Hillsboro store owners say 2 lanes better than 1

Hillsboro city officials are considering spending $2.5 million to make one-way streets downtown two lane streets, April 28, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Hillsboro city officials are considering spending $2.5 million to make one-way streets downtown two lane streets, April 28, 2014. (KOIN 6)

HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN 6) — City officials in Hillsboro said they are considering spending $2.5 million to reroute traffic in the downtown area after some store owners have complained the one-way streets are hurting their businesses.

Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey said many downtown merchants have asked for the change because with the current one-way streets and synchronized traffic signals, drivers miss everything they drive by.

“You need people traveling in both directions reasonably slow to be even be able to identify there’s a store there that they might want to buy something from,” said Willey. “You hit a green light all the way through and you may be going at 25 miles an hour, which doesn’t encourage you to look around.”

Doug Johnson has owned the Hillsboro pharmacy on East Main Street for 40 years and said the city had already made some changes to create more foot traffic. Those changes include building out some sections of the sidewalk to give pedestrians an easier distance to cross the street.

“Visually, it’s supposed to slow down the cars. With one-way streets, it doesn’t work that well because cars feel very comfortable traveling at a high rate of speed because all the cars are traveling at the same rate of speed they are,” said Johnson.

Johnson said he believes two-way traffic will slow down cars and give drivers more of a chance to look at the businesses, enticing people to stop in and make a purchase.

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