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State says public survey will influence funding for four proposed traffic projects in Clackamas County

PHOTO COURTESY: CITY OF MILWAUKIE - Milwaukie's Kronberg Park Multi-Use Walkway, completed in part with ODOT funds in January 2020, provides direct access to downtown for bikers and walkers coming from the south.ODOT is requesting public input regarding newly proposed infrastructure projects — four of them in Clackamas County — intended to address the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.

Using this online portal, county residents have until Oct. 31 to weigh in on proposals for developments in Gladstone, Oregon City, Estacada, Zigzag and Rhododendron determined to have insufficient accommodations for residents to travel on-foot or by bicycle.

The four suggested improvements are part of a $2.2 billion plan to increase equitable transportation access across Oregon through the department's 2024-2027 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program approved in December 2020 by the Oregon Transportation Commission.

$55 million of those federal funds have been allocated toward pedestrian and cyclist projects, including a $10 million commitment to improve access for those who walk or bike to school.

All projects subject to this round of public feedback are from ODOT's "150% list," or the projects it would fund if it had a 50% increase in its current pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure funding.

PMG FILE PHOTO - In 2012, Milwaukie leaders celebrated the ODOT's approval of $1 million in Transportation Enhancement funds for the multi-use structure under the light-rail bridge crossing Kellogg Lake. However, completion of the bridge was delayed until 2020 due to funding shortfalls.In Gladstone and Oregon City, the commission has proposed filling gaps in "incomplete" or "infrequent" sidewalks, bike lanes and road crossings along McLoughlin Boulevard, a major thoroughfare that ODOT has identified as one the top 10 highest collision zones in the state. Also called Highway 99E, McLoughlin is a frequent location for deadly pedestrian crashes. The other two corridors proposed for projects, along Highways 26 and 224, also have frequent pedestrian deaths.

In Estacada, improvements have been proposed for walking and biking facilities along Highway 224 in need of preservation efforts such as resurfacing.

In Zigzag, to fill a transportation gap causing residents to walk and bike on the shoulder of Mt. Hood Highway to get to work, school, transit services and other locations, a multi-use path has been proposed for construction west of Salmon River Road.

In the unincorporated village of Rhododendron, no sidewalks or marked crossings are currently available along the busy stretch of Highway 26 that passes through the area, prompting the commission to propose additional walking and biking facilities for residents.

ODOT identified these high-need areas through its Active Transportation Needs Inventory, which aggregates and assesses data about highly frequented destinations, household income, automobile crash risk and more.

PMG FILE PHOTO - People walk across the new Kellogg Bridge, which was constructed under the light-rail line through Milwaukie.Due to limitations in funding and project readiness, not all of the included projects can be built before the 2024-2027 timeframe, but any that aren't developed during this round of funding may be slated for future development or moved sooner if additional funds become available so feedback is still valuable to the department.

In the survey, residents will be asked if they agree with the projects selected for their area, which improvements would make the biggest personal difference to them, any barriers they feel may limit development at a given location and more.

To access the survey as well as a repository of information detailing each proposed project, ODOT's selection process for proposal locations and the project implementation timeline, click here.


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