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Volunteers needed to select Oregon Scenic Bikeways

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 24th, 2008 at 12:19 pm

A reader (thanks Brian) gave me the heads up that Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is looking for volunteers to serve on a new advisory committee that will evaluate routes nominated for Oregon Scenic Bikeways.

Full press release is below (more info on Oregon's Scenic Bikeway program here):

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is recruiting volunteers to serve on a new advisory committee that will evaluate bicycle routes nominated for Oregon Scenic Bikeway status.

The committee will consider routes for the designation that bring bicyclists in contact with outstanding scenic, historic and natural settings. It will make its recommendations to the OPRD director.

A partnership between Cycle Oregon, Travel Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), and OPRD led to a recently adopted revised Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) creating the committee and the Oregon Scenic Bikeway program. The partnership had spearheaded a pilot project in 2005 that established the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.

A citizen "at large" member and a representative of a bicycle advocacy organization will fill two of 11 seats on the committee. Other members appointed by the OPRD director will represent ODOT, Travel Oregon, the Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council, a federal agency land manager, the Oregon Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the Association of Oregon Counties, the League of Oregon Cities and OPRD. The first appointees will serve two, three and four-year terms.

More information about the committee and how to apply is available by calling Alexandra Phillips, OPRD's state bicycle recreation coordinator, at 503-986-0631.

One of the committee's first tasks will be to help develop the scenic bikeway nomination process, which will likely be similar to the state's Scenic Byways program for motorists. Once a scenic bikeway is designated, OPRD will enter into written cooperative agreements with landowners, other affected government agencies and private organizations to develop signing, arrange for maintenance, and define locations as approved in a route management plan.

"Oregon has long been recognized as one of the nation's premier bicycling states," said Phillips. "Now its best routes can be put on the map." The rule states that routes can be linear or form loops, and can follow trails or low-traffic paved roads, or a combination of both.

Recognized as the first designated Oregon Scenic Bikeway, the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway will serve as a prototype, said Phillips. OPRD is now working with cities and counties on signs for the 130-mile bikeway, which was designed by Cycle Oregon. A map of the route is online at www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/BIKE/.

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