What the public thinks of Franklin Boulevard

BEST asked users of the street how they think it functions. Here is what they wrote. The comments have been categorized by some topics that were frequently raised.

Delighted with planned changes to Franklin Boulevard – they will make it much safer and quieter for our neighborhood and invite walking and biking. They will speed up EmX service.

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Franklin Blvd is asked to do a lot, but wasn’t designed to do what it’s being asked to do. It is the primary means of traveling to and from events at the UofO and it is limited by the capacity of the adjacent streets to handle the traffic loads. Some restrictions on traffic flow have been implemented in the past that have made it safer for cars and EmX, but it is not a bike or pedestrian-friendly area. I hadn’t heard of the planned changes but am happy to hear that it’s being looked at. I only visit the area when traveling to and from a business in the area. If I were to attend an event in the area, I would consider a park and ride option on EmX, or shared ride such as a taxi or Uber.

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Dangerous to walk on alone

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The biggest problem I see with Franklin boulevard is noise, safety, walkability, and bicycle transportation. The only reasonable modes of travel on Franklin are bus or car. Even driving in a car you still have to look at a very ugly, noisy, and unsafe street. Improving walkability, and biking access is the first step to improving the street. Adding trees, moving businesses up to the sidewalk and widening sidewalks creates a safer, prettier, and more inspiring walking environment.

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Today, Franklin Blvd is defined almost entirely by its value to car drivers. Drivers come from downtown or 11th St and are trying to get to Springfield or the highway as fast as possible; or they are going to other way and trying to get past the University as fast as possible. this leads to congestion and people going drastically different speeds. In addition, parking for the University or the Matt Knight is generally on the north side of the road but people are trying to get to the south side of the road, and there aren’t many crossings. I find myself often trying to get onto the river path behind the Dutch Bros riding my bike, but the pavement is broken up, cars are driving crazy in the west-bound lanes and into the Dutch Bros line, and there generally are tents or yelling people blocking access. Finally, there was a pedestrian path that came off of 15th near Fairmount that is the logical place to walk or run if you are coming from Hendricks Park and going onto the river path, but there is no pedestrian crossing there, so frequently people run across the car lanes where folks are driving 40+ mph. There’s some good things, too. I like the landscaping around the Emx, and the area down towards Onyx St is really starting to look cool. The mural at Agate & Franklin is fabulous, and I have hope for Agate St north of Franklin when the construction is done.

Even driving on Franklin is unpleasant and chaotic. Outside of a vehicle, any of the myriad passing cars could turn into a business at 45 mph without looking and kill me. It is a loud, stressful place to be a pedestrian, and I avoid spending time near it.

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There is no practical way to get from downtown (ie willamette and broadway) to say, riverview street or market of choice etc. without going hugely out of one’s way to either the river or 13th. If I want my trip to be direct and logical by going down Franklin…. It is awful, not safe, you end up on the sidewalk, not well lit in some stretches -given that there’s no bike lane. Both directions of sidewalk, however, also seem like they would be both tricky to navigate and not the loveliest to journey upon if one is in a chair or has a walking assist.

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Bike access is for the most avid/daring cyclists, but is sometimes necessary to connect travel points. It is a key gateway to river path access at Patterson, Onyx, and Walnut but you would not know it from a design/user experience. Multiple lanes encourage speeding and make driving stressful for maneuvering into lanes for upcoming turns and allowing for business access. It is terrible for pedestrians. I provided input on the “Walnut Station” intersection improvements over a decade ago and am dismayed at the delay in action. That intersection needs to prioritize peds/bikes/transit users and set the tone for drivers entering from the east that Franklin is a street for everybody and is not a freeway. The UO needs to adopt a student education program to de-California-ize their driving habits and learn to “chill out, share the road, destress, and breathe.” Happy/positive signage along Franklin to that effect would help too.

Currently very difficult to navigate by bike or walking, increasingly worse over last few decades. Would love to see modifications to make it more pedestrian friendly & to slow traffic. Seems like making new pedestrian bridge connected to UO science buildings should be accessible to public use – this would be great place to start. Also safer access between campus & river bank bike paths.

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Best options for Franklin are EMX or driving at this time. I don’t even like to walk across Franklin and too much traffic to have walking on the sidewalk be a pleasant option. Definitely would need a protected bike lane, before I’d consider biking in the area.

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People walking need clear priority on this street! Please slow drivers down! Mae them have to pay attention to driving! Install speed cameras; increase in-person enforcement; implement infrastructure design changes!

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In its current form, Franklin Boulevard is fundamentally not conducive to being a safe, truly multimodal street. It’s too wide, cars drive too fast, with pedestrian unfriendly sidewalks. Getting from point A to point B along Franklin presumes you are driving.

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It’s a highway and feels like it. I’ve lived here most of my life and still find myself unsure of what lane I need to be in to get where I want to be. The intersection at Walnut is pretty bonkers, I’m wondering if anyone at the City has driven that one lately? Turning left there is an experience weird enough that I deliberately will drive blocks away to avoid it. Lately I’ve seen more traffic violations (running red lights) than before, and there doesn’t appear to be any traffic enforcement presence. I’d love to see changes to make it more walkable and bikeable.

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It would be nice to have more options for walking and biking without feeling like I could be hit by a car. As a driver, I often experience bikes and pedestrians walking out in front of my because of limited options for them. The lack of crosswalks makes it so pedestrians and bikes often jaywalk, especially in the dark when there are events on campus, and the lack of bike paths discourages my use of the businesses along Franklin.

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I would love to see changes that encourage other modes of transportation besides cars. I live within 2 miles of my office but biking or walking on Franklin is enough to discourage me from using those modes of transportation.

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I cross Franklin daily for work and nearly every day have to avoid someone running a red light. It’s by a wide margin the most frequent place I see that behavior impacting pedestrians in Eugene.

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So much opportunity for safety and access improvements, which would make the road more enjoyable for all users, including cars and busses. In the current configuration, Franklin is loud, fast, and unpleasant for those not in a car. When I drive it, it’s unpleasant because I worry that I can’t see pedestrians or cyclists. I would prefer if the driving surface were fewer lanes, there was dedicated infrastructure for peds and cyclists, and clearly marked crosswalks with responsive lights.

Too much traffic. Cars going too fast. Drivers don’t pay attention to pedestrians and bikers. Drivers cruise through red lights when making right turns. Crosswalks are too far apart, especially with respect to the EmX stations.

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On a day-to-day basis as a commuter, Franklin is ok. But on events days at MKA or elsewhere on campus, Franklin doesn’t seem designed to handle that kind of traffic from vehicles, pedestrians and bikes.

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Needs two bus lanes, separate bike facilities and more protection between sidewalk and high speed traffic

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Between the increase in student Population at UofO and the increased traffic along Franklin, the conditions make it unsafe for anyone but LTD to travel along Franklin. Students seldom are aware of anything but their smart phones and often cross in front of motor vehicles. LTD drivers are seldom paying attention to other vehicle traffic and make conditions worse. Disabled people, bicycles and skateboards are often at risk as well. You might try adding pedestrian overpasses at key intersections to help with pedestrian safety.

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Intersection Walnut/Franklin dangerous for drivers if turning left from either north or south. Safety relies on trust and eye contact between drivers. Kids crossing street at same intersection often oblivious to drivers waiting to turn.

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Honestly, it’s not bad for the volume of people/cars that move through the area. From a safety standpoint, pedestrian awareness is the greatest challenge in my opinion. I personally almost hit several pedestrians who simply disobeyed all traffic guidance. That planning cannot fix.

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I deliver the mail for USPS most days at the UO and the 959 Franklin apartment complex. To deliver to 959 Franklin, I must walk from an auxiliary parking lot a few hundred feet north of 959. The short walk south along that sidewalk is genuinely terrifying each day. Overgrown bushes block half the sidewalk, so i am forced to walk right next to the curb, as cars fly past me at 50+ mph literally 18-24 inches away. Zero barrier or space separating me from instant death if one of those cars hopped the curb. The ground is uneven and I am usually pushing a handcart stacked high with packages. All it would take is one misstep, a slip or slight fall to my right, and I could be dead. I call it “the scariest part of my day”.

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I lived in the immediate area for years and never felt safe crossing streets on foot or biking, especially into downtown, no easy access and traffic is treacherous.

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