EUGENE, Ore. - What's next for South Willamette Street?
Planners for the city have developed a draft concept plan, which is a framework that integrates ideas about transportation, open space, housing, entertainment and a vital business district.
However, the City's concept plan does not include bicycle lanes on Willamette Street from 24th Avenue to 29th Avenue.
Paul Moore owns Arriving by Bike on Willamette Street. Even though the city's plan is a draft, Moore says he wants bicycle lanes to be included immediately.
"It’s really, really important that bicycles be included on the plan from the beginning so people are clear that that’s what’s really important," said Moore.
He said he's concerned for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
"What scares me is people wouldn't have the opportunity to choose to use a bicycle to get from their homes to the businesses down here," said Moore.
Patricia Thomas is an urban design planner for the City of Eugene. She says the South Willamette area is very complex, so planners needed to study this area more in depth.
The city applied for - and successfully recieved - grant money from the Oregon Department of Transportation. They will be hiring a team of consultants who will begin analyzing and researching more about the South Willamette area.
"There will be a focused study on Willamette street itself and look at how pedestrians, bicyclists, motorist move down that street. It’ll be a very detailed study, it’ll be very rich with public involvement," said Thomas.
Thomas says this concept plan is a work in progess, and after the study begins in March, the planning and transportation departments will have more information and knowledge to create bicycling and pedestrian services in this area.
"I think that once people start working on this project, they’ll see once again that the City of Eugene and our transportation planners are committed to being the national leader that we are with bicycling and pedestrian services," said Thomas.
She said that the city takes the public's input into consideration. There is a survey on their website, as well as information about the South Willamette concept plan.