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Downtown Manitowoc businesses expect rise in customer traffic after two-way conversion of 8th and 10th Streets

Posted at 8:01 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 21:01:34-04

MANITOWOC, Wis. (NBC 26) — Going all the way back to the 1960s, drivers have only been able to move in one direction on a pair of downtown Manitowoc streets.

"At that time, the goal was truly to get people through downtown quicker," Manitowoc Community Development Director Adam Tegen said.

Fast forward to 2022, and on Aug. 15, the city's 8th and 10th Streets will switch into two-ways.

"By slowing down traffic, we hope people can get out and walk through downtown, enjoy all the other amenities that we've been investing in over the last five years or so," Tegen said.

The owner of The Flower Forge says she hopes the latest version of 8th Street will increase her customer base by 40 percent.

"I was really familiar with Eau Clare and they had done that previously," Julie Sieracki said. "So I got to see how their downtown was transformed by switching theirs back."

The florist says she was hesitant at first, but the move could push more SS Badger car ferry traffic to her business.

"When they get off the boat, they have to take a right and they have to go out of town and not downtown," Sieracki said.

The co-owner of The Granary Boutique on 8th Street is confident a two-way will slow motorists down and put the spotlight on local businesses.

"I know there's a lot of frustration of the local people," Dani Leggett said. "They're frustrated. Nobody likes change, so it's gonna take some getting used to."

Drivers won't have a choice starting next month.

"There's so many people that just fly right through without paying attention and there's a lot of cool stuff happening down here," Leggett said.