Improving the facilities for bicycles in town need not cost a lot. Continue reading
I have been helping a community group develop an Action Plan for mitigating and adapting to climate change for Corvallis by developing the Transportation & Land-Use section. There has already been a public forum to solicit community feedback and several emails and comments sent online, but I wanted to be sure to get suggestions from those most intimately involved in transportation advocacy. So, please have a look at the latest draft — skip ahead to p3 for Objectives & Actions. Feel free to leave comments below this post or by emailing me. Feedback received by Thursday afternoon will have the greatest chance of being considered. Thank you!
We have until October 4th to comment on the Corvallis Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s draft Transportation Improvement Plan. Comments can be sent directly to Ali Bonakdar. If approved, this document will prioritize projects that have local funding commitments, making the projects eligible for matching grant funding from state and federal agencies. The document isn’t very readable; the only section that seems to be open for comment starts on page 22.
12 “Surface Transportation Projects” are listed but only the roads in question are listed without what they are doing. While some of these projects will likely include bicycle and pedestrian improvements (sidewalks, lanes), without more description it is difficult to comment on.
The “Transit and Alternative Mode Projects” appear to just list the budget for existing transit programs without added service; I am inferring this by comparing this draft plan over the three years and with the approved plan for the last three-year period. In the last plan, the plan budgets for the purchase of a new bus in 2012 — no such purchases are budgeted for the remaining years or in the current draft plan. The budget from 2012-2015 is roughly $2.25 million per year (with inflationary increases). The budget for 2015 in the current draft (which overlaps with the last plan) is for $3 million — an increase for sure, but without explanation. Since there are no new-bus purchases budgeted, I am guessing that this could be unexpected inflation. It is possible that hours will be extended next year. The budget for the remaining years has only inflationary increases.
There are two ODOT-sponsored projects which directly affect cyclist and pedestrians: modifications to the multi-use path along HWY34 and construction of a new multi-way path in South Corvallis (page 24). The latter is a new path connecting the 3rd Street South Corvallis pedestrian bridge to Chrystal Lake Blvd by a multi-use path that will bypass the sidewalk along 3rd. I wholeheartedly support this project which is slated for 2016-2018.
The former project is mixed. As listed in this draft plan, it seems to simply replace the multi-use path on the north side of HWY34 from the lights to Peoria with a road. A backwards step in my mind! However, if you look up the project by number on the ODOT website you find out more hopeful information. While the project calls to add additional right-turn lanes for highway access, it also “extends the multi-use path on the north side of the highway from the OSU Crew Docks approach road west to the Susan Wilkins multi-use path and east from Wolcott Road to Riverside Drive”. This would be an amazing improvement making a truly safe bike route between Corvallis and Albany by way of bike path and Riverside Drive (which, although narrow, has low traffic that seems used to bicycle traffic). I will be commenting that I approve of this part of the project and disapprove of other parts and that if anything the project order should be to first improve the safety for vulnerable road users above all else
I will be commenting on this to Ali Bonakdar and will include comments that I don’t believe we should be spending resources on extending highway access. I also noticed that in the evaluation of the projects, up to 10 points is given to improving the safety of motorists and only up to 9 points for improving the safety of transit users, bicyclists and pedestrians (page 27). Many more points should be given for the latter.
Please take the time to comment on these projects.
It was a late start to the bike-touring season and almost thwarted by the realization that our camping gear was in Portland (where my partner lives during the week and where our last tour ended). Then we realized that we could pay for roof-over-our-head accommodations!
I found a bed and breakfast just south of Eugene which is now, far and above, my favorite bed and breakfast and up there on the list of my favorite businesses. Velo B&B is run by Misha & Rob English. The “English” name may be (correctly) recognized by bike aficionados as the English of English Cycles, Eugene-based hand-made bike creator. Misha is a vegan baker who will make you question every disparaging thing you’ve said about things made without butter and conceiver of Morning Glory in Eugene.
Between delicious vegan breakfast (and bedtime cookie snacks) and bike friendliness, I was won over. But then. BUT THEN. But then we found out that they are also CAR-FREE. With two businesses up a non-trivial hill about 3 miles south of Eugene, I was duly impressed. The place was cosy, affordable, quiet, clean, friendly, beautiful — not your grandma’s B&B. Misha and Rob were wonderful hosts — great conversation and just the right amount of privacy. This is a place to try out and recommend widely. Oh right — they also give a 10% bike-there discount. So, you know, love all around.
The bike ride we took, directions here is also recommended. A wonderful loop around the south Valley, with varied landscape (fields, rolling hills, forests of different types) and VERY low traffic (except in approaching Eugene, where the shoulder was wide). When approaching the B&B keep your eyes peeled for a red wheel and look out for the house number.
A reminder that the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission meets tomorrow (Friday September 6) at 7 AM in the Madison Avenue Meeting Room at 500 SW Madison Avenue. The Agenda and draft minutes from last month’s meeting can be found here. If you have any questions, comments or complaints for the city as related to bicycle and pedestrian issues, visitors are welcome to do so early in the meeting.
[from Kim Thackray, Manager, SoupCycle Corvallis]
As a part of Car Free Day festivities (on September 22), SoupCycle would like to gather everyone in Corvallis that uses a bike as an integral part of their work. No specific plans yet on what we will do, but it might include
- parading together to the event in downtown Corvallis
- signs or handouts celebrating our special type of business
- demos, etc; SoupCycle will have a booth where we are giving out SoupSamples
If you fit this description, or know someone that does, please contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we get enough interest, we’ll set up a Facebook event page to do some planning.
Why is the former-Marine, Republican mayor of Indianapolis adding 200 miles of bike lanes and trails?
“As the mayor of a big city, it’s about talent attraction and business attraction, and you need to know the trends that are coming forward now. So when you look at what young people are looking for, when you look at businesses who want to hire those people, you have to create that kind of city, and that’s really what we’re trying to do […] creating the culture within the city.
“Realize it’s going to take some cash to do it. But there are expenses and then there are investments—I think every mayor should know the difference. I’m suggesting to people that ultimately there’s going to be return on this by the talent that you bring into the city.
“Anybody who’s hiring the younger generation—a lot of the IT companies—it’s kind of like, ‘You should’ve done this a while back.’ That’s how they feel about it. So there really hasn’t been much pushback.”