Many Support Changes to Eugene's South Willamette St.

May 20, 2014

Traffic on South Willamette Street in Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Dozens of Eugene residents spoke at a public hearing Monday evening on a proposed redesign of a busy part of South Willamette Street. The four-lane stretch between 24th and 29th has no bike lanes and no center left turn lane. Bicyclists and pedestrians say it's too dangerous because of all the vehicle traffic.
Megan Kemple told councilors she lives in Eugene because it's a bike-able city.

Kemple: "Willamette is one of the few streets in Eugene that I do not feel comfortable biking on. I can either bike in the street with traffic. It's actually illegal for me to do that if I cannot go as fast as the cars are or I can bike on the sidewalk where I am either hopping off and on to let pedestrians go by or being very very nervous about cars coming in and out of driveways."

City Councilors are considering three changes to South Willamette. One would leave it as is. Another option would make it a three lane street with the center lane for left turns and add bike lanes on each side. A third idea is to make it a three lane road and expand the sidewalk to accommodate bikes and pedestrians. The city may test one of these options in a two-year trial which could cost $920-thousand.