Make the McKenzie Connection!

Time to design

Locals get to comment on changing regulations

FINN ROCK: Ideas about resurrecting the town of Blue River kept people busy last Saturday during a two-hour community meeting at the old McKenzie High School gym. The discussions were focused on what might happen after people realized Lane County's right-of-way setbacks could have impacts on buildable areas along the town's main street - Blue River Drive.

Originally, the county had planned to focus on an area extending from the eastern junction with Hwy. 126 to where the street crosses Blue River. After hearing concerns from area residents about the rest of the roadway, the study area was expanded to the western junction as well, according to transportation planner Becky Taylor. Some issues in the new area, she said, involved little shoulder width for pedestrians and some areas with steep embankments where it might be hard to recover vehicles involved in accidents.

Expansive right-of-way concerns were brought before the Lane County Planning Commission by people who said proposed amendments to the Lane Code could take so much of their road frontage that rebuilding didn't make sense.

At Saturday's meeting, Taylor said the county's overarching issue was "to do it right and not rush it. We want to make sure our investments will pay off in the long run."

Still to be addressed are issues like driveways, ADA ramps, stormwater issues, and underground utilities.

Taylor said engineers wil prepare an overall plan with three alternatives for people to comment on in the Spring before moving forward. After that, a "community preferred alternative," would be reviewed by the county's Transportation Advisory Committee before being forwarded to the Board of Commissioners by August.


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