Posted: Mon, January 30 2012 at 6:28 PM, Updated: Mon, January 30 2012 at 6:38 PM
The city of Central Point can’t decide whether to reduce Pine Street to three lanes or keep it at four.
Pine Street, which runs through downtown Central Point, is currently a busy four lane road. The street functions well, but city officials believe it needs updating.They have come up with two plans on how to improve the street.
Plan one would keep the street as is with four lanes. It would update traffic lights and also provide new lighting and landscaping. Plan two would reduce the busy street to three lanes. Providing two for traffic and one for turning.
Business owners along Pine Street have mixed opinions on the plans. Many are concerned that reducing the lanes would limit parking.
Zen Zen Sushi and Teryaki owner Paul Dean said “ I would like to see it go back to the two lanes and one turning lane so that hopefully it would improve business.”
Owner of Central Point Florist & Gifts, Richard Samuelson is nervous that the three lanes would reduce parking for his customers.
“If you have ever parked somewhere you didn’t feel comfortable getting and and out of your car, you just didn’t park there anymore,” said Samuelson.
City Community Development Director Tom Humphrey is leaning toward the three lane option because it would allow the sidewalks to be widened, restaurants could have space for outside seating, and it would be quieter.
The city did hire a consulting firm to evaluate the issue, and they concluded that the best decision would be to keep the four lanes of traffic, although the three lane would work as well. It could take several months before the city decides on what changes to implement. They will then have to come with the money.