‘North Main Road Diet’ Begins

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ASHLAND, Ore. – Tuesday night, crews will begin a striping project that Ashland city officials say will increase both safety and commute time, but first, the pilot project called “The North Main Road Diet” will reduce northbound and southbound traffic to one lane in each direction. Crews will add bike lanes on either side as well as a center lane.

“We have a high number of accidents on north Main so the road diet, because it has a left turn refuge we think will, and that’s what we’ll measure, reduce the number of rear end collisions,” said Ashland Public Works Director Mike Faught.

The change was approved by the city council in 2011 and is set to be completed in just a weeks time, even though rain has delayed the start of the project by two days. Traffic delays are expected for the next few days as crews work on re-stripping from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

City officials will reevaluate the impact the project has had next year, but residents already have mixed feelings. Bike riders are in favor of more bike lanes while daily commuters are not excited about loosing their extra lanes. Once the project is completed a public comment period will open up and commuters can voice their opinions on the change on Ashland.