Plans to make the South 97 Corridor in Redmond a safer place to drive are in the works and might be one step closer to becoming a reality.
Tuesday night the Redmond City Council will meet with the planning commission to potentially adopt the plan to add multiple new safety features onto the corridor.
Including new traffic signals that will allow for u-turns and medians, all in hopes of increasing mobility and most importantly…safety.
“We have a situation where we have a lot of curb-cuts along that stretch in close proximity, and people making left-hand turns can often be in conflict with each other,” said Scott Woodford, co-project manager.
If the current plan is approved, it will be put into Redmond’s transportation system plan, then go to the Oregon Transportation Commission for approval.
City planners can then focus on a specific design and funding.
Woodford says it’s all a real “balancing act.”
“We see the traffic projections for the future, and we know if we don’t do anything that we could be in a potential gridlock situation,” Woodford said.
Some local businesses are worried how it will impact their flow of customers.
“Our issues are very similar, if not the same as many of the other merchants here,” said Lindsay Greco, store manager at Wilson’s of Redmond. “We’re all concerned about our customers being able to get to us, how this will compromise our business, and how this will compromise business as usual.”
One of Greco’s biggest concerns is how difficult it will be for freight trucks to flow to and from her business.
As well as whether there will be a turn lane into Wilson’s from the median, which could mean lack of access for her customers.
However, Greco also says being right along the corridor gives her a birds eye view of how unsafe this area can be and she knows some of these changes are necessary.
“We do recognize that safety is of utmost importance to us, and any respectful resident here in Central Oregon.” she said.
Tuesday’s meeting will mark the first major step in a long corridor project, but should impact highway safety for years to come.