New ORCycle App to Help Create Better Biking Around Oregon

Below is a press release and flyer that ODOT released last week about a new app they’ve helped develop that will give planners and researchers data from volunteers who it on their smartphones. Not only will it collect route selection and reason for choosing certain routes but it also allows users to give feedback about crashes, safety or infrastructure issues. Josh Roll from LCOG, who helped develop the local CycleLane app is on the advisory committee for this new app and he’s excited about the potential of this new tool for cyclists throughout the state. ODOT will pass the data onto LCOG and city agencies to help them in their planning efforts.

I’ve used the app for a couple days now, including for my commute and a ride out to Mt. Pisgah. Once you finish a route and go to save it you’re asked a few questions about the route and why you choose it and different questions about the route. I haven’t used it to report any hazards or issues yet. I would still use the iBikeEugene app to report leaves or other road hazards locally as I know those get more immediate response from the city but this new app looks like a great tool. The more people use it the better data we have so download the app and help some planners out.

 

New ‘ORcycle app’ lets bicycle riders share
valuable information
Planners, researchers will use voluntary data to help make decisions
 
SALEM — Gathering valuable data about how bicyclists use the transportation system has always been a challenge. Starting Nov. 10, a new Smartphone app created by the Transportation Technology and People (TTP) lab at Portland State University, in partnership with ODOT, will provide data that can help planners and others make decisions based on users’ feedback and facts never before gathered in one place. The goal of the app, called ORcycle, is to get cycling data from people who ride bicycles voluntarily contributing via their Smartphone, from anywhere in the state.
 
ORcycle lets participants record cycling trips, display maps of the rides, and provide feedback regarding crashes, safety, or infrastructure issues – data which transportation planners currently lack in sufficient quantity. Prior to ORcycle, there was no systematic way to receive feedback regarding bicycle route safety or riders’ comfort level with bike lanes, routes, signals, etc.  By opening the app and recording data whenever convenient, riders will be submitting data to the ORcycle program. Transportation planners across the state will then be able to access the aggregated data to better design, build or upgrade bicycle facilities and other bicycle-related projects.
 
The app follows a strict privacy policy and does not ask for a name or address, and users have control over the data they are sharing. The ORcycle app can be downloaded fromGoogle Play (android) or Apple’s App Store (iOS for iPhones).  More info about the app is available at http://www.pdx.edu/transportation-lab/orcycle.
 
ORCycle App Flyer

New Viaduct To Open Friday

The Oregon Department of Transportation will open a new multi-use viaduct path along the Willamette River this Friday. This new viaduct is part of the large I-5 Whilamut bridge project and is one of several multi-use path improvements completed as part of that project.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 10.09.28 AM

The path starts east of the Knickerbocker Bridge and runs along the south side of the Willamette River until it joins a new path that the city of Springfield is building along Franklin Boulevard. The City of Springfield is expected to install a stutter flash crossing of Franklin Boulevard near that connection as well. Though some advocates recommended keeping the existing South Bank Path that crosses under Franklin Boulevard to allow for easier connection for east bound cyclists it will be closed on June 30 so that restoration work can be completed in that area.

ODOT says that the new path “eliminates dangerous curves, improves commuter safety for cyclists, and offers beautiful views of the river and the Whilamut Passage Bridge.”  A new path along the south side of the Willamette River is in the Glenwood master plan and this viaduct will be an important connection once that path is complete and as Springfield continues it’s Glenwood revitalization work.

 

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.

South Bank Path Delays- Wednesday May 18

This just in from Lee Shoemaker, City of Eugene Bike/Ped Coordinator:

Below is a news release from ODOT regarding path delays on the North Bank Path between Delta Hwy and the North Bank Restaurant next Wednesday, 5/18.  The best route next Wednesday is the South Bank Path between 6 am and 5 pm.

Hazard tree removal to create delays on a Eugene ped/bike path

EUGENE- Bike and pedestrian travel on the North Bank Path of Eugene’s Ruth Bascom Riverbank Trail system will be delayed Wednesday, May 18, 2011 when a contractor for ODOT tops and falls seven hazard trees on ODOT Right of Way that threaten I-105.

The affected section of the North Bank Path is located south of I-105, between the DeFazio Ped/Bike Bridge on the east and the Greenway Ped/Bike Bridge on the west.  The trees currently stand between mile point .75 and 1.25 of the North Bank Path.

From 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. on May 18, the contractor will need to place equipment on the path which will create 15-20 minute delays for bicyclists and pedestrians.  Travelers on the path may prefer to take the South Bank Path during the construction period or be prepared for delays.  Flaggers will be located on the path to control travel during the construction period.

Of the seven trees, two will remain where they fall for habitat enhancement.  The remaining five trees will be limbed and topped and will remain standing for wildlife habitat.  Limbs and debris will be removed from the area.

Map of area:

Area of Delay in Red

Transportation Enhancement Projects Need Public Comment

The City of Eugene recently submitted three projects for the federally funded transportation enhancement (TE) program, which has historically funded many off-street path projects in Eugene. In the current round of funding, ODOT is considering two projects in Eugene out of about 85 applications in total. The public comment period for the TE project selection process is now open and will continue through Jan. 28. The TE program is very competitive, so it is important for members of the public to weigh in on these projects if they have any comments.  Read about these two Eugene projects then take the survey to comment on them.

Proposed Eugene projects include: Continue reading “Transportation Enhancement Projects Need Public Comment”

A Busy Summer Ahead? Add Three More Projects to the Potential List.

ODOT has announced their list of recommended “Flexible Funds Projects” to the Oregon Transportation Committee (OTC). Three different Eugene/Springfield projects made the list while four others did not.  The OTC will meet on January 19th to discuss the recommended list (a public hearing) and are expected to announce the final approved list of projects at their February meeting.  ODOT received 115 applications requesting over $83 million in funding for this, the first round of funding for the newly created Flexible Funds Program. Proposals were for Transit, Traffic Demand Management (TDM), and Bicycle and Pedestrian projects. They narrowed the list down to 28 recommended projects at just under $21 million in funding.  This pot of “flexible funds” is separate from other “Surface Transportation Program” funds or the other recent flex fund project, the Urban Trail Fund, which will bring us some important path connections along the Amazon and River Path systems later this summer. For more information on these new Flex Funds see this FAQ pdf from ODOT.

Fern Ridge Path up for Rehab

The three projects on the table for approval include two from LTD, including renovation of the UO transit station ($2.1 million) and a “SmartTrips” marketing program ($90,000) to promote the Gateway EmX Corridor in the Springfield area.  The third project is the Fern Ridge Path Rehabilitation and Lighting project from the City of Eugene ($678,800). There are two other area projects that didn’t make the proposed list but are on an “additional priority projects” list. Those include a path for the Middle Fork of the Willamette applied for by Willamalane ($1.86 million) and a “Franklin Corridor” project applied for by LTD ($1.9 million). Finally, there are three other projects from the area that didn’t make any cut: an LTD/point2point Solutions project titled “Hot Wheels- Bike Parking Study”, an LTD project titled “Franklin Corridor,” and Eugene’s “North Bank Path Rehabilitation/Lighting” which would have (finally) improved the path from the DeFazio Bridge over to Leisure Lane (just past the picnic structures in Alton Baker).

Here’s a bit more on the three projects that are on the table for approval (quoted information from ODOT): Continue reading “A Busy Summer Ahead? Add Three More Projects to the Potential List.”

Repost Party: June InMotion, BikeLane Coalition update #20, and ODOT construction newsletter

Ain’t no party like a repost party ’cause a repost party is alotlessworkthanactuallywritinguniquecontent.

Today’s repost party includes the always-wonderful City of Eugene InMotion newsletter, which is chock full of information about local events and construction, including this important tidbit about upcoming 1-5 bridge construction:

SPRINGFIELD— An ODOT construction project will soon impact the bridge over Interstate 5 that connects MLK Jr. Blvd. and Centennial Blvd. in Eugene and Springfield. The project will temporarily affect motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. […]

Work on the MLK Jr. /Centennial Blvd. structure (MP 193.49) in the Eugene-Springfield area will require a partial bicycle/pedestrian path closure from June 2, 2010 through early August 2010. A signed detour will be in place. The detour will leave the path northbound out of Alton Baker Park and lead to Covey Lane, then turn northbound on Lindley Lane to the signal at MLK Jr. Blvd., then travel across to Garden Way where it rejoins the bicycle/pedestrian path.

Motorists will experience lane restrictions on the bridge beginning June 7, when there will be one lane of travel in each direction. In July, there will be ten nights when the bridge will be completely closed. Detour signs and maps will be available prior to the complete closures

Our repost party also includes a BikeLane Coalition update from Jim Wilcox about the Oregon Bike Summit last weekend and musings on how to best advance cycling, and an Oregon Department of Transportation newsletter about construction on Highway 126 and other areas that may affect your ride planning.

Continue reading “Repost Party: June InMotion, BikeLane Coalition update #20, and ODOT construction newsletter”