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Community Successes

Communities around Oregon have been working hard to meet the goals and objectives of the TGM program. Here are some of the most recent examples of local communities providing and improving transportation options for their residents.

A TGM Quick Response project is working in Weston, looking at ways to help kids walk to school safely, in a community with few sidewalks. The community has identified pedestrian safety as a key priority and is looking to invest in its schools with an $8 million capital bond. Read more in the East Oregonian.

Cascade Locks ribbon cutting ceremonySix communities along the Historic Columbia River Highway from Wood Village to The Dalles have banded together to develop a system of Gorge Hubs. The Hubs are a network of welcome centers, information centers, trailheads and rest areas for travelers — especially hikers and bikers. The project aims to encourage visitors to stage their trips from these communities' central business cores, boosting economic development.

With site design assistance provided by the Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Education and Outreach program, each city developed a hub design unique to their community, though all feature kiosks, maps, and a bike fix-it station donated by the Portland Wheelmen.

Through collaboration with Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Transportation, the hubs share a logo and look, with a wayfinding map for the complete route between them. Signage and mapping is consistent from city to city so visitors are able to discover each community's special attributes.

The Gorge Hubs are in various stages of development. Hood River's was the first Hub launched, in 2015. Cascade Locks held a ribbon cutting ceremony in April 2016, kicking off the spring recreation season with the unveiling of a bike fix-it station.

The Gorge Hubs project continues to take shape during this year's Centennial Celebration of the Historic Columbia River Highway. For more, visit historichighway.org.

View Final Product

 

More about the Hubs:

Wood Village and Troutdale. Wood Village's Hub is located in Don Robertson Park, where cyclists are encouraged to begin their bike ride through the Gorge as the park features great amenities such as picnic shelters, water and restrooms. Troutdale's Hub will be located adjacent to the historic train depot museum, providing an anchor to the city's vibrant downtown core. Recently, Wood Village and Troutdale received a Regional Transportation Options Grant through Metro to develop the hubs' engineering documents.

Cascade Locks. The Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail enters Cascade Locks at the trailhead located under the scenic Bridge of The Gods on the west end of town. Visitors are encouraged to explore Cascade Locks' main street, WaNaPa Street, and sample the city's restaurants, native fish market, brew pubs and ice cream. The Cascade Locks Gorge Hub is in the city's core near the post office, next to Overlook Park. The City hopes to expand the hub in concert with a proposed pedestrian bridge linking WaNaPa Street to the Port's Marine Park.

Hood River. Hood River launched its Hub in 2015. A key feature of the Hood River Hub, located on 3rd and State Streets, is the city's new public restroom facility. The Hub will soon incorporate additional amenities, such as a fix-it station and area map.

City planners discuss plans for Mosier Hub.Mosier. Mosier is where the idea for the Gorge Hubs originated. When the popular Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail "Twin Tunnels" section was restored, cyclists arriving in Mosier needed basic amenities. Local businesses started loaning bike tools, and the city set up a portable toilet. Wanting to encourage these and additional visitors, the idea of a welcoming station in the center of town to greet visiting cyclists and provide them with basic conveniences, was born. In the future, the Mosier Hub will also serve as a downtown gathering place for locals.

The Dalles. The City of The Dalles' Hub will be in the Lewis and Clark Festival Park. Using the amenities of this beautiful new park, it will incorporate community way-finding information and a fix-it station. The Hub will serve cyclists on the city's nine-mile Riverfront Trail as well as those who visit The Dalles via one of the many tourist boats that dock nearby.

Two women view and point to a place on a large paper map spread across a table.When it comes to longer, healthier lives, Klamath Falls leaders are hoping to get more people riding bikes.

For years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has compiled public health data and ranked counties by health. Klamath County ranks second-last among Oregon counties, including 33rd of 36 in life expectancy and last in quality of life health outcomes.

In 2013, Klamath Falls health providers partnered with schools, local government, tribal leaders, the community's Coordinated Care Organization, and the local newspaper to form the Healthy Klamath coalition to take on the challenge. After a community health assessment and community health plan, Healthy Klamath chose three top priorities for immediate attention: obesity, physical activity, and improved nutrition; improved infrastructure to support a healthy lifestyle; and improved mental health and access to mental health services.

In 2014, the Cambia Health Foundation and Sky Lakes Medical Center partnered with students and GIS Center Director Dr. John Ritter at the Oregon Institute of Technology to map the city's obesity-related chronic diseases, cost of care, and walkability. The project identified health disparities and neighborhood hot spots, where high health care costs and problems were concentrated. That July, Healthy Klamath decided the best evidence-based intervention to target the neighborhoods most in need would be a separated bike lane. Separated bike lanes are set away from speeding car traffic, and designed to provide a safe, comfortable bikeway for everyone, from 8-year-old kids to 80-year-old grandparents.

Healthy Klamath identified a three-mile corridor connecting downtown to key areas with significant health disparities as the best place for such a bikeway. They engaged Kittelson & Associates, a traffic engineering firm, to design a plan for the bikeway. With support from City Councilor Matt Dodson and the City of Klamath Falls' planning and transportation staff, and with input from community members, Healthy Klamath drew up a plan. In the summer of 2015, at a Third Thursday downtown event, the group put together a sample block of the separated bike lane so residents could experience it for themselves and ask questions.

For more information, visit www.oregonave.com.

View Final Product

Using a TGM Education and Outreach grant, Grants Pass hosted a workshop and interviews from Recast City's Illana Preuss, a national expert on the maker movement and livability. Read more from Grants Pass including a copy of Preuss' presentation and final report with recommendations for next steps. Or view a video of her talk or a short excerpt on the importance of downtown design in promoting local economies.

The City of Banks used a TGM Planning Grant to develop a convenient and safe bicycle and pedestrian network within the city and connecting to regional trail systems. To boost community engagement, the City held a virtual open house in addition to a traditional open house. In the virtual open house, a Planning Commission member leads participants through virtual rooms, each with a topic – general project information, draft goals and objectives, existing plans and policies, and draft recommendations. The interface offers an opportunity to comment on the goals and objectives and an interactive map to share ideas, thoughts, and concerns. Learn more.

Through our Planning Grant program, TGM funded an update to Baker City's transportation system plan that used a new analysis tool: Multi-Modal Level-of-Service (MMLOS). The city was interested in how walkers, bicyclists, and transit users, as well as motorists, perceive their travel experience. They also wanted a way to better illustrate the trade-offs among modes. The MMLOS method analyzed factors such as sidewalk presence and width, vehicle volumes and speeds, amount of heavy truck traffic, and motor vehicle and bicycle lane widths and helped the city to identify needs and prioritize bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

A small, rural community with a tourism-based economy, Oakland's downtown core is a registered historic district. The city received funding from a TGM Planning Grant to develop a plan to increase travel connections in the community and increase options for residents and tourists to more safely and conveniently walk or bicycle. As a follow-up, Oakland will be working with TGM’s Code Assistance program to make code changes to implement the local street network plan and ensure that future development will preserve and enhance the historic character of the community.

The City of Tigard's strategic vision is to become the best place to walk in the region, where people of all ages and abilities can walk where they want to go. Tigard's effort included a walking tour with Dr. James Sallis, brought to Oregon with TGM Education and Outreach funds to make a presentation.

City of Tigard Strategic Plan

Washington County is building a bridge to reknit an economically and ethnically diverse neighborhood split apart by traditional cul-de-sac development. The proposal emerged from the Aloha-Reedville Study and Livable Community Plan, a three-year planning effort that ended in 2014.

The Augusta Lane Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge will span Beaverton Creek. This will link neighborhoods to Beaver Acres Elementary School, the Beaverton Creek Greenway, Tualatin Hills Nature Park and critical transit stops.

Map image shows project location and distance people will travel before and after a bridge is installed.The bridge will be built in an existing 50-foot wide right-of-way, uniting two dead ends of Augusta Lane. This will overcome a major barrier to residents on both sides of the creek: No streets or paths cross Beaverton Creek in the one-mile stretch between 170th and 185th avenues.

The project includes an underused tool in planning, a health impact assessment. Such an assessment from Washington County's Department of Health and Human Services found that the bridge would have "positive impacts on the health of the community including decreased chronic disease rates through physical activity, greater social cohesion among neighbors and improved academic performance."

The benefits come from creation of a direct, low-stress walking and biking route to Beaver Acres Elementary School for over 900 homes on the west side of Beaverton Creek. Students from these homes now go up to 1.5 miles out of their way, and along busy arterial roads, to reach the school.

The longer, less safe route means fewer kids walk or bike to school. The map at right shows the shortest route now (magenta line) in contrast to the shortest route after the bridge is built (gold line).

While school access is a vital part of the project, access to nature is the benefit that would be enjoyed most widely. Just east of the bridge site is one of the largest urban nature parks in Washington County, the 222-acre Tualatin Hills Nature Park. People who live west of the proposed bridge now have difficulty accessing this valuable asset. Better access to the park will bring five miles of nature trails within closer reach of neighborhood residents.

Washington County is looking for funding to complete the project, which also offers improved access to other useful places. They include Merlo Station High School, Merlo Station Athletic Fields, Elmonica light rail station at 170th Avenue, a proposed bus line on 170th Avenue, and numerous jobs in the west Beaverton area. The project will complete part of the Beaverton Creek Trail, a regional trail adopted in Metro's 2014 Regional Active Transportation Plan.

Key tools and goals from the August Lane project that other communities may want to use:

For Further Reading:
Physical Activity: Built Environment Approaches Combining Transportation System Interventions with Land Use and Environmental Design

 

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