If you have driven anywhere between east of Astoria to south of Seaside this summer, you probably have had to battle traffic at every stop light, main intersection and on side roads. Summers are worse than winters, but this year seems to be much heavier traffic along these routes. It can take up to an hour to go from one end of Astoria to the other end of Seaside. Just in the past few weeks alone we have had multiple accidents, both east of Astoria and south of Seaside, which have shut down the highway for hours. I find it comical that the local news then tells you to take an alternate route. Is that the route through the forest that is gated and not fit for most vehicles coming through here?
It is time for these two towns to reconsider and push for the state of Oregon to put in a bypass around each of them. It would alleviate so many headaches created by not only the big trucks trying to get past, but also the people who have no intention of going into the downtown areas.
We sit in long lines stopped as far back as the junction to Cannon Beach, hoping to reach Seaside so we can go around traffic. Throw in an accident and construction and you end up with some very frustrated drivers, some of whom then drive very aggressively to get past you.
There are those who will argue that if you put in a bypass tourism will dry up. Cannon Beach put in a bypass years ago, and it does not seem to hurt them. I think the Chamber of Commerce for Astoria at least has done a great job of advertising Astoria as a tourist town (come sit by the Goonies House for a day). Throw in a hundred or so trucks with boat trailers, and this town becomes choked with traffic.
The streets of these towns, along with U.S. Highway 101, were not built for the amount of today’s traffic. My point is people will still come to Astoria and Seaside because they are beautiful with fun things to do, but it is time to relieve some of the unneeded vehicles, and lessen the wear and tear on the city streets.