Restaurant Congestion; City Council Moves Meeting; Chamber Announces Survey; COVID-19 Update

Restaurant Congestion

Traffic congestion at 35th and Highway 101 in Florence, due to the opening of fast food chain Burger King has drawn some ire from local residents.  Members of Florentine estates and surrounding properties have complained that the business surrounding this week’s opening of the restaurant has made it difficult to leave their homes according to Florence Police Commander John Pitcher.

“On Tuesday we got several complaints there was traffic backing up on 101 because cars were turning on 35th and then trying to turn into the 35th street entrance to Burger King.  The people from Florentine were having problems were having problems the people on Spruce Street were having problems because of all the traffic.”

Pitcher said even a Siuslaw School bus got caught in the traffic unable to make its stops in a timely manner.  Florence Police stepped in and created a coned area that was placed in the bicycle lane to avert traffic out of the main lane of 35th and allow for thru vehicles to pass.  He said thankfully there were no wrecks caused by the increased traffic.

City Council Moves Meeting

The Florence City Council would normally be meeting on Monday but a scheduled conference that will be attended by the Florence City Manager and assistant City Manager has rescheduled the First Monday meeting to October 11th.  the city has no scheduled meetings for the week but resumes an active schedule on the 11th with City Council, the Florence Planning Commission on Tuesday and the Transportation committee on Thursday.

Chamber Announces Survey

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has announced a community needs and interest survey.  President and CEO Bettina Hannigan says input on how the chamber can better serve businesses is important from every community member

“We want to hear from our community, and it’s going to be 10 questions and they’re going to be multiple choice with a chance to comment.”

Hannigan says to be effective the Chamber needs to hear all sides.

“Because it’s important for the Chamber if we’re really going to represent business and represent what our community wants to do we need to do what they want us to do.”

She says input from stay at home moms to CEO’s of businesses is important as the Chamber plans for the future.

COVID-19 Update

4 cases of COVID-19 were recognized in the Florence Area yesterday bringing the total to 652 all time for the community.  Numbers for Lane County are easing but are still in the mid 100’s on a daily basis while hospitalizations for the county are at 64 though not all patients are Lane County residents.  The State is currently experiencing high numbers with 1,896 individuals testing positive in yesterday’s OHA report.  Hospital bed availability is slowly rising from a low of about 5% to 10% in yesterday’s report.  Vaccine rates show a daily average of 7,270 and breakthrough cases are below 18%.