Local News: Planning Commission Hears About Roundabouts; Gas up; Ocean Debris Forum; Transfer Site Hours Expanded

Coast Radio News
Local News

Planning Commission Hears Roundabout Explanation

Florence’s Transportation Systems Plan update has identified two intersections that will require extensive changes over the next few years.  Chris Tiesler, a senior engineer with transportation consultant Kittleson and Associates, told Planning Commissioners last night that it would be premature to focus right now on the exact improvements required at Highway 126 and Spruce as well as at Ninth and Kingwood.

Chris Tiesler –- “We’re not making a decision about the intersection type today or as part of this process.  The TSP is simply identifying the fact that either a roundabout or a signal would work at these two locations that we identified for future improvement needs.”

A lot of attention has been focused on one of the alternatives… roundabouts… that allow traffic to pass through an intersection without stopping.  Tiesler said they can be more expensive initially, but actual results over the past decade have shown they can be far safer and move traffic more efficiently.  But, that hasn’t stopped criticism of the unfamiliar method.

Planning Commissioners, city staff and traffic consultants with Kittleson and Associates review changes proposed for Florence's Transportation Systems Plan. (Coast Radio News Photo)

Chris Tiesler – “Obviously in the United States there are a lot more traffic signals than roundabouts and people are certainly, in general I think it’s fair to say, more to familiar to what a traffic signal is.”

The Planning Commission conducted a hearing on the plan following last night’s work session and will make a recommendation to the Florence City Council on the overall plan, likely some time next month.

Fuel Prices Continue Climb

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline remains just below four dollars this week in Florence, increasing by three cents in the past week to $3.99.  Oregon’s average price, as measured by Triple-A increased by seven cents a gallon and is at $4.07.  Marie Dodds with Triple-A says gas and oil prices remain at record highs for this time of year, breaking the previous records that were set a year ago.  The national average price is up a nickel in the past week to $3.90… while the average price measured in Eugene and Springfield is at $4.12 a gallon.

Ocean Issues Forum to Focus on Marine Debris

Briana Goodwin says the response to the Japanese tsunami debris is going to take a coordinated effort between agencies, non-governmental organizations and volunteers.  Goodwin, with the Oregon conservation and education group SOLV, says the groups have already been working together to plan on what that response will look like.  Goodwin is just one of a panel of five presenters this evening that will talk about ocean debris… not just that generated by the March 11th 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  It’s the fifth annual Siuslaw Watershed Council Ocean Forum this evening at the Florence Events Center from six to nine pm.

Waste Transfer Site Hours Expanded

It is springtime and that means Lane County’s Waste Management Division will change to expanded hours beginning next week to accommodate the expanded hours of daylight.  Beginning April 1st the Florence transfer site will be open eight a.m. to six p.m. Monday through Saturday.  The Mapleton and Walton transfer sites will be open eight to six Saturdays and Swisshome will be open Fridays and Saturdays from eight to six.

Viking Baseball Wins One, Weather Wins the Other

The Siuslaw Vikings used a five-run fifth inning to come from behind and down North Marion 11-7 in Aurora.  The Viking bats put up 12 hits and capitalized on three Huskies’ errors in the win.  Ryan Smith was four-for-five at the plate with three triples, five RBI and two runs scored.  The second game of the day… a six pm contest against Hidden Valley… was cancelled due to field conditions.  The Vikings are slated to face Dayton at noon today.

Ducks Downed on the Diamond

The Texas State Bobcats pounded the Oregon Ducks on the diamond yesterday in San Marcos, Texas for an 11-3 non-league win.  Oregon starter Jeff Gold lasted just one-and-two-thirds innings in the loss, allowing five runs on four hits and three walks.  The teams are set to meet again this afternoon.