Businesses React to Willamette St. Plan

Eugene's Willamette Street.
Eugene’s Willamette Street.

Local business owners on Eugene’s South Willamette street are reacting to the Eugene City Council’s decision Tuesday night to re-stripe the busy South Eugene street, near Eugene’s Spencer’s Butte. Mayor Kitty Piercy broke the council tie to move the project as businesses react to Willamette St. plan.

Ultimately this should help with the traffic in the South Eugene, even though there is some misque’s and questions to be answered by some local businesses, who feel this isn’t the proper thing to do with Willamette Street. A hot topic among residents and business owners along the stretch of Willamette Street have complained for years that Willamette Street needed a new facelift and restructuring as much of the street has no bicycle lanes and turn lanes to turn safely into businesses along the four-lane street between West 24th Avenue and 32nd street between Willamette and Donald.

With some the opposition saying this isn’t the best solution for the neighborhood, a much more different viable plan and configuration of Willamette Street should be considered, but as the City Council voted earlier this week to move the project forward in a supposedly test configuration of the four-lane street to see how drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists adapt to the new configuration, which will be restriped next year in 2015 and the city will test the new configuration for a year – the plan could work into a permanent fixture after the year without further fanfare or the city could try something else, which is yet to be seen.

Among, those who feel it will doom businesses and traffic along Willamette Street, bicyclists tend to favor the three lane approach, which includes bicycle lanes into the project and drivers tend to favor a more favorable four-lane street in both directions. It is yet to be seen who wins the bet in the next year, win or lose – the project will still likely be the talk of the town.

Without any real changes to South Eugene’s Willamette Street the city could be haunted for years to come without a change to a past mistake.



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