From the City of Eugene:
The East Bank Path will be closed overnight (between 7PM-7AM) under the Beltline Hwy overpass from October 14 – 21. During the day (7AM-7PM) passage will be controlled by a flagger and escort. The closure is necessary to install a new 36″ water main that runs beneath the path. For more information call EWEB at 541-685-7464
This post deserves more time, photos, and editing but that just isn’t going to happen so I’m going to choose a less refined product for one that will at least get done. So here’s the latest:
The South Willamette Street Improvement Plan has passed another milestone and it appears to be on the right track. The official consultant recommendation is for “Alternative Three”; the five lane option with two bike lanes, two motor vehicle lanes, and a center turn lane. At a meeting on Wednesday the consultants from DKS Associates and Cogito, along with city staff, presented the executive summary of the consultants report. They wanted to gather one last round of comments and to get feedback before the final report and plan was complete.
Alternative Three- Wouldn’t that be nice
There were two stakeholder meetings held; one in the morning with more of the business owners and one in the afternoon that included a mix but with more bicycle and pedestrian advocates and general community members present. The presentations were pretty quick, giving an overview of the process and then a review of the findings, including more information on case studies than had been presented in the past. There was also a new set of Bluetooth data that wasn’t presented at any previous community forum. It showed that 63% of traffic (between 24th & 32nd) was a local trip (starts, ends, or stops on Willamette St., or uses local street for access) while 37% were through trips with 13% between 24th and 32nd and 24% via 29th.
More local trips that some expected.
After looking at all the previous case studies, analyzing all the data, and holding a major public involvement process (with focus groups, stakeholder meetings, 3 community forums, technical advisory committee meetings, and many staff and consultant meetings) 6 design alternatives were narrowed down to 3 and now 1 has been chosen as the BEST design for South Willamette street. That design would include 5 lanes; a bike lane in each direction, a motor vehicle lane in each direction, and a center turn lane. They call it the “3 lane with bike lanes” which really is 5 lanes but when they say “lane” they mean motor vehicle lane. Got it? That’s how you get the current car-centric thinking that “four lanes are better than three”. But to many the concern really is all about moving cars. Never mind the elderly, kids, disabled, or un-interested who choose or are forced not to drive. Never mind that it’s been shown time and again that it’s people that make a vibrant shopping district, not how many cars go through it. Never mind that multi-modal streets provide safety, equity, and prosperity to a neighborhood. Clearly a street with better sidewalks, bike lanes, and a safer lane configuration is better for our community. It’s good to know the professionals think so too.
After discussing the advantages that all the research shows for these type of “right sizing” street projects: safety improvements (S. Willamette currently has an 80% higher collision rate from the statewide average), the speed reductions, and equal traffic volume and capacity (a newer design could handle the numbers that are on Willamette now and into the future) the one question that still remained for people at these stakeholder meetings was “what is the business impact.” The unfortunate part is that the consultants and city staff choose to ignore the research (1) (2) (3) (etc) that is out there that shows that roads that are reconfigured to be more multi-modal have either an increase in business sales or no effect. The concern they stated was that the source material was from organizations that were pro-right sizing streets. It’s true that there could be more hard data on the topic but the real problem is that all the data that is out there shows that businesses are NOT hurt by these kind of changes and often are helped by such a change. Many businesses just refuse to believe this and say “well that may have been true for X,Y, or Z community but our street is different.” Except that’s what all of those other community businesses said before their streets were changed. Yet no one has been able to find studies that show that these kind of complete street improvements decrease business…because they simply don’t. Maybe there will be one or two outliers in a community that did the design work wrong or the study parameters were off but there are dozens of places where it has worked amazingly well for businesses AND they have improved safety, health, equity and livability. Go back and ask those businesses now what they think and most say they can’t imagine going back to the old design.
Alternative Three- What’s not to like when you know the facts?!
It’s great that the extensive work the City and consultants did on this project came to the conclusion that a street that works for all is the best choice. Now the hard political battle begins to fight off the nay-sayers who don’t see that our transportation system needs improving and that we are not in the 1950 era of simply moving cars through our community anymore. We are at a time where we need to provide real choices for everyone in how they move about in their daily lives. Alternative three obviously meets the goals laid out from the beginning of the study to “help Willamette Street become a vibrant urban corridor accessible by bicycle, foot, car, and bus” and to “support the area’s businesses, encourage the district’s vitality,” and create a “balanced multi-modal transportation system.”
In the next two months staff will present the consultant report to the Planning Commission and then to the City Council along with an official staff recommendation which Chris Henry, the project director, said will most likely mimic the consultant recommendation. The final recommendation will be presented to council by the city manager on November 25th. Once presented to council they will gather more input and will hold a public hearing on January 21st and then most likely vote on something in February or March.
So now we throw it out into the Eugene political wind and see what craziness comes out. There is already a report that Capella, the small local market on Willamette, has a “Four Lanes Are Safer” sign up. Clearly more education needs to be done. So now it’s time to celebrate a little but still keep in mind the work ahead to make Willamette Street a place for everyone!
originally posted on EugeneSpringfieldSRTS.org
Concerns about crossing 30th Avenue east of Hilyard Street have been submitted to the City of Eugene for several years. Many of these concerns have been on behalf of students attending Camas Ridge Elementary School (1150 E 29th Ave) which relate to the convenience and usability of the pedestrian bridge, high speeds along the corridor, and previous crashes. The current pedestrian crossing bridge is difficult for families with strollers or bicycles (especially those with tag-along trailer bikes or other loads and small children on their own bicycles) to use the existing structure that was designed for pedestrian access and retrofitted to accommodate adults pushing regular sized two-wheeled bicycles. In response the city began the process in May of collecting data and holding a public meeting to collect community comments. Since then, city staff have evaluated the corridor and developed a recommendation for improving the crossing.
A meeting to discuss bicycle and pedestrian crossings of 30th Avenue from Harris Street to University Street in south Eugene is scheduled for Thursday, October 3rd at 6:00 pm in the Cafeteria at Camas Ridge Elementary School located at 1150 East 29th Avenue in Eugene. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss community input, describe results of evaluation studies, and present the city’s recommended improvement option.
For more information see the city website at www.eugene-or.gov/30thcrossing or contact Reed Dunbar, Transportation Planner, at 541-682-5727.
Some good news is coming down the pipeline for local active transportation projects. At the recent Northwest Oregon “Super-ACT” meeting about $21.9 million in state transportation funding was approved for Lane County. Three of the funded projects are in Eugene and include; the Amazon Active Transportation Corridor ($1,536,708), the NE Livable Streets project ($803,000), and the Jessen Path and Lighting project ($1,898,662). The City of Eugene submitted the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) grant applications earlier this year to ODOT. The funding of the projects won’t be until 2015-2018 so even once final approval is obtained we are many years out from construction. Each project will require a unique set of outreach and design work. Reed Dunbar with the City of Eugene Transportation Planning Department stated that the Jessen Path and Lighting project would most likely be the first up since it is the most “shovel ready” project while the NE Livable Streets project will require the most communication and design work since it includes a number of different projects over 8 square miles. The Amazon Active Transportation Corridor lines up with the repaving of East and West Amazon which is currently scheduled toward the end of the 2014-2018 pavement bond measure schedule.
Here is some basic information about the three projects and what they might include:
Amazon Active Transportation Corridor
The Amazon Active Transportation Corridor helps to implement the city’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan by extending the popular Amazon Path further into south Eugene and making related investments that will enhance safety and accessibility in the Hilyard and West Amazon Corridors. This grant would fund a few key multimodal improvements that will make it easier to walk, bike, and access transit in south Eugene. The implementation of the project will help establish a major component of the River-to-Ridges active transportation corridor linking the Ruth Bascom River Path on the north to the Ridgeline Trail on the south.
Grant components include:
1. Widening the concrete sidewalk from 34th Avenue to the existing Tugman Park path network (approximately 4 blocks) to 12’ shared use path standard.
2. Install a two-way separated cycle track on West Amazon Drive featuring a physical barrier between the cycle track and automobile travel lane from Hilyard Street on the north to Snell Street on the south.
3. Reconstruct the Rexius Recreation Trail from Hilyard Street to Martin Street.
4. Install two additional prefabricated bridges and reconstruct the existing bridge to current standards. Proposed locations include even spacing along the corridor at 36th Avenue, 39th Avenue, and Dillard Road.
West Amazon two way cycle track coming…but not until after 2015. Most likely in 2018.
NE Livable Streets project
This project would implement a significant portion of the city’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan in the Northeast Neighborhoods (Cal Young, Harlow, Northeast) of Eugene. The solution would develop Livable Streets that are comfortable for walking and bicycling trips over a large geographic area (7.8 square miles) of the city and increase access to transit stops. Facility development includes a consistent wayfinding sign network and shared lane pavement markings, traffic calming in strategic areas to reduce automobile speeds and increase comfort for walking and bicycling, and installation of pedestrian islands and signals to make it easier to cross arterial streets. These improvements would also increase access to transit stops, and make it easier for school children to walk or bike to school. The project would:
1. Create 11.7 miles of bicycle boulevards
2. Install over 500 shared lane markings and 106 wayfinding signs
3. Develop three enhanced crossings with stutter flash beacons
4. Reconstruct 10 sidewalk access ramps for ADA accessibility
5. Widen almost 400 feet of sidewalks
6. Create two concrete connector paths (one to a school, one to connect two cul-de-sac streets)
Jessen Path and Lighting project
The Jessen Path will be a key active transportation facility for the 28,228 residents of the Bethel neighborhood in northwest Eugene. The Jessen Path will create an east-west link across the north side of the neighborhood that connects to the Beltline Highway shared use path and eventually to the regional path network. The 12-foot wide path will extend 7,250 feet along the south side of the 222-acre Golden Gardens Park which is a significant natural and recreational resource for northwest Eugene. The Jessen Path will include human-scaled lighting designed to light the path for user safety but with shields to reduce skyward illumination and lighting of sensitive natural areas.
Other funded projects for the metro region:
The City of Eugene (along with point2point Solutions) also received funds for another SmartTrips Regional Residential Program ($372,845), a targeted marketing campaign for active transportation.
Other projects include:
* LTD: Nearly $2 million for LTD to do an environmental study of a possible EmX line from northwest Eugene (River Road and/or Highway 99) all the way to Lane Community College.
* COBURG: Coburg Loop Path Seg 3 Bottom Lp-N Coburg Rd $408,000
* VENETA: OR126 Fern Ridge South Route Multi-Use
Path NEPA & Design $140,000
* FLORENCE: OR126 Munsel Creek-Siuslaw Estuary Trail $489,549; US101 & OR126 Pedestrian Crossing
Note that these allocations still need to be approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission, which given the approval by all ten counties (four ACTs) in northwest Oregon is likely.
This funding cycle is both the first time that the new Lane Area Commission on Transportation (LaneACT) has represented Lane County and the first time that ODOT has combined funding for all transportation modes: highways, transit, bicycles and pedestrians. LaneACT consists of roughly thirty stakeholders representing Lane County, LTD, all 12 cities in Lane County, truckers, bicyclists, airports, public health, rural interests, etc.
Special thanks to Rob Zako for information on this post.
It’s been a VERY active summer for repaving projects around Eugene and several of them have seen improvements for cyclists.
Here’s a quick recap on some of those projects:
5th Avenue (Blair to High)
What’s been done:
- Improved pedestrian crossing at 5th/High
- Removed parking on the south side of 5th Ave from Blair to Jefferson to fit wider bike lanes (including a door zone buffer on the north side)
- Widened the remainder of the bikes lanes along the corridor and included buffer stripes where feasible
- Smoooooth pavement
What isn’t going to be done (but should be):
- Improve the crossing of Monroe at 5th Ave
- Some traffic calming measures to make it feel more comfortable
- More bike corrals to create good sidewalk environment & improve streetscape
18th Avenue (Westmoreland Park to Washington Street)
What’s been done:
- Installed a new pedestrian island at Van Buren Street
- Updated the pedestrian island at Friendly Street
- Removed parking between Polk and Friendly to widen bike lanes to national standard (best part!)
What’s still left to do:
- Final painting- let’s hope they get it right
- Install RRFBs at 18th @ Friendly (scheduled for Summer of 2014 as part of SRTS grant)
- Enforcement of parking (already seen some issues)
Pearl (between 18th & 19th)
What’s been done:
- Installed buffered bike lanes (east and west side of street) and a bike box at 19th Avenue
- Moved bike lane from left side of Pearl to the right side of the left turn lane (middle of street) to improve safety and reduce crash risk.
What’s still left to do:
- install bicycle loop detectors (and remove signal actuator in left turn only lane)
- colorant is supposed to be applied to the weave lane and bike box (delayed due to EWEB water main break)
What isn’t going to be done (but maybe should be):
- Sign telling northbound traffic to yield to southbound traffic on Pearl/Amazon Parkway
Alder St. (18th to 24th)
What’s been done:
- Redesigned the entries at 19th Avenue and 24th Avenue
- Installed shared lane markings on the whole stretch
- Replaced camera signal detection with inductive loops at 18th & Alder (too bad).
What isn’t going to be done (but probably should be):
- Prioritize Alder Street movement at Alder @ 19th!!
- Better traffic calming measures
- Finish bicycle boulevard from 24th to 30th (sharrows, traffic calming, and diversion)
There have been a few other minor projects I might report on later. Another major project, Willamette Street between 18th & 24th, is still being worked on and I’ll save that one for another post since there are several more weeks until that one will be done. Some of the highlights of that work are: southbound bike lanes from 17th to 23rd, northbound bike lanes on Willamette from 24th to 20th and Oak from 20th to 17th (plus the jog on 20th from Willamette to Oak), a bike box at 18th & Oak, and a curb extension on 19th to divert traffic southbound traffic and shorten the crossing for pedestrians.
Last year over 100 people came out for the Cargo Bike Roll Call, a show-and-tell of utility biking for Eugene. From errand running family bikes to mobile canning stations there is a huge diversity of cool ways to move ourselves and our things around our community. This year we’re expanding the event to include the Disaster Relief Trials (DRT), a cargo bike race designed to help demonstrate the abilities of bikes in disaster situations. Through a partnership with the City and University Emergency Management programs and our local Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) cargo bike riders will demonstrate how bikes can help in response to a disaster. The riders plan and navigate a course of their choosing through the city, to designated check points with fully loaded bikes. At each check point riders will encounter obstacles or have tasks to assist response teams.
While the riders are completing the course, the Cargo Bike Fair and a “Fiets of Parenthood” will be held. The Cargo Bike Fair will be a great place to show off and see cargo bikes and gear as well as to see various emergency preparedness supplies and resources. The Fiets of Parenthood is a fun-filled competition for parents to flaunt (and practice) their family biking skills. The race will include: the dropped toy turnaround, groceries & a growler grab-n-go, a slalom, and other feats cargo biking families face. Bonus points for number of kids on the bike so bring your friends along!
All events will take place at the South Eugene High School parking lot from 11am-4pm. The DRT will start at Noon. Fiets of Parenthood is from 12:30-2:00pm.
Join the fun: Register to ride, have a booth, volunteer (get free stuff), sponsor the event, or just spread the word and come!
This event is also a fundraiser for Food for Lane County who serves a current community issue that needs relief: Hunger.
Organizing partners include: Pedal Power Music,City of Eugene Emergency Services, UO Emergency Management, 4j SRTS, CERT
Sponsors include: Epicenter, DLX- Deployed Logix, Norwest Safety, Cabela’s, Green Cycle Services, Bike Friday, Arriving by Bike, Xtracycle, point2point Solutions, Oakshire, Feeny Wireless, and Adkins Chiropractic & Wellness
Just a reminder to all the returning college students: This is not a safe environment to leave your bike! Ideally, bikes should be indoors at night and locked up with a u-lock during the day. Cable locks alone are useless.
If you live around the Courtside Apartments and your bike came up missing this morning, you might want to check the homeless camp on the tracks upstream and behind the Holiday Inn. This morning (5:40am) I saw a guy walking past Dutch Bros. on Franklin toward the river with two bikes. They didn’t look like his.
Thanks to over a dozen staff and volunteers our three bike fleets are maintained and rolling in our schools, now we need volunteers for our rides! The Bike Safety Education season is rolling and SRTS and the City of Eugene need volunteers to join our community bike rides! We are reaching more students at more schools than ever. We have three different sessions in the fall and spring with two to three schools each session.
To teach the hundreds of kids we do every season it takes dozens of volunteers helping us as we take up to 40+ kids out on our community streets each session. The rides are usually on Thursdays and Fridays and happen at various times. See the VolunteerSpot Calendar to see the dates and times and to sign up! These rides are a lot of fun for the kids and the volunteers and are a key component to our ten hour bike drivers-ed style course. Thanks for helping!
Thousands of students are returning to town for the start of the University of Oregon school year. The student transportation and livability group LiveMove is sponsoring a “Bike Orientation” tour of Eugene for all the newbies in town. They’ll share the best ways to get around to different neighborhoods from campus, how to prepare for Oregon rain on a bike, the best bike routes to take, and some often unknown recreation paths! The rides will last about an hour, and if you don’t have a bike, the UO Bike Program will rent you one at a discounted rate!
The tours will be Tuesday October 8th and 15th at 3:30 PM, and Thursday, October 10th and 17th at 5:00 PM. Each ride can accommodate up to 10 riders. If interested, email Nick Meltzer to sign up! More details will follow once sign up has been completed.
Welcome to Eugene students and good luck with the first week of class!
We don’t have a Stolen Bikes page like BikePortland so I’m going to put this one up here. I know Eugene has a well earned reputation as a bike theft capitol so maybe we should set up that page.
Remember, most important piece is prevention . The second most important thing is to make recovery easier- REGISTER YOUR BIKE. The Eugene Police Department now makes it easy to do this online so there’s no excuse. If you register your bike it is much more likely you will get it back. Also, take good pictures, write down all the information, and keep records about all your bikes.
Now for the latest stolen bike. This is from Kurt in Eugene. Email him if you have information:
Stolen Bike: Red MB-2 with Xtracycle FreeRadical. Red saddle bags with a red ”cushie” seat cover. Left side saddle pack is torn and top flap latch broken (tied shut). Front wheel hub lamp. Front wheel black while rear chrome. No toe clips. Can barely read MB 2 on tubing. Stolen Sunday from the U of O law library.
This picture is a bit old so not all the detail are the same:
Email Kurt if you’ve seen this bike.