Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 24th, 2010 at 1:44 pm
The City of Hillsboro has something to be thankful for today. They've just been awarded $426,275 to construct a mid-block crossing for the Rock Creek Trail at Evergreen Parkway. The grant comes from the Oregon Department of Transportation's (ODOT) Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant Program.
(Photo: City of Hillsboro)
The City of Hillsboro and Washington County were co-applicants on the grant. They applied for a total of $852,000 so they could also fix the existing gap at Cornell Road. They didn't get the full amount, but they're certainly happy for what they did get. The money will help them get closer to their dream of making the Rock Creek Trail a major, north-south trail corridor. Currently, the trail extends from Rock Creek Blvd north of US Highway 26 south to Orchard Park, a distance of only 1.5 miles. When complete, the trail will extend nearly 8 miles — all the way south to the Tualatin River.
The project has been identified as a Active Transportation Demonstration Project by Metro with the goal to link housing in southern Hillsboro with employment centers and Light Rail stations to the north via "direct, accessible, comfortable, enjoyable, and safe bicycle and pedestrian connections."
Evergreen Parkway is a high-speed, multi-lane arterial at this location. Plans for the new crossing call for removal of a 10 foot by 16 foot portion of the existing center median, sidewalk ramps, high-visibility crosswalks, new signage, and a new traffic signal. Construction is due by October 2012, but could be completed sooner.
Reader Matt Picio is familiar with the trail and this crossing. He writes via a comment below that "this is great news":
"... Currently riders are forced to go 1/4 mile over to a fairly high-traffic intersection in order to cross Evergreen. Not very pleasant. Joggers have been cutting across the median for some time, at some risk depending on time of day. This will be a welcome improvement to that trail."
ODOT received 90 applications worth over $37 million in this round of funding. The funds were extremely competitive as only $5 million total was available. The money comes from a mix of sources including the gas tax, vehicle registration fees, and weight mile taxes