ASHLAND, Ore. – A major road project has been completed in Ashland and while it’s meant to improve safety, some drivers are feeling floored by the changes.
North Main Street used to be four lanes, two going in each direction, but Ashland officials say it was also one of the worst areas for accidents in the city. Now it’s two lanes with a bike lane, and a left turn lane, to cut down on crashes.
The project, called the “North Main Road Diet” runs from Helman Street to the train tracks near Jackson Road. People NewsWatch12 spoke with Tuesday were mixed on their reactions to the changes. Home business owner says the turn lanes will be confusing to drivers and could divert them from his business. Bike riders, on the other hand, say the configuration makes them feel safer. Either way, the city of Ashland says it will take everything into consideration as it looks over this project for the next year.
The Public Works Department says the old configuration actually slowed down traffic, because cars had to stop when a driver tried to make a left turn. The Public Works Department will not only be looking at traffic problems in that area, it will also look at how many cars avoid the changes. They said that could also determine whether to keep the new road pattern at the end of the year trial.