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Eugene seeks feedback on Franklin Blvd plan

Vehicles driving on Franklin Boulevard in Eugene.
Nathan Wilk
Franklin Blvd is a wide street that cuts through an area frequented by pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit buses.

The city of Eugene is moving forward with plans to re-shape a busy stretch of roadway near the University of Oregon campus.

Franklin Boulevard is as much as six lanes wide at some points, making it a challenge for pedestrians and bicyclists to navigate.

The goal is to make Franklin Boulevard work well for all users, said Rob Inerfeld, transportation planning manager for the city.

“For people driving, but also people walking, biking, taking the bus," he said. "So it’s how to make this a livable street that works for everybody, and also that supports the more compact land-use development and mixed-use neighborhood that’s growing up along Franklin Boulevard.”

Inerfeld said construction could begin in 2026.

As part of the proposal, the city is proposing to add several traffic circles and limit vehicles to two lanes in each direction.

"We think that roundabouts do a good job of keeping the traffic flowing smoothly, even while still enabling people to cross the street while walking and biking," Inerfeld said. "We think that's a good compromise."

The proposal would also expand the number of lanes dedicated to LTD's "EmX" bus. Sections of the route currently share a single travel lane for both directions, which complicates things, said Inerfeld.

The city is holding an open house on the proposal this Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Ford Alumni Center Ballroom, 1720 E 13th Avenue.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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