Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Clackamas County Ped / Bike Committee Mtg

Ok, get ready for a mouthful. Last night, I went to the Clackamas County Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting at the Sunnyside Service Center in unincorporated Clackamas County south of the mall. (whew)

This was an interesting experience, and I'm glad I went. Some highlights:

The PWTC (Portland Wheelman Touring Club) is looking to donate some bike racks. Nice ones, not cheesy - to be placed in public parks. They've already got a donation lined up for Crown Point, and they're looking for places in Clackamas County as well.

The Mount Hood villages endorsed the idea of bike lanes on Salmon River Rd and Welches Rd.

Steve Durrant from Alta Planning presented the current proposed alignment of the bike paths along and intesecting ODOT's Sunrise Corridor project. This was the centerpiece item of the meeting. Basically, ODOT is going to build a new freeway - the "missing link" of Hwy 224, from the existing Milwaukie Expressway to the current 224/212 road at about SE 152nd. This will include flyovers from I-205, and will entail new bike paths / bike lanes in the project area, and a realignment of the existing I-205 bike path (as well as completion of the "missing link" from the I-205 / 224 / 82nd Ave interchange south to Clackamas Hwy (212/224).

For those of us in the Oatfield / Thiessen / Webster area, Alta is studying a number of local bikeway connections to Johnson from the I-205 bike path. (Click on pic for larger image) There are 4 options. Option A is a new road to the north, striped with bike lanes. It's pretty much a given, so I've omitted it. (it's the road between K-Mart and Lowe's - it'll connect to 82nd on the east) Option B has right-of-way issues with the properties to the south. Option C has little in ROW issues, but is fairly high traffic due to the apartment complex adjacent to the road. Option D has no traffic issues, but is owned by the school district and on school property - building a path would be contingent on the cooperation and approval of the school board. Alta requested the board's input into these options, and the board expressed a preference for Option D, or Option C if D were not available.

The board also recommended the extension of the proposed bike route parallel to the new highway to the eastern project boundary, identifying it as a bicycle transportation corridor. In my opinion, I think this is a good and logical choice. With the expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary to include Happy Valley and Damascus, the number of bike commuters from that area will grow, especially with the projected completion of the Clackamas Mall light rail terminal sometime in 2009.

An open house for the public is scheduled to occur during the next meeting of the Clack Co. Ped / Bike Advisory Committee in November. (should be November 7th)

Next up were John Mermin and Amy Rose from Metro. Metro is in the process of updating the Regional Transportation Plan, and John and Amy are responsible for identifying stakeholders and areas of concern for the bike and pedestrian aspects of that plan, respectively. Noted were the changes that have occured in Clackamas County since the last RTP was produced, and the identification of problem intersections, like SE 17th and McLoughlin or Lake Rd and McLoughlin, both in Milwaukie. (there were other intersections identified, NOT just those two) One idea that came up in the discussion was the need for some sort of ombudsman for maintenance issues, especially given the mishmash of jurisdictions when calling for road maintenance. (i.e. city / county / state)

Thelma Hagenmiller updated the committee on the progress being made on the Trolley Trail. The contour survey is now complete along the whole length of the trail, and a segment of the current unpaved portion between Creighton and Arista that was previously unaccessable is now open. A public meeting regarding the trail is scheduled at the Oak Grove School on October 18th.

This was my first community meeting, and I was able to provide some limited input from my experience as an area resident and a bicycle commuter. I look forward to more such meetings in the future.


Seafarer said...

Thanks for sticking out the somewhat mundane things like this that ultimately make improvements to biking in the area.

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I actually like some of this aspect of it...