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Want wider shoulders on Hwy 26? ODOT seeks feedback on Mt. Hood area projects

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 14th, 2013 at 3:47 pm

ODOT has created an interactive map of the projects.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has revealed their list of projects that could get funding through their Mt. Hood Multimodal Transportation Plan (MHMTP). Along with the list is an online survey where you can tell them which of the 40 projects you think are most important.

As we first covered back in March ODOT is putting a renewed focus on the highways that lead up to Mt. Hood (US 26/OR 35 between Sandy and Hood River) in an effort to improve safety and give people more options for traveling to and around the popular recreation area. This Multimodal Plan is a $650,000 effort to plan and then implement a number of small-scale projects that will make transit, walking, biking, and driving easier and safer.

The list of 40 projects unveiled this week has been whittled down from hundreds of ideas they've received in the past several months. They've split the projects into seven categories ranging from public (and private) transportation to parking management, the creation of new transportation organizations, basic road safety improvements, bike-related projects, and more. You can check out an interactive map of all 40 projects here, or see the four projects that specifically mention bicycling below...

  • Mt Hood Highway shoulder widening for bicyclist use -- There are many stretches of US 26 and OR 35 where shoulders are very narrow or nonexistent. Bicyclists rely on shoulders for travel through this area. This project would widen shoulders in areas on US 26 and OR 35 where there are no or substandard shoulders. Shoulder widening would be targeted to areas based on need.
  • Bike/ped info along Mt Hood Highway with maps to mountain biking, alternate routes to US 26/OR 35, hiking trails etc. Wayfinding would be a key element.
  • Bike intersection improvements at OR 35 and Historic Columbia River Highway (E. State St.) in Hood River -- This intersection lacks striping for bicyclists headed east on HCRH to OR 35 north (or across the highway to the HCRH multi-use path). The project would stripe a bike lane through the intersection to improve safety for bicyclists using this intersection.
  • Bike intersection improvements at OR-35 & OR 282 intersection -- The bike shoulders on southbound OR 35 end through this intersection so bicyclists have to merge into high-speed traffic at this location. In addition, there are not bike lanes striped on OR 282 as it nears OR 35 so bicyclists have to enter the lane at the intersection. This project would stripe a bike lane on OR 282 and would widen OR 35 to allow for space to build a bike lane through the intersection.

In the online survey, the public is being asked to choose five projects from the list of 40 that they feel a stakeholder group should recommend to ODOT. "The MHMTP Project Leadership Group, made up of representatives from the Oregon Department of Transportation, Clackamas and Hood River counties, and the US Forest Service, will ultimately decide which projects on the draft list are included in the plan," an ODOT statement.

ODOT expects to have the plan completed by the end of the year. Projects selected will be implemented "within the next few years," says ODOT.

Take the survey here.

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