Willamette Street Changes

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EUGENE, Ore. — Some changes could be coming to the area of Willamette Street between 24th and 32nd avenues, which is home to many local businesses.

At the intersection of Willamette Street and 25th Avenue, there are two lanes of traffic in each direction, but no bike lanes. The proposal to change traffic patterns on the street doesn’t sit well for one local business owner.

“We’ve got two lanes of traffic going each way. It seems to be working well. We have packed parking lots and are very dependent on those cars,” said Donna McGuinness, owner of Metropol Bakery.

One of the changes would be to add bike lanes to the street, but doing so would take away from lanes for cars. Since there currently aren’t any bike lanes on the street, cyclists often times have to choose another route.

“Bicycles either have to ride in the travel lane with the automobiles or on the sidewalk competing with space for pedestrians and the many driveway accesses in the corridor,” said Chris Henry, Eugene Planning Engineer.

“The goal of the South Willamette Street improvement plan is to help the area become a vibrant urban corridor, accessible by bike, foot, car, or bus,” Henry said.

However, some business owners said they already see the area as already being vibrant and accessible.

“Gradually I think this area has become incredible. I mean, there’s so much traffic. There’s a lot of growth in the South Hills, all kinds of small businesses,” said McGuinness.

Engineers have been researching the traffic patterns of the street as they try to make a decision on what changes should be made. Those changes will be announced Feb. 27 from 6-8 p.m. at South Eugene High School.

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