Community and Regional Planning Program


First Advisor

Yunwoo Nam

Second Advisor

Zhenghong Tang

Third Advisor

Dan Piatkowski

Date of this Version

Winter 12-4-2020


Lage, Terrence. Scenario Analysis of Downtown One-Way Street Conversions in Lincoln Nebraska: A Case Study for Downtown Livability and Pedestrian Safety. Thesis, Lincoln: University of Nebraska, Digital Commons, 2020.


A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the degree Master of Community and Regional Planning, Major: Community and Regional Planning, Under Supervision of Professor Yunwoo Nam. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2020

Copyright © 2020 Terrence L. Lage


An era of downtown street design benefiting the automobile has become over designed for the movement of volumes of traffic in many North American cities. Since the 1950s, the primary focus of planners and traffic engineers has been to address the growing problem of traffic congestion caused by the suburban traveler coming into and out of downtown. The solution was retrofitting the original two-way street grid into a network of wide and straight multi-lane one-way corridors. This design successfully moved volumes of traffic through downtown streets but induced behavior to favor the automobile instead of design that favors active mobility like walking and cycling. However, the last couple decades, cities in North America have been converting their multi-lane one-way street network back into their original two-way configuration. The streets have become over designed for the level of service and a new era of downtown living is arriving. Thus, the downtown street needs to be livable and safe for pedestrian activities to regain vibrant and livable downtown places. This thesis explores the literature on downtown street design in the context of livability and pedestrian safety. This is followed with examining completed conversion projects in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Through this research, a scenario analysis will be conducted in a case study of Lincoln, Nebraska downtown multi-lane one-way street network that if converted could see more walking and biking, safer pedestrian street space, and economic development. The results of this research add to the literature and provides a framework for planners to explore downtown street conversions.

Advisor: Yunwoo Nam