The City of Eugene is making changes to a major street downtown that intersects Saturday Market. The goal is to improve safety and a sense of connection between the park blocks.
The park blocks to the south and the butterfly lot and free-speech plaza to the north make up Eugene’s original town square. City of Eugene Urban Design Planner Will Dowdy says about 100 years ago, Oak and 8th Streets were built to intersect those blocks.
“But what’s happened since then is the blocks have been pulled more apart and they don’t feel as much like they’re one place." Dowdy says, "And so this is an effort to make it easier for people to cross back and forth between them in a safer way, to make them more easily visible to drivers who are coming through this area and, hopefully, to stitch this back together so that we can once again really restore that sense of a town square.”
Dowdy says this week the City will make Oak Street 2 lanes along the Park Blocks. This will shorten the distance for people to cross Oak Street and add on-street parking. The changes are in keeping with Eugene’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic related deaths and injuries.