Some Keasey Street residents in west Roseburg say they worry of potential problems that increased traffic will cause in their neighborhood, after Stewart Parkway closed Monday morning from Northwest Harvey Avenue to Northwest Valley View Drive.
Workers using an asphalt grinder had much of the pavement removed from the section.
Traffic began taking the detour onto two-lane Northwest Keasey Street, with northbound vehicles taking a left on Harvey Avenue and then right on Keasey to Valley View and then north to Garden Valley Boulevard.
The southbound traffic takes a right on Valley View and left onto Keasey to Harvey and back onto Stewart Parkway by the YMCA.
“I think it is horrific trying to get in and out of our driveway,” said Sherry Deck, whose house is just a few feet off of the street, and she has to back onto Keasey to get out of her driveway. “I don’t like the fact that big semis now come down our street. I think that’s extremely dangerous.”
Brandy Stroop, also a resident along Keasey, said so far, it’s been lighter than she expected.
“I was amazed at how many signs they put up, so I think there’s a lot of people that are just taking the freeway, and bypassing it,” Stroop said.
Stroop said she leaves for work at 6 a.m. and there’s usually very light traffic at that time. But the street is still seeing vehicles back up during certain times of the day.
“Am I upset, no. But the big problem is going to be, if somebody decides to have a big garage sale,” Stroop said.
For those with young children in the home, the increased traffic is extra-worrisome.
“It will affect us, because we have small children and as it is, people already drive down Keasey too fast,” said Tracey Leder, who lives along the street.
Radar readerboards are set up for both directions of traffic on Keasey to remind drivers that the speed limit is 25, and to show them how fast they are actually going.
“Drive with a little more caution, there are a lot of little children in this neighborhood,” Leder said. “We are definitely a little bummed that we’re the detour, but we understand that it needs to be.”
Deck said a lot of the traffic problems could be avoided if drivers would just take the freeway to go from Harvard to Garden Valley.
“I don’t like that they keep telling us that you have to take the alternative route when people on Harvard could hop on I-5 and get off at Garden Valley. They should be telling people this part is closed, and take the freeway exits,” Deck said.
For the Colony Market at the Keasey and Calkins Street intersection, the increased traffic might mean an increase in business.
“I don’t know yet, it could be long lines and nobody wants to stop, but the next couple of days we’ll find out, it could be better,” said Major Johal, the owner of the market.
Roseburg police have had a presence on the street encouraging drivers to slow down through the residential neighborhood.
“I think the police officer sitting there will be a deterrent, but he doesn’t sit there at night when vehicles go through at 40 or 50 miles an hour,” Deck said.
She added that sleeping at night is going to be an issue. She said at 4 a.m. utility trucks were already in the field with lights flashing and make a lot of noise, and the big machinery starts at 6 a.m.
The detour is in place while improvements are made at the Stewart Parkway “S” curves. Access to the Ford Family Foundation is still available from the Valley View side of the closure.