SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The city of Springfield is working to make one the busiest streets in the state safer.
Officials are working on the Main Street Safety Project with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Lane Transit District.
Anette Spickard, the director of development and public works, said Main Street has a crash rate 22 percent higher than the average city street.
Spickard said the main part of the project will be building a raised safety median that will cover a five mile stretch.
"The purpose of the median is to reduce the number and severity of traffic crashes to provide safer crossings for pedestrians," Spickard said.
But not everyone thinks this is a good idea. Dan Jenkinson owns Dan's Automotive on 35th and Main streets, one of several businesses on the main road. He said he is worried the median will hurt his business.
"You are going to kill businesses along here,” Jenkinson said. “If people can't turn and go to the businesses. You know if you put a median there you would block half of the traffic."
Jenkinson said there is no easy fix to improve safety, but said the city should reconsider implementing a median.
"The median is going to not do anything,” he said. “People are going to run across the median. They’re going to go where they want to go."
Spickard said the project will cost nearly $4 million, funded through the state's All Roads Transportation Safety program. The public input process will start next summer and they plan to finalize designs on the median by 2021.
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