This August the traffic pattern in downtown Lowell will undergo a big change. The web of one way streets that have been in place for a half century will become two way. The streets involved in this transition are as follows:
Central Street from Market to Merrimack which is currently one way heading towards Merrimack will become two way;
Merrimack Street from Prescott to Dutton which is currently one way heading towards City Hall will be two way;
Shattuck Street which runs from Merrimack to Market and is one way heading towards Market will be two way;
Market Street from Shattuck to Central which is one way heading towards Central will be two way.
Dutton Street will remain two way and Middle and Palmer Street will remain one way as will Prescott Street.
There will be new lane markings, cross walks, "no left/right turn" signs, and new parking regulations. It will take a while for those who have known only the current system to get used to these changes and their consequences. There are several reasons the change is being made. One is to make navigating downtown Lowell easier and more direct; two is to calm traffic and thereby promote pedestrian activity; and three is that research has shown that retail districts do better with two way traffic.