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Council to review Eugene transportation plan on climate, safety, bicycles - and delays

You can expect to spend a few more seconds at stoplights and stop signs in the decades to come, according to the draft transportation plan for the City of Eugene. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. - You can expect to spend a few more seconds at stoplights and stop signs in the decades to come, according to the draft transportation plan for the City of Eugene.

The City Council meets at noon Wednesday to learn more about the plan.

Other topics in the plan include planned improvements to Beltline and Delta Highway; bicycle and pedestrian projects; and Vision Zero, the initiative to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

The city's transportation planning manager says motorists can currently anticipate a 35 to 55 second delay during peak traffic at intersections with traffic signals, with the exception of the University of Oregon district (55 to 80) and downtown (greater than 80 seconds), according to the memo.

Planners propose to change the citywide standard to 55 to 80 seconds, with the exception of downtown where greater delays will remain the norm.

The new standard "is based on achieving a balance between the Envision Eugene land use vision and providing an efficient transportation system," the planner explains in the memo. Planners say retaining the current standard "for most of Eugene could have unintended consequences," including:

  • not allowing developments at densities consistent with Envision Eugene;
  • requiring mitigation that would widen streets and negatively impact residences and businesses; and
  • making it more challenging to implement protected bikeways and dedicated bus lanes.

The Council will also review how the plan related to the city's Climate Recovery Ordinance. According to the report:

Of the 264 projects planned in the 2035 TSP to be built over the next 20 years (excluding those to be built upon development), 239 of the projects are entirely pedestrian and bicycle projects; those projects include 89 neighborhood greenways, 22 on-street bike lanes, 18 shared use paths, 12 protected bike lanes, and 85 separated path/sidewalk projects. Six of the 264 projects are transit projects, which include improving frequent transit service and multimodal travel along numerous transit corridors. These 245 bicycle, pedestrian, and transit projects represent 51% of the total transportation dollars that are planned to be spent over the next 20 years. Of the 19 remaining projects, 6 of the projects are complete street upgrades to existing roadways; all 6 of these projects have a significant bicycle and pedestrian component. These complete street projects represent an additional 10% of the total transportation dollars. Not counting the three rail projects (which amount for 6% of the total transportation dollars), only three projects planned for the next 20 years have no explicit bicycle, pedestrian, or transit component contained in their project descriptions. These three projects represent approximately 8% of the total transportation dollars that are planned to be spent over the next 20 years.

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