Corvallis transportation officials want you to give them a shortcut.
Or at least that’s what we’re calling them. The city of Corvallis, which sometimes is a bit wordy, is calling them “active travel corridors.”
The concept works like this: There are routes folks take on bicycle and on foot that are off-limits to motorists. A street dead-ends, but the sidewalk continues, or a path exists through a park. Advantage active travelers!
Here are a couple of examples:
• Both Northwest Eighth Street and Northwest Seventh Street dead-end just south of the Linn-Benton Community Benton Center. But paths and sidewalks will take you right to the campus (see map).
• Northwest Tyler Avenue dead-ends tantalizingly short of Harrison Boulevard. But a path exists to transport a cyclist or walker to Harrison.
• A bridge over Dixon Creek will get you from Northwest Arthur Avenue to Northwest Arthur Place … and eventually to Kings Boulevard.
• Porter Park, meanwhile, provides a pleasant pathway for a cyclist or pedestrian motivating between Garfield and Grant.
Corvallis is collecting the ATCs to put on an interactive map (see information box for the link). Some of the routes even feature transit connections.
“It’s a brand new transportation network that has been here for decades,” said Josh Capps, the city’s active transportation program specialist. “Throughout the years, Corvallis has been quietly developing neighborhood shortcuts for people walking, rolling and biking. These cut-throughs connect people to other valuable locations such as another street, a park, or a school. They shorten the trip for people traversing by active modes and enrich the travel experience.”
The idea, Capps said, came from a project supported by the International Federation of Pedestrians “that really didn’t catch on. We took the initial idea and tweaked it a bit.”
Capps says only Olympia, Washington, has a program anywhere near what Corvallis is offering.
The city went live with its interactive map May 1 and began sifting through recommendations from residents that arrived by the dozen. Participation by the public was an important piece, Capps said.
“We found many of these connections, but we knew that we couldn't possibly discover all of them on our own,” he said. “So, we wanted the community to tell us where they were. This helps for local knowledge but also gives people buy-in knowing they helped define the map.”
Capps said that the program has been “very well received. We really thought that this was a campaign that would resonate with the community. We all have areas we know, but we didn’t know the whole thing.”
The promotion is scheduled to end at the end of the month, but Capps said “we may leave it up longer. We see this as a living document, since new developments continue adding ATCs and we plan to keep the map as a permanent fixture on the city website.
“Although it is developed as a stand-alone digital map, we are hoping to provide the ability to overlay the ATC map onto the online bike network map at some point to show how the two networks overlap and link up. There is a chance we could also add signs below dead-end street signs, for example, letting people know that a street continues for people walking and biking.
“Last, down the line, I could also see pocket-sized maps being produced. But, we wouldn’t create these until only after our network is well identified.”
And if a short-cut looks too good to be true, it just might be that you are encroaching on private property.
“We don’t want to point people toward private property," Capps said. "We either view in person or use Google Streetview to look up each ATC that comes in. We also use tax lot information to determine if it meets our qualifications. If we find an ATC that cuts through private property, we mark it on the map with a red negative symbol.
“This way it lets people know that we have seen the location, but we do not recommend it because it hasn’t met our qualifications, which usually means it is on private property.” TO PARTICIPATE
Just go to https://www.corvallisoregon.gov/publicworks/page/active-travel-corridors anjd follow the directions. The city is giving away bike bandanas to 10 lucky contestants.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org