The first stages of a pilot study intended to evaluate the way people drive, walk and bike on parts of south Willamette Street will officially start next week. During the week of May 29 – June 4, construction crews will restripe Willamette Street between 24th and 32th avenues, weather permitting.
Starting Monday, May 30, construction crews will prepare the road for lane restriping and start replacing markings at several crosswalks. A majority of the restriping will be completed Tuesday night, May 31, into Wednesday morning, June 1. In order to limit impacts to traffic, all of the work is scheduled to be completed at night and is expected to be finished by Thursday. Drivers are urged to slow down and exercise caution in the work zone.
The pilot study calls for one travel lane in each direction, a center turn lane, and a bicycle lane in each direction. There will be an additional southbound travel lane in the vicinity of 29th Avenue. As part of the project, the traffic signal at 29th Avenue and the new traffic signal at the Woodfield Station entrance now include permissive left turns with a flashing yellow arrow. The flashing yellow arrow feature is new to the intersections and will allow drivers to make left turns at times when gaps are available in addition to the protected left turns when the green arrow is displayed.
This is the just the latest work on a long-term plan to determine the future of travel along this section of Willamette Street. For the last several months, Brown Construction has worked to widen parts of the street.
“We have an opportunity with the South Willamette Street Pilot Study to experience a new street configuration before making a permanent commitment,” said Chris Henry, Eugene Transportation Planning Engineer and project lead. “This pilot study affords us the opportunity to provide safe and accessible mobility for people along Willamette Street in any way they choose.”
Once the restriping is completed, City engineers will study the impacts of the changes for about a year. In the summer of 2017, they will then share the results with the City Council. Councilors could decide a permanent design for Willamette Street, ahead of a 2018 project to repave the street.