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Community asked for input on Blue River Drive

BLUE RIVER: People at a gathering last weekend had a chance to learn more about how vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians might better navigate their way through Blue River in the future. During a review of three options impacting two sections of the town’s main street, they were also advised Lane County had modified its code language “to recognize the existing right of way widths within the downtown area,” according to Becky Taylor, the county’s senior transportation planner.

Details on possible provisions for the downtown section included different types of parking, room for cyclists, and the placement of utilities and walkways. Design Option 1 was based on a 60-foot right of way that could allow for 50 head-in parking spaces on one side of the street. Design Option 2 allowed for parking on both sides of the road and could create 42 parking spaces, as well as sidewalks. Design Option 3 would keep the same number of spots to park vehicles as Option 2 but would feature a wider 12-foot walkway on only one side of the street.

Up for review along the western portion of Blue River Drive, Design Option 1 detailed a sidewalk and bike lanes, along with a buffered slope next to the lane of travel. Design Option 2 showed ditches on both the right and left sides of the road. Details for Design Option 3 showed a 2-foot concrete wall and an optional guardrail are included for sections of the road.

During discussions on the western portion of the roadway, Taylor said a continuous sidewalk is envisioned in each. Drawings for that area showed portions marked in green to show where it would be possible to construct an 8-foot-wide pedestrian pathway. Other areas where topographic constraints had to be dealt with were marked in red and would reduce that section to a 7-foot-wide walkway.

Designs for both sections would provide some provisions for dealing with wastewater, although Taylor said it was too early in the process to get into details of what might be involved. “WE will need to engineer that after we know what the desired cross sections are,” she said. “The section west of the bridge is where there are defined drainage ditches,” she added. Again, because of the topography, the width of those ditches is likely to vary and would also require some underground piping in certain areas to maintain stormwater conveyance.

Asked if area residents would be presented with a bill for the updates, Taylor said that was not part of the proposals. “We’re pursuing grants for the whole projected rebuilding of Blue River Drive,” she said. In addition, because the street is a Lane County road, upkeep of features like any plantings, would be the county’s responsibility.

At this point, no date for a decision on adopting any of the proposed designs hasn’t been set. There are tentative plans for a public hearing in July followed by a decision in August. “That’s all dependant on our feeling confident that what we develop is what the public wants,” Taylor said. “We want to develop a design for Blue River Drive that works for Blue River.”

To view videos on the 6 different options, go to:


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