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Public Works Engineering

Chris Henry
Transportation Planning Engineer

99 East Broadway
Suite 400
Eugene, OR  97401
ph. 541-682-8472

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South Willamette Street Improvement Plan
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South Willamette Street Improvement Plan: Pilot Project Construction Ahead

Construction activities are anticipated to begin mid-summer of 2015 with the test restriping lasting a full calendar year following an adjustment period after construction. The restriping will provide an opportunity to test traffic modeling data and learn from actual experience before permanent changes are made to that section of Willamette Street. Lessons learned from the testing can also be applied to other transportation corridor projects. A report to the Eugene City Council detailing the test results from transportation, economic, and user experience perspectives is expected in early 2017. Following a final decision on the South Willamette Street configuration, a pavement preservation project is planned for construction in 2018 when the final street configuration decision will be implemented.

On May 27, 2014, the Eugene City Council accepted the South Willamette Street Improvement Plan and directed staff to implement a test of South Willamette Street Improvement Plan street design Alternative #3 (three lanes with bike lanes) and report back with findings after a 12-month test period.
 
The pilot project will occur on South Willamette Street within the study area between 24th and 32nd avenues, and will include test restriping and permanent components. Permanent components include constructing a permanent traffic signal at the Woodfield Station driveway north of 29th Avenue as well as widening Willamette Street north of 24th Avenue to tie in to the existing bikeway system and leave enough space for a left-turn lane for southbound traffic on Willamette at 24th. In the vicinity of 29th Avenue, the test restriping will include two southbound travel lanes, a center turn-lane, one northbound travel lane, and bicycle lanes on both sides of the street. North of the 29th Avenue area, the test restriping will include one travel lane in each direction, a center turn-lane, and bicycle lanes on both sides of the street. Several sidewalk access ramps in the project area will be brought into compliance with current federal ADA standards. Two business driveways on Willamette Street will be closed to allow the safe operation of the new traffic signal at Woodfield Station.
 
The one-time cost of the test is estimated at $150,000. That will pay for monitoring the test from transportation, economic and public opinion perspectives. The permanent improvements to be constructed in 2015 (including purchasing right of way, installing the new traffic signal and doing the widening work north of 24th Avenue) are estimated to cost about $750,000. The right of way, widening and traffic signal costs would be incurred even without the one-time cost of the test.

South Willamette Street Improvement Plan Executive Summary May 2014
South Willamette Street Improvement Plan Final May 2014
South Willamette Street Improvement Plan Acceptance Draft May 2014
South Willamette Street Improvement Plan Appendix October 2013

Please join the project email list to receive updates by sending an email to Chris Henry or call 541-682-8472.


South Willamette Street Improvement Test:
Seeks Business Participation In Economic Study


The Community Service Center at the University of Oregon is currently recruiting businesses along South Willamette Street to participate in the South Willamette Street Improvement Test. The purpose of this study is to determine if the restriping of the street from four lanes to three lanes led to an increase, decrease, or no change in total sales for businesses on Willamette.

Participation in the study involves confidentially submitting monthly sales revenue for a period of 18 months, beginning in January of 2015.  Click 
here to find out more about the study and enroll.

Business Enrollment for Economic Study


Project Background

The South Willamette Street Improvement Plan will explore options for people to easily and safely walk, bike, take the bus, or drive in an eight-block study area from 24th Avenue to 32nd Avenue. The goal of this study is to help South Willamette Street become a vibrant urban corridor accessible by bicycle, foot, car, and bus. Today Willamette Street is heavily used to reach many popular destinations, yet it is uninviting to pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and motorists alike. For years, many residents and business owners have shared complaints about the poor conditions on Willamette Street for walking and biking and the need to do something about it. 

The street has two travel lanes in each direction, with no left-turn lanes on the majority of the corridor. The narrow sidewalks are filled with many obstacles, such as mailboxes, utility poles, and trees or landscaping. Nearly 70 driveways cross the sidewalk in this area and create potential hazards for pedestrians and bicyclists. Vehicles stop in the outside travel lanes, blocking traffic.

Over the next 13 months, the South Willamette Street Improvement Plan will develop a complete street design plan for an active transportation corridor (providing for walking, biking, transit access, motoring and business access) that can be adopted and advanced as a capital improvement project for construction.

The Plan aims to:

1) Support existing businesses and the commercial district’s vitality,
2) Create a balanced multi-modal transportation system,
3) Further City planning efforts to identify compact growth and redevelopment opportunities,
4) Foster a well-informed and involved community supportive of the plan.

Previous transportation studies of South Willamette Street suggested adding bicycle facilities, pedestrian crossings, improved transit stops, and reducing the number of motor vehicle travel lanes. This project will study how these changes to street elements could be implemented, and investigate the level of public support for these ideas. Critical to the success of the project is involvement by a variety of people informed by the sharing of information, interests and ideas to establish priorities and consider the tradeoffs between different street design options.

Read more about public involvement for this project here

How does the Willamette Street Improvement Plan relate to the South Willamette Concept Plan?
The results of this project will refine the street design portion of the South Willamette Concept Plan. The Concept Plan creates a long-term vision and identifies tools realizing that vision in the South Willamette area.  One important goal of the Concept Plan is to create a neighborhood where services for residents are available in a “20-Minute” walk, and the street functions for a variety of users (Complete Streets policy). 

The timing of the South Willamette Street Improvement Plan is good because it melds with the South Willamette Concept Plan, and could be completed in conjunction with needed pavement preservation work.

The City of Eugene Project Management Team reviews final reports and guides the planning process:


The Consultant Team conducts the technical studies and manages the public outreach:

 DKS Associates
Project Lead:
Scott Mansur and Peter Coffey
 Cogito logo
Public Involvement Team:
Ellen Teninty, Christian Watchie,
Julie Fischer
 Otak logo
Land Use and Urban Design:
Tom Litster