City To Move Forward With 13th Avenue Cycle Track

The City of Eugene Public Works Transportation Planning staff held their third public meeting on the “Campus to Downtown Bike Connection” project (also known as the David Minor Bikeway) last night and have officially recommended a two-way cycle track from Alder to Olive. Though much design work remains to be done and funding secured this is the first step in creating a safe, convenient, and comfortable active transportation connection from the two of the cities highest bicycle trip generator nodes.

As part of the project they laid out some short, medium, and long term recommendations. Those include wayfinding for the short term,  bike boulevard improvements on 12th (with sharrows and signage) and improving the multi-use path between Oak and Willamette for the medium term, and the two-way cycle track for the medium to long term. No specific timeline was given beyond “this summer” for the short time wayfinding improvements.

FINAL_Hillyard2-stretched-1170x400

Specific designs were also not part of the presentation with only a brief explanation of what the cycle track might look like throughout the corridor, where parking would be moved or reduced, where bike specific signals and signal timing might be implemented and where travel lane consolidation might occur. It was stated that it would not be painted green throughout the length of the project as depicted in the original LiveMove design recommendation but used only at specific “conflict zones”. The city would also place parking bays at specific locations to replace some lost on-street parking and the highest cost improvement would be the placement of signals for westbound cyclists and upgrading the current signals. Whether there would be physical separation with a curb or planters or simply a painted buffer will apparently be decided in the next design phase as well. Continue reading “City To Move Forward With 13th Avenue Cycle Track”

David Minor Bikeway Meeting Tuesday

 

The next public meeting regarding the David Minor Bikeway proposal, connecting the UO campus and downtown on 13th with a 2-way separated bikeway, is on June 24th from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Eugene Library Bascom-Tykeson Room.  Previous meetings have been held and there has been overwhelming support for the project so far. Though a couple businesses have raised concerns about the possible loss of parking other businesses and many community members have expressed an interest in seeing improvements for the corridor. Creating a two-way bike facility will help the wrong-way sidewalk riding that is occurring, providing not only a direct, safe, and comfortable bike connection to and from campus and downtown but also a more pleasant pedestrian environment for those walking the corridor.

 

Even if you have attended previous meetings it will be important to attend this one as well since staff will be presenting information on engineering and signal timing analysis as well as collect feedback on potential design options. City staff still needs to hear from people that this is an important connection to the community and without the students in town to represent that others need to show their support for the potential first real cycle track project in Eugene. If this project goes in and is designed well it could be the first step in connecting up our whole bike network with a core of more comfortable bikeways for all.

 

FINAL_Hillyard2-stretched-1170x400

 

Let city staff know that you want to see a safe and physically protected bikeway here to create a corridor that is better and more predictable for ALL road users. One key piece of the design will be to make the bike and pedestrian movement a priority and not allow the many north-south corridors for cars interrupt the flow for active transportation users.

 

With the Capstone project being completed this summer and our downtown in the midst of a major revitalization it’s essential that this facility happen sooner rather than later. Ask the city to place this project on the front burner for completion in 2015!  Once the city prioritizes the project and moves forward with planning it then the funding search (public and private dollars) can begin in earnest.

 

There is a new web site that has many answers to frequently asked questions about the David Minor Bikeway: http://davidminorbikeway.com. Have a look and we’ll see you on Tuesday, June 24th!

 

Funding for Three Eugene Active Transportation Projects Closer

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

AmazonActiveTranspoAreaThe 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.

Amazon Cycle Track
West Amazon two way cycle track coming…but not until after 2015. Most likely in 2018.

NE Livable Streets project

NE Livable StreetsThis 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 PathJessen 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
Improvements $448,650

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.

LiveMove’s 13th Avenue Downtown-Campus Corridor Concept Plan Released

via Joe McAndrew, LiveMove President. LiveMove will be presenting the plan at the Thursday, June 13th Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting (in the Atrium 5:30-7:30pm)

LiveMove – the multidisciplinary UO transportation and livability student group – has concluded its year-long work on the 13th Avenue Downtown-Campus Corridor Concept Plan.

More than 50 community members, including the City of Eugene traffic engineers and transportation planners, campus administrators, corridor business representatives, area professionals, and students attended ByDesign’s May 28th open house to unveil the draft concept plan. The overwhelming response from the open house was that the current roadway is used in an unsafe manner and something should be done to address this issue.

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LiveMove stands behind our work, and is confident that our preferred design alternative would improve safety, accessibility, and economic vitality for this important and transforming corridor. The group looks forward to further community discussion and hopeful action to proactively address the issues raised about this this important corridor: the 13th Avenue Downtown-Campus Corridor.

You can find the full 13th Avenue Downtown-Campus Corridor Concept Plan here.

LiveMove ByDesign

Over the past few years, the West University neighborhood, downtown Eugene, and the UO have changed significantly. With more students enrolling at the UO, the demand for housing near campus exploded and the trend continues. The 13thand Olive Apartments and a new development on Patterson Street and 13th Avenue are two of the latest housing developments to break ground on 13th Avenue, bringing more than 1,200 additional residents to the corridor. In addition, downtown Eugene is experiencing a renaissance, with several new dining and entertainment options opening in the past year with more still to open. This increase in student housing density, coupled with the anchors of a resurgent downtown Eugene and a growing UO campus, places an increasingly large burden on 13th Avenue. Continue reading “LiveMove’s 13th Avenue Downtown-Campus Corridor Concept Plan Released”

City to Study Student Redesign of 13th Avenue

Update: LiveMove says they will wrap up this final concept plan and redesign over the coming weeks. Once it is complete they will give an update here on WeBikeEugene and to city staff and elected officials.  In the meantime you can visit livemove.org/13th for more information about what was presented this week. If you are interested in helping advance the 13th Ave. Renaissance plan that LiveMove believes will improve safety, increase accessibility and invigorate this important corridor’s economy you can reach out to LiveMoveUO@gmail.com

Via Matt Cooper (UO Office of Strategic Communications) at AroundtheO.edu

Amos (right), with Chris Henry, Eugene transportation planning engineer
Amos (right), with Chris Henry, Eugene transportation planning engineer

Eugene will study a redesign of 13thAvenue by University of Oregon students when it considers changes for the roadway in the months ahead, a city official said recently.

The news capped an open house on the redesign held May 28 by LiveMove, an interdisciplinary student group that spent the academic year rethinking the corridor for safety and access.

Under the LiveMove ByDesign project, students studied 13th Avenue between downtown and campus, seeking to improve safety and access for bicyclists, motorists and others. They tracked transportation and parking behaviors and incorporated case studies from across the globe to reconsider traffic flow, lane spacing, parking and other concerns.

“A major demographic shift is taking place whereby fewer vehicle miles are being driven, rates of drivers’ licenses are going down and the next generation increasingly prefers places where many daily trips can be made by foot, bike or bus,” said Joe McAndrew, LiveMove president. “We still value automobile access, but we also want the same level of safety, directness and comfort for people on bike and foot. 13th is a major connector between campus and downtown and our effort is to create a signature corridor to spur additional economic development, create safe and direct two-way bicycle access and to catalyze a renaissance that can help meet many community and university goals.”

With the Capstone housing project at 13th and Olive Street promising to draw 1,200 university students this fall, the corridor will see a rush of additional people making their way eastbound to campus by bus, bike, foot or car. The avenue is Continue reading “City to Study Student Redesign of 13th Avenue”

City of Eugene Receives $707,000 Grant for University District Improvements

The yellow line shows the project area
Yellow lines are the project area

*UpdatedI’ve added some corrections and updates after talking with ODOT and the City of Eugene more.

As we reported back in March (twice), April, May and August the City has some great plans for completing one of the ‘missing links’ in the Eugene bicycle transportation system, the connection of the Alder St. ‘bikeway’ to the river path system. The city received official word on November 16th that they were awarded a $707,000 grant from the ODOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant Program and can now move forward with those plans.  The City decided to piggyback the grant application with their Pavement Preservation Program which is slated to repave Alder from 19th 18th to Franklin in the summer of 2011.  At the end of October the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (OBPAC) met in Seaside Astoria to decide which of the 90 communities that applied for over $37 million in projects would receive the $5 million that was available. Five  Eleven communities were awarded funds including Eugene plus two alternates if extra funding comes available.

Key components of the project include the construction of a new south AND northbound bicycle facility on Alder Street, a new signalized crossing at Franklin and Alder, on-street parking reconfiguration on 13th Avenue, increased bicycle parking capacity, and significant pedestrian enhancements in the small business district. Continue reading “City of Eugene Receives $707,000 Grant for University District Improvements”

A New & Improved Alder. Coming Soon?!

The City of Eugene has turned in an application to ODOT’s Pedestrian & Bicycle Grant to make some major improvements to Alder Street between 19th and Franklin and 13th from Alder to Kincaid.  The plans call for a new two-way cycletrack from 19th to Franklin, a signalized crossing of Franklin, bike specific signal heads at 11th and 13th, on-street bike parking corrals, wayfinding, lighting, wider sidewalks, and streetscape improvements including public art. It’s an exciting project with some major potential for improvements to this corridor. It could also set the stage for future active transportation projects in Eugene.

Here is a more complete description of the project from the grant application:

Continue reading “A New & Improved Alder. Coming Soon?!”