Lane ACT Looks For Active Transportation Member

The Lane Area Commission on Transportation (LaneACT) is seeking a new bicycle and pedestrian representative.

The 30-member LaneACT includes representatives from Lane County and every city, transit agency, port or tribe in Lane County, as well representatives of various transportation interests. The Lane ACT ranks and provides advice to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) on funding for various transportation projects, including recently many bicycle and pedestrian projects using the ConnectOregon funding, including funding approved in 2014 for Eugene’s Bike Share that will be launching this September.

The two previous representatives for active transportation on the Lane ACT were Emily Swenson and Holly McRae, both moms with young children who have participated in Kidical Mass and other local rides and events. Holly also served on the Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (now the Active Transportation Committee or ATC).  They both brought a great perspective of a ‘normal rider’ who wasn’t a hardcore cyclist. However, as one voice in a generally male-dominated and auto-oriented committee it seemed a struggle at times to be heard and appreciated. I am certainly thankful that they were the voice at the table and I hope the next representative is also able to speak for the under-represented people who need better transportation for themselves, their children and/or their community.

If you are interested in applying for the position please contact Denise Walters of Lane Council of Governments at dwalters@lcog.org.

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.