Eugene on Path to Platinum
As we wrap up another successful season of transportation events, including 10 SmartTrips: West Eugene events, seven Party in the Parks, six Breakfast at the Bike Bridges, and two massive Sunday Streets, we are excited to also celebrate our movement up as one of the “Best Bicycling Cities in America”. The magazine Bicycling recently released a list of the top 50 bike cities in America, and Eugene came in at number seven!
“This is a great honor and really reflects all of the efforts and emphasis the community continues to put forth on cycling,” said Reed Dunbar, Associate Transportation Planner. “We’re making a conscious effort to safely connect the city in more and more ways, including for people riding bikes, and this ranking really showcases those decisions.”
The magazine, which releases this list biannually, analyzed data from more than 100 cities across the U.S, including safety statistics, equity, political climate, and bike culture. In 2016 Eugene ranked as the 18th best city for bicycling.
Over the last two years the City has added bike lanes, bridges specifically for people biking and walking and added PeaceHealth Rides, a bike sharing service that has proved successful since its launch in April of 2018. Over the coming years, the City plans to make even more improvements for those biking, including three new bridges crossing Amazon Creek, protected two-way bike lanes on E. Amazon Drive, 13th Avenue, and High Street, and protected bike lanes on 8th Avenue through the downtown core.
To keep this momentum, City staff are working with both the 2035 Transportation System Plan and Eugene’s Active Transportation Strategy 2017-2021 to help better shape future transportation-related decisions. These plans call for tripling the number of people walking, biking, or taking transit and for working towards “platinum level bicycle and walk friendly community” status. They also provide clear actions for achieving those goals. The Transportation Planning team recently released the MoveEUG Active Transportation Annual Report for 2017 and that report gives information on the progress of those goals. With the vision towards 2021 and the IAAF World Championships Oregon21, the team is excited to work towards the goal of achieving Platinum status and becoming one of the top five Best Bike Cities in America by the time we take the world stage.
Amazon Active Transportation Corridor Construction Begins
Beginning in October, the City of Eugene will construct a series of walking and biking projects along East Amazon Drive and Hilyard Street in south Eugene.
You can see a full project description and map on the project website. Here are the details of projects that will be constructed this year:
- Construction of a two-way protected bike lane on the west side of East Amazon Drive from Dillard Road to Hilyard Street as part of the “Ridgeline to River Corridor” that will connect the Ridgeline trail system to the Ruth Bascom Riverfront Path system. Building the protected bikeway entails removing parking from E. Amazon Drive.
- Construction of a bicycle signal to help bike riders get to and from the southeast to northwest corner of Hilyard and E. Amazon Dr./33rd Ave.
- Extend a buffered bike lane on W. Amazon from Fox Hollow to Snell.
- Extension of the Amazon Path on the west side of Hilyard Street from 34th Alley south to 36th Place.
City of Eugene Part of Street Design Pilot
City of Eugene staff are working with Remix, a platform used to develop transit plans (including Lane Transit District), to pilot a new transportation planning tool. The platform allows users to develop street design scenarios, share them, and edit them in real time. Data layers, like crash locations and traffic volumes, can be uploaded to the platform to allow users to inform their designs and then share them with other agencies or the community.
The advantage for Remix Streets users is that they can draw up entire transportation networks quickly, see how they interact with one another, and determine how individual projects fit into a larger context. Reed Dunbar, Associate Transportation Planner, hopes that staff can use the platform to develop several design scenarios during project scoping that can be shared, edited, and evaluated so that the best design components from multiple scenarios can be incorporated into each project. The City of Eugene is one of six municipalities piloting the platform.
High Street Protected Bike Lane
In June, there was an open house to see exhibits and discuss design options for continuing the "Ridgeline to River Bikeway" through downtown. The bikeway includes both on-street and off-street bicycling facilities that people riding bikes can use to travel from the Ridgeline Trail in South Eugene to the Riverbank Path along the Willamette River. The meeting focused on the north segment of the bikeway from 19th Avenue to 4th Avenue on High Street. Early planning calls for a two-way protected bike lane on the west side of High Street to replicate the comfort and social aspects of riding on a shared use path.
If you would still like to provide comments on the High Street Protected Bike Lane you can take the online survey here Opens a New Window. . There will be another open house in late Summer to present initial design ideas to the community.
On February 26th, City staff informed the Eugene City Council that the bike lanes and a three-lane street will be made permanent with a pavement preservation project in 2019. Lean more here.
Active Transportation Committee meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month in the Sloat Conference Room at the Eugene Atrium Building (99 W. 10th Ave) from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. All meetings are open to the public.
The Transportation Team offers competitive internships for students. The internships provide opportunities to earn academic credits, gain practical skills in a professional environment, and explore career paths.