Henderson and Magnolia

The Near Southside's signature street has an exciting weekend in store. In addition to Sunday's Open Streets festival (noon-4pm), you'll see another change on Magnolia Avenue this weekend.

As part of an ongoing effort to improve safety and circulation for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists, the City's Traffic Management Division will begin studying alternative traffic control strategies at Magnolia's signalized intersections at Henderson St. and College Ave.

This test will convert standard traffic signal operations to a consistent flashing red in all directions, transforming those Henderson and College intersections into four-way stops.

On streets with volumes and operations similar to Magnolia, all-way stops typically move traffic as efficiently as traffic signals, and often bring additional safety and circulation benefits. For example, more frequent breaks in traffic should allow drivers waiting at stop signs on the north-south streets to more easily merge onto Magnolia. We also expect the change will reduce the frequency of dangerous, high speed drivers that today will race to catch a green (or even yellow) light at these intersections. Pedestrians and cyclists should also benefit from these speed reductions and more frequent crossing opportunities.

During the test the City will closely monitor operations at these intersections, including during peak commuting times. Options for the ultimate outcome include a permanent change to four-way stop signs, an ongoing mix of flashing reds and normal signal operations, or a return to current signal operations, depending on the results.

You should also stay tuned for more information on other Magnolia Village circulation issues, such as an upcoming analysis of loading and delivery operations along Magnolia Ave., which will be explored over upcoming months through a collaborative effort among the City, Near Southside, Inc., the Fairmount neighborhood, and Magnolia businesses and property owners. The next step in that effort will include an electronic survey of existing businesses to be sent out around the end of May.

Thanks to all of the residents, businesses, and visitors that have transformed Magnolia Ave. into the Near Southside's signature showcase and destination. NSI is committed to these ongoing collaborative efforts to make the street and its surroundings as vibrant and enjoyable as possible.

If you have questions or would like to share thoughts on how the signal changes are working, email Mike Brennan at and we will pass along  comments to the City.