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Eugene Mayor Breaks Tie To Test Bike-Friendly Layout of South Willamette Street

Rachael McDonald

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy broke the tie on the city council to approve a motion to test a more bike-friendly plan for a 5-block stretch of South Willamette Street.

At Tuesday's work session there was disagreement about what to do with the congested portion of Willamette Street between 24th and 29th avenues. For almost two years, the city has been weighing the options and gathering public comments. The city's Transportation Planning Engineer Chris Henry made a presentation before the council debated the cost, safety issues and whether a test was even necessary. Councilor Mike Clark, who ultimately voted no, was disappointed that Henry's analysis was vague about how success would be defined and didn't include the number of bicycles currently using the corridor.

Clark: "What I would like to avoid is us getting to the end of this year and saying 'See how many more people are riding bikes and see how much safer it is' when we won't know that for a fact. I want to talk about the things we'll actually be measuring and actually be testing ."

Also voting against the bike-friendly re-striping test was Betty Taylor, George Poling and Greg Evans. The 4-4 tie was broken by Mayor Piercy voting in favor. The year-long test won't happen until next year. It will have one lane of traffic in each direction, a center turn lane and bike lanes on both sides of the street.

South Willamette Street Plan