City hears mixed opinions on road diet

People who live and work in Ashland are divided on whether the North Main Street road diet has created travel headaches or improved life for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

North Main Street was re-striped in October 2012 as it enters northwest Ashland. Four car travel lanes were reduced to two travel lanes with a center turn lane, creating room on the sides of the road for bike lanes in each direction.

In November, Ashland City Councilors will consider whether to keep the new configuration in place, or have the road striped again to take it back to its past layout.

On the city's Open City Hall online forum, reactions to the road diet are wide-ranging.

The city plans to get more input from a survey of 1,000 residents and 50 businesses to be conducted by the Southern Oregon University Research Center at a cost to the city of $13,865.

The road diet itself cost $187,500, most of which was covered by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

An ongoing study of road diet impacts by a traffic engineering firm is costing the city $17,000.

To comment on the road diet and read what others have to say via Open City Hall, visit

— Vickie Aldous

Read more about what Ashland residents think about the road diet in Thursday's Daily Tidings.

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