Every year the City of Corvallis solicits projects for consideration for capital improvement. The City also ranks these projects, along with existing suggested projects that have yet to be completed; more highly ranked projects are what city staff focus on when applying for funding. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission ranks relevant projects and this year, BPAC is sending a very clear message: give South Corvallis better, safer bike/ped connections to the rest of the city.That’s right, the top three projects are for multi-use paths that would provide safe, off-road connections from South Corvallis:
- The Marys River to Crystal Lake Dr Shared-use Path would connect the south end of the multi-use bridge alongside HWY 99 to Crystal Lake and allow those coming from or going to east of 3rd to bypass 3rd.
- The Tunision Shared-use Path came by way of citizen request last year and would provide a connection to and from west of 3rd via Avery Park.
- The SE to SW Corvallis Shared-use Bridge would connect connect SE and SW Corvallis. This project was suggested by myself in a BPAC meeting. I think it aligns well with Parks and Recreation goals to provide a ring of trails around Corvallis. I also think it provides a very new connection and could allow business and recreation connections between these neighborhoods. I recommended that this bridge could be made sufficiently wide for public transit (or emergency vehicles) but hoped that it would not become a motor-vehicle bridge. As you might guess, I would not be in favor of making driving more favorable. This bridge would allow for a quicker connection by foot or bike than possible by car. What a novelty!
Note that the illustration of these paths are only an idea of where they could be. The particular alignment of a path or road is a complicated process and is part of the project itself.
The fourth project ranked was also a new one for this year: a multi-use path connection from the Circle Blvd. path to the Campus Way path via the OSU Dairy farm. I am glad to see BPAC focussing on providing new connections. The remaining projects have a focus on improving the safety of existing connections: improvements to 35th alongside campus, additional lighted ped-crossings, Safe Routes to School projects, bike lanes on 9th and Harrison (where they are missing) and adding sidewalks around town.