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City promotes bike, pedestrian action plan


by: SPOKESMAN FILE PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Bike and pedestrian amenities on Tooze Road are on the list of three-year priorities laid out in the citys new bicycle and pedestrian action plan. The city of Wilsonville’s new bicycle and pedestrian plan has taken its intended place in the public eye with the introduction of a new brochure and website touting its merits.

The 2013 Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Action Plan lays out three years of planned transportation projects that will fill existing gaps in the city’s transport grid.

That list was actually completed before the project began; the current effort integrates existing information about city capital projects, parks programming, SMART transit, the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities program, development planning and more.

The outcome, said Long-Range Planning Manager Katie Mangle, is two products.

The first is the comprehensive action plan, which now has a physical component in the shape of brochures and the website — the latter is now live at wilsonvilleconnectivity.com.

The second part is the compilation of capital projects that will be included in the first.

Mangle explained that, in essence, the 2013 action plan is a means of presenting a host of city plans and activities in one neat package.

“The focus is on what we can expect in new connections for the next three years,” Mangle told the city council at its Jan. 23 meeting. “SMART is included, and this gets a little more information out to the public on what can be expected. We’re planning for the future and we’re seeking outside funding, so this is a portal for someone who wants to understand what’s going on with bike and pedestrian connectivity in Wilsonville.”

The new brochure and website represent the culmination of the action plan, which started last fall and proceeded quickly.

Jen Massa Smith, South Metro Area Transit Agency programs manager, noted the agency’s Bike Smart and Walk Smart programs are just two good examples of things that can be found in the new plan.

“Since this is a three-year plan,” Smith said, “we thought it would be good to list a few programs we’d like to do again, like Wilsonville Sunday Streets, Discover Wilsonville and others. We’ve begun the process of rolling this information out to the public and we’ll continue these efforts throughout the year.”

Brochures will be placed at locations in the Town Center area, at Wilsonville City Hall, the Wilsonville Public Library, local businesses, the Wilsonville Farmers Market and other locations.

The list of bicycle and pedestrian connectivity projects the city plans to carry out between now and 2017 is impressive. Included in the new action plan are segments of the Ice Age Tonquin Trail, an upgrade of the Memorial Park Nature Trail, street projects on Barber, Canyon Creek, Costa Circle and Kinsman roads, among others, and the addition of bike lanes on Tooze, Grahams Ferry and Boeckman roads. There also will be improvements to existing sidewalks, roads and amenities on Canyon Creek and Boeckman roads, while a separate project will focus on obtaining outside grant funding for a proposed bike and pedestrian bridge across Interstate 5 that would connect Town Center Loop with Barber Street.

Mangle noted that many of these projects already form parts of existing city plans, including the 2013 Transportation System Plan, the 2008 Transit Master Plan, 2006 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and 2007 Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Now, however, the public will have for the first time a convenient clearinghouse for all matters bike and pedestrian related.

“Most of these are already integrated into our five-year CIP (capital improvement program),” Community Development Director Nancy Kraushaar told councilors. “It’s a little daunting, but we’ve made sure to look into staff resources to make this happen. ... I hope this meets your goals.”