The City of Oregon will hold a stakeholders meeting for businesses along the State Route 2 (Navarre Avenue) corridor to get feedback on traffic issues.
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 17, at 9 a.m. in council chambers, said City Administrator Mike Beazley.
It will be the third meeting the city has held for the businesses since 2011. The most recent meeting was held last fall, said Beazley.
“It’s an opportunity to bring the businesses together on the State Route 2 corridor to look at some of the traffic issues and improvements we’re considering,” said Beazley. “We had about 40 people at the last meeting. We usually have a mix of property owners, tenants, real estate developers, who come to the meetings. We got some good feedback.”
City officials will focus on plans to improve safety near the Navarre Avenue and Wheeling Street intersection, one of the most dangerous in Oregon, according to Mayor Mike Seferian.
“We’ve always made the claim that the biggest priority for us was Wheeling and Navarre, and just east of it,” said Seferian. “So we’d really like to let them know what we got going, and the likelihood that we can get moving on that right away.”
The city has applied for a safety grant that would fund construction of a road off Wheeling Street that would improve access to businesses near the intersection at Navarre Avenue, such as Tim Horton’s, Arby’s, and in the Freeway Plaza where several shops, including a laundramat, are located.
“It is a hazard for cars going east down Navarre Avenue that stop to turn left to get to Tim Horton’s, Arby’s, or the Freeway Plaza. It is the worst spot in the city,” said Seferian. “We’re getting a lot of accidents, sometimes daily, there. Many are injury accidents.”
As a result, the city has a good chance of getting the grant, which would cover 90 percent of the project’s cost. The city would be responsible for 10 percent.
“We’re near the top of the list because the state knows that is a dangerous spot,” said Seferian. “It’s precisely what the grant was set up for, situations like what we have.”
Other options to improve safety there included u-turns down Navarre Avenue so you could turn in and right out of those businesses. In the Michigan area, they do that a lot,” he said. The u-turns are also featured on South Reynolds Road in Toledo.
“Businesses hate them,” said Seferian. “Especially repeat businesses, like carryouts or fast food places, because if someone misses it, they aren’t going back. They’re going to go to the next one. I think businesses will be happier and more supportive of that road coming off Wheeling and connecting to the businesses. Nobody really loses in all of that.”
The city plans to purchase the Oriental Gardens Restaurant on Wheeling Street where the proposed road would begin, said Seferian.
“The road would start dead center in the middle of the Oriental Gardens property,” he said.
The city also hopes to acquire a driveway owned by a nearby apartment complex that runs between Tim Horton’s and Arby’s. The proposed road would connect to the driveway before it exits on Navarre as part of the project, he said.
“We would excavate it, make it a proper street – not just a driveway. Gifting it to us would be a good deal for the owners because we would reconstruct the road. It needs repair right now. They are currently responsible for plowing it, maintaining it, repairing it - doing any work to it. If the owners gift it to us, they’re going to end up with a new, bigger, better road that will be maintained forever, at no cost to them,” he said.
“We hope to actually block off some of the Arby’s and Tim Horton’s accesses to Navarre, and allow the traffic to go out from that road, which is back from the intersection,” Seferian added. “It will be a safer place to enter and exit. It cuts the risk of an accident enormously.”