Changes are coming to several intersections along West 12th Street. It’s an effort by PennDOT to improve traffic patterns on one of the city’s busiest streets.

Next week, the project will begin. PennDOT is focusing on four intersections, including the one at 12th and State streets.

Drivers on West 12th Street can expect some changes as PennDOT begins its project to improve four intersections on Wednesday.

Downtown developers and business owners say they welcome plans to improve traffic patterns along West 12th Street.

“Everything they’re doing is to speed up traffic. A lot of people know the Bayfront highway’s going to close up here shortly, and that project’s over two years. So they have to take all the traffic that’s down on the Bayfront and move it up to either 12th, 26th, or 38th street, with this one being the main focus,” said Pete Zaphiris, managing & sole member, Great Lakes Insurance.

At Greengarden and West 12th streets, the southbound lanes will be changing from two lanes in each direction to one lane for traffic and one for left turns.

At Raspberry and 12 streets, the northbound lane will be reduced to a single shared lane for traffic and left turns.

There will also be changes to intersections at Liberty and 12th streets, as well as at State and 12th streets.

“They’re doing work with the traffic lights, taking some out, putting in traffic lights that can be coordinated better, because next summer I believe we’ll have to close the Bayfront Parkway to remodel that. I’m really hoping people go up to 12th and find out how much better that is,” said Mayor Joe Schember, City of Erie.

One downtown business owner said he’s in favor of any plan that makes his location more accessible.

“There’s 93,000 cars that go by our business every single day, so it gets a little congested sometimes around morning and afternoon. So I think turning lanes will be huge,” said Jason Lavery, owner, Lavery Brewing Company.

Lavery says he hopes these changes make 12 Street more inviting and pedestrian friendly.

“They’re beautifying it as well so it looks great for tourists coming in. We get a lot of beer tourism, people driving up to visit the breweries and wineries, so their first glimpse of Erie is sometimes 12th Street. Beautifying it and making it easier to navigate is huge,” said Lavery.

Click here for more information on these changes.