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Lane County rolls out Bicycle Master Plan for rural areas

Cyclist in rural area.
Lucas Davies
Cyclist in rural area.

Cycling on Lane County’s rural roads can be challenging and dangerous. Now officials are rolling out their first-ever Bicycle Master Plan to address that issue.

The plan is an amendment to Lane County’s Transportation System plan. It’s available for public review and comment before it goes to commissioners. The goal is to improve access, safety, and connectivity for bikes.

County spokesperson Devon Ashbridge says biking in rural areas is uncomfortable, due to the decades-old design of many roads.

“They are often narrow 2-lane, with little to no shoulder,” she told KLCC. “So you’ll see as you go through this draft plan, that there are by far more recommendations for shoulder widening on rural roads than other types of projects. That’s because there’s such a need to create some safer space for bicyclists.”

Grants will help fund proposed improvements, which includes nearly 1,000 miles of 4-6’ shoulder bikeways.

Other aspects in the plan include:

  • 8 miles of buffered bike lane
  • 2 miles of bike lanes
  • 37 miles of shared-use paths
  • 9 miles of shared roadway
  • 124 miles of unpaved gravel roads 

“This plan is ambitious,” Lane County Senior Transportation Planner Becky Taylor said in a press release. “But it is important for us to think big, determine what we really need as a community, and start working toward our goal project by project. The final plan will help us prioritize those projects and seek out grant funding or other opportunities to make it happen.”
The county says the public involvement process included stakeholder interviews with community-based organizations, two online public open houses, and survey responses from over 2,500 people over two years. The draft plan also used data about community demographics, bicycle crashes and travel demand to identify areas of vulnerability and need.

The link to Lane County's Bicycle Master Plan is here.

People wishing to share their thoughts can send them to Taylor at becky.taylor@lanecountyor.gov. Comments submitted by May 3, 2022 will be evaluated prior to submitting the Bicycle Master Plan as an amendment to Lane County’s Transportation System Plan.

This plan does not include the Eugene-Springfield area because those cities have their own plans for bicycling.

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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