Bike lanes may soon be added to a section of South Willamette Street from 19th to 24th Avenues, as part of a repaving project to be completed this summer (2013).  Yet adding bike lanes will require removal of some parking spaces—so there’s sure to be controversy.

This five-block section of Willamette is unique in that it allows only one-way (southbound) travel from 19th to 22nd.  Northbound travelers must turn to use Oak Street to continue north of 22nd.  While this odd configuration is somewhat unpopular, there are neither plans nor funds to change it.  But the money for repaving the street offers the opportunity to add the bike lanes that are currently lacking.

Bicyclists travelling on this part of Willamette currently often use the narrow sidewalks, where they conflict with pedestrians.  On-street bike lanes would increase safety for both bicyclists and pedestrians,  Current plans to add bike lanes would require the removal of parking spaces from residential sites on the west side of the street.

While this project does not require formal approval by City Council, its completion will rely upon enthusiastic support from the bicycling community.

GEARs Advocacy will head up support for this project.  For more information, contact sue.wolling@gmail.com.

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