Oakridge will not see lane reductions on Highway 58

On Sunday, about 30 people in Oakridge protested changes outlined in the city's transportation system plan.

Posted: Jul 16, 2020 11:39 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2020 10:41 AM

OAKRIDGE, Ore. --- The Oakridge City Council voted to approve an option in a proposed transportation plan that will not include reducing lanes on highway 58.

The council was presented with two options to choose from. One was the original plan of reducing Highway 58 from four lanes to two with the addition of bike lanes and more sidewalks.  

The second option focuses on reducing the speed along the highway but does not include reducing lanes.

The council voted 5-2 in favor of option two after a five hour meeting.

On Sunday, about 30 people in Oakridge protested changes outlined in the city's transportation system plan. Protesters walked across the highway's crosswalk repeatedly to slow traffic and bring attention to the issue. 

RELATED: PROTESTERS GATHER AMID PLANS TO REDUCE LANES ON HIGHWAY 58

They told KEZI 9 News that a lot of trucks go through Oakridge and this plan would make traffic worse. 

"Twenty odd years ago this town worked like the devil to get two lanes. We're a major truck route. Truck traffic and city traffic could coexist at the same time without a traffic jam," Oakridge resident Dennis Richardson said. 

However, others told KEZI 9 News they believe the lane reduction would create a safer environment for pedestrians and bicyclists -- bike lanes are included in the plan. Plus they say it would bring in more customers to local businesses. 

"If we reduce the lanes on 58 we will have a safer, healthier community. We will have more people stopping at local businesses, we will have more ability for pedestrians to move from one local business to another," owner of Westfir Lodge Noah Sunflower said. 

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