Businesses React to Willamette St. Plan

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EUGENE, Ore. — Local business owners on South Willamette street are reacting to the Eugene City Council’s decision Tuesday night to re-stripe the busy street.

Mayor Kitty Piercy broke Tuesday night’s tie — a vote that will change the face of South Willamette Street.

Local business owners have mixed reviews.

Some say it will make the street more accessible for pedestrians, but others are worried the change will impact their business.

The approved plan will make the current four-lane road, into three lanes: one lane in both directions and a turn lane in the middle.

Bike lanes on both sides would also be added.

Business owners we spoke with say they’ve been waiting for this change for a while.

“I mean nowadays people are trying to design streets for everyone, you know people walking, biking, driving, taking transit, and right now this street is pretty much for driving. And I think it’s a disservice to this business community and it’s something that we really have a chance to change and improve on,” said Arriving by Bike Manager, Kelsey Moore.

Other business owners say they aren’t happy with the decision because it’s not taking into account the welfare of local business.

The lane reconfiguration test is expected to start in the beginning of spring or summer 2015.

After that, the Eugene City Council will revisit the test to see how the community feels about the re-striping.

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