricted movements
The Broad Street Parkway opened in 2015. The roadway will make it easier for visitors to come to Downtown Nashua from the west. This presents a unique opportunity to rethink how visitors on bicycles, on foot and in cars move around Downtown Nashua.
The City initiated the Downtown Circulation Study to identify opportunities to improve access to and within Downtown Nashua. . The purpose of the study is to identify potential strategies to improve roadway and intersection traffic flow and mobility within Downtown Nashua, strengthen pedestrian and bicycle connections with the core downtown area, and enhance accessibility for residents and businesses.
The City is looking more closely at proposals at five separate locations within Downtown Nashua where changes in the traffic flow might be warranted. These areas include:
Walnut Street Oval (changes to facilitate safer flow and increase development opportunities)
Park & Court Street (possible change to 2 way traffic flow)
Spring Street (possible change to 2 way traffic flow)
Pearl Street / Temple Street Pairing (reverse the traffic flow)
Currently, the reversal of traffic flow for the Pearl Street / Temple Street pairing is being studied by the City. Based on ongoing public input on the concept of one-way reversal for specific streets, a set of concept sketches have been developed.