Ashland Road Diet to Stay

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ASHLAND, Ore. – Major road work conducted along North Main Street in Ashland over the past year is being called a success, and the configuration will stay.

The “road diet” consisted of reconfiguring North Main Street between the Plaza and the North edge of town, changing the road from four lanes to three. This week the Ashland City Council approved a plan to keep the three lane setup.

One of the goals of the project was to cut down on accidents. The stretch of road averaged about 10 crashes per year, but according to records from the Ashland Public Works department, there have only been four crashes in that same area in the past 12 months.

People living and working along north main said there are still issues with traffic being backed up by slow drivers, but they said it does feel safer.

“Hey, it’s just part of trying to do more safety in our community,” said M. Kim Lewis, owner of Main Street Adventure Tours. “If the council’s going to keep it, we’re going to live with it.”

The total cost last year to make the lane changes was $187,000. Most of it was covered by ODOT grants.

There will be some tweaks to the road diet in the next few months. The city wants to add a left turn lane near Bush street, and some driveways could be shifted to improve traffic flow.