Committee proposes traffic changes for downtown Ashland

Ashland, Ore. — Ashland’s East Main Street may be getting a new facelift. The busy street could be going from three lanes to two to create loading zones for trucks and a continuous bicycle lane.

A committee plan proposes using the third lane on East Main Street between the plaza and Gresham Street as a loading zone for delivery trucks and a bicycle lane. It would also eliminate 18 parking spots in the downtown area.

Ashland’s Public Works Director Mike Faught said the committee spend 2.5 years forming the plan, and it hasn’t been finalized. The group met again this afternoon to discuss more details before they hold a public hearing. Some worry taking parking away from downtown could be a problem, but Faught said the spaces would be made up elsewhere.

“There’s a large inventory of privately owned paid parking lots so the idea is let’s start working on agreements with them to arrange for employee parking so then we can free up some of that primary customer parking in the downtown area,” he said.

Faught said the plan aims to ease congestion and open up lanes for cyclists. The plan also calls for new traffic signals at Oak and East Main Streets and Oak and Lithia Way.

The committee will hold a public hearing before the plan will go to City Council. That could happen as late as next January.

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