EUGENE, Ore. — A consultant team will present its recommended changes on Wednesday to an eight-block stretch of Willamette St.
It’s all for the South Willamette St. Improvement Plan. The plan has been in the works for more than a year now. It started with six possible roadway alternatives for Willamette St. from 24th Ave. to 32nd Ave.
Three options are now up for consideration. On Wednesday, a consultant team will recommend one of them. The alternative would change Willamette St. from four lanes to two lanes, with a center turn lane and two bike lanes.
The goal is to make South Willamette St. more accessible for walkers, bicyclists, drivers and bus riders, but businesses fear it will drive customers away.
“We’ve heard concerns from businesses about their livelihood and loss of business as a results of the changes to the street,” says Transportation Planning Engineer Chris Henry.
There are still two other options in play. One would keep the four travel lanes and expand sidewalks. The other would expand sidewalks, but reduce travel lanes from four to three. The total cost for the three alternatives is between $4.5 million and $5.5 million.
Next month, the public will be invited to provide feedback. Then the city council will make a decision by the end of the day.