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Plan traffic carefully

Keizer officials will do all they can to calm fears of traffic gridlock once Areas B and C at Keizer Station are developed and functional.

Aside from the view of a big box building outside their back windows, the residents around the east Chemawa Road-Lockhaven Drive are justified to be concerned about how the increased traffic will affect their neighborhood.

Developers and experts say that with some improvement and changes the traffic will flow efficiently throughout the Keizer Station area.  Unfortunately, we won’t know if that will be true until a large retailer, a transit center, housing and offices are open.

At a Planning Commission meeting last week city planners discussed the necessary changes to existing streets and intersections.  Some of the designs they talked about won’t be in place until 2013 at the earliest and that depends on nailing down financing from the federal and state governments.

Members of the planning commission hold the future of Keizer in their hands.  Over recent years the commissioners have been diligent about projects in the city.  No single project will affect how Keizer moves around more than Areas B and C.

The master plan for Area B was presented to the planning commission last week. Issues of traffic flow in and out of the area were addressed to the satisfaction of the commmissioners, which approved the master plan unanimously.    The commission will have to be even more diligent about traffic issues when a master plan for Area C is presented.  The project of a big box retailer will demand a realignment of streets in the area, though Chemawa Road and Lockhaven Drive are not expected to be changed.

The city’s Traffic Safety Commission needs to weigh in on any proposals that affect how people will move through Areas B and C.

It is a foregone conclusion that a big box store will be developed in Area C—barring any legal wrangling or ballot initiative.  The size and look of the development is one issue; the resulting traffic is another that needs to be addressed as minutely as the color and design of the big box.

There will be no other commercial area in the region that will have so many streets joining two arterials in such a tight space.  It won’t be just the neighboring homeowners that should be concerned, it should be any driver who visits Keizer Station or uses Chemawa Road to get to the freeway.

The planning of traffic flow will call for reason and compromise from all sides.