'Have you driven the Beltline at rush hour?'

'Have you driven the Beltline at rush hour?'

EUGENE, Ore. - Freeway on-ramp meters have been in Portland since 1981.

Eugene will be the second city in the state to use them to regulate traffic getting on to an urban freeway.

The meters will be installed at four on-ramps along the Randy Pape Beltline: River Road, River Avenue, Green Acres Road and Coburg Road.
 
The Oregon Department of Transportation says the highway was built for 1960s traffic. The region's traffic has outgrown the road's design. 
 
"The large clump of vehicles that you often see getting on at Green Acres right near the Delta, when you have a lot of vehicles get on the Beltline right at the peak travel period all the traffic behind those vehicles stops," said Rick Little with ODOT. 
 
The meters will turn on during peak travel times. The red and green light system is designed to slow the number of cars merging onto the freeway. This will reduce traffic delays, improve safety and hopefully reduce travel time by two minutes, according to ODOT's estimates.
 
"Two minutes is not, I mean it's not like we are driving in Los Angeles or San Francisco were we spend hours in traffic. A couple of minutes is nothing," said John Lorimer from Eugene. 
 
Many drivers are not sure if the ramp meters will improve traffic but are familiar with them from traveling in bigger cities. Others, believe they are a great idea.
 
"Have you driven the Beltline at rush hour? It is a nightmare sometimes. It takes forever. So I think the progressive ramps are a good idea," said Mike Lawrence from Eugene.