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City plans new bike and pedestrian action plan

by: SPOKESMAN FILE PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Canyon Creek Road is one of the citys top connectivity priorities. The roads extension from Boeckman Road to Vlahos Drive and Town Center Loop will include a host of pedestrian-friendly amenities.There’s a lot going on in Wilsonville when it comes to making the city safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Only it doesn’t seem like anyone really knows about it.

Now city staff is looking to erase that perception with a new three-year action plan that will send out a torrent of new information on bicycle- and pedestrian-related activity out to the public.

“We already have a bike plan, and we have a transportation systems plan you all just adopted that has a very clear, for the long term, look at the connections we’ll make around town,” said Katie Mangle, Wilsonville long-range planning manager. “So we want to connect those things to the CIP (capital improvement plan) and make sure those things get built.”

Developing a new plan to connect the community via bike and pedestrian connections is not necessary, Mangle said at a Nov. 18 city council work session. Instead, city staff is focused on explaining how the city can implement over the next few years the plans it already has adopted.

The end result, she said, will be the bicycle and pedestrian connectivity action plan. It will combine existing information about bicycle and pedestrian capital projects, parks projects and programs, SMART programs, the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities program, development planning and regional projects.

It’s a lot to roll into a single plan, but a comprehensive spreadsheet inventory covering those areas for the next three years is the intended goal. It will help include performance indicators, while a separate brochure and website will offer the public an overview of the same information.

It’s part of the Wilsonville City Council’s 2013 goals and is intended to highlight progress the city has made in developing more advanced bicycle and pedestrian connections to public transit and business and how those connections will continue to improve.

“So instead of letting things happen, we need to tell people what’s going to happen and then go do it,” said Mayor Tim Knapp.

“That’s right,” Mangle said.

So what’s next?

Mangle is heading up the project and is coordinating with other city departments, including parks and recreation, SMART, community development and others, to plan for the next three years’ worth of bike- and pedestrian-related capital projects.

The resulting plan, it is hoped, will present the immediate future to the uninitiated in print or digital form. It will include a table of projects and programs for near-term implementation. There will be information on funding, project schedules and future needs, as well as existing bicycle and pedestrian connectivity options and how they fit into future plans.

“It just helps outline that there are ways now, and will be even better ways going forward, to walk all over the city, to use active transportation, plus the HEAL concept,” said Councilor Julie Fitzgerald. “There are a lot of applications for communicating this to enhance other initiatives, especially the (planned) waterfront trail improvements.”

Priorities identified in the new action plan also will be used in developing future city budgets and capital improvement plans.

“We’re doing a lot to make it an easier town to get around on a bike,” Mangle said.

The city has hired Alta Planning and Design and Joan McGuire Design to create a brochure and website for the action plan. The combined budget for these contracts is less than $10,000.

“Some of it is trying to be rigid about what we’re going to do,” Mangle said.

“But it’s a dynamic map that will change every year,” City Manager Bryan Cosgrove added.




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