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ODOT: Changes To North Bend Traffic Flow
For the past few weeks, The Oregon Department of Transportation and Knife River have been repaving U.S. Highway 101 in North Bend. As part of the paving work, they are making a few changes to local traffic. When the city of North Bend approached ODOT about installing curb extensions in the downtown area, they saw it as an opportunity to make some safety improvements.
Changes to Sherman Ave. between Virginia and Washington:
First, they are changing the traffic pattern of southbound Highway 101 (Sherman Avenue) between the Virginia and Washington intersections. In the past, traffic in the left lane had been required to turn left at Washington while the center and right lanes carried southbound 101 traffic to Coos Bay. This often resulted in confused drivers in the left lane suddenly swerving into the center lane so they could continue south on 101, thereby increasing the chance of a crash.
The new pattern will require traffic in the right lane to turn right onto Washington or continue straight on Sherman up the hill, while the left and center lanes will carry southbound 101 traffic to Coos Bay. Drivers in the left lane will still have the option of turning left onto Washington.
ODOT believe this change in traffic pattern will improve safety and reduce the number of crashes in this area.
Changes to Sherman Ave. at Virginia intersection
In front of the North Bend Hotel, the right lane of Sherman will become a right-turn-only lane onto westbound Virginia. To prevent traffic in the right lane from going straight, they are installing a large curb extension at the southwest corner of the intersection, in front of American Home Furnishings. Therefore, when drivers are traveling south through downtown North Bend and want to continue to Coos Bay, they will need to get in either the left or the center lane. And if driving south through the Virginia intersection and want to continue on Sherman up the hill, or if you want to turn right onto Washington, you will need to make a conscious effort to get in the right lane.
Over the next few weeks, be aware that other drivers are still learning the new traffic patterns. Watch surroundings and drive safe.