Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012, September 23, 1980, Section D, Page 16, Image 105

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    Area offers 85 miles of bike paths
By ALAN HARRIS
Of the Emerald
Eugene’s 150-mile Bikeway
Master Plan is now more than
half complete with the addition
of seven miles of bike paths
during the past year.
Completion of a link between
the Willie Knickerbocker bridge
and Franklin Blvd. on Sept. 27
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801 E. 13th 344-3615
will give Eugene more than 60
miles of bike paths, says Diane
Bishop, public works
department bicycle coordina
tor.
With 25 miles of bike paths
under Lane County jurisdiction,
the master plan leaves bicyclists
with more than 85 miles of bike
paths.
“All the easy routes are
done," Bishop says. "The rest
are tough ones because of
design features on existing city
streets.”
Parking will have to be
removed and streets widened to
accommodate many of the
projected bikeways.
For the past four years the city
has been trying to obtain a
bikeway linkage with the
Bethel-Danebo area in west
Eugene, but the roads are
asphalt mat, which drains poor
ly, she says. Until road im
provements are scheduled for
that area, alternate bike routes
will have to do.
Each year the city allocates a
core budget of $75,000 for off
street construction of bikeways
and parking facilities. But when
on-street bikeways are included
the cost runs “closer to
$200,000 a year,” Bishop says.
However, much of the costs
are offset by state and federal
matching grants that defer from
50 to 80 percent of the cost for
the city’s bikeways. “We always
manage to get one or two when
we need them."
Every city department that
has anything to do with road
improvements or design
changes has a copy of the
Master Plan, Bishop says.
Road improvements and
bikeway construction are coor
dinated by the Eugene Bike
Committee, which updates the
Master Plan once a year. The
committee includes city
architects, road engineers and
citizens.
"What’s nice is the Eugene
staff is really in tune with bikes,"
says Bishop
Although many people feared
cutbacks in Eugene’s bikeway
system following Measure No. 5,
which requires all gasoline tax
money to be spent on road im
provements, the revenue loss
will not have a big impact on
Eugene's bikeways, Bishop
says. One percent of the
gasoline tax was allocated to
state bikeways and parks, but
Eugene’s share amounted to
only $9,000 or $10,000.
Financial problems don’t
seem imminent given the strong
public and staff support
bikepaths receive, she says.
The money should be available
to keep the system growing.
Money has been made
available through numerous
resources. The Eugene Water
and Electric Board built the
Autzen Stadium bike bridge and
the Willie Knickerbocker bike
bridge as EWEB projects calling
for pipelines under the
Willamette River or over it.
Since the costs were the same,
EWEB notified the city that it
would build the bridges over the
river if the city would pay for
concrete so pedestrians and
bikes could use them.
The $300,000 Greenway bike
bridge at Valley River Center
was a city project. The Knicker
bocker bridge, with EWEB water
pipes underneath, cost the city
$72,000. The master plan didn’t
call for a bridge in that location,
but the city couldn’t turn down
the offer, she says.
The Knickerbocker bridge,
which has been completed for
months, is waiting for the
bikeway connection to Franklin
Blvd. An existing water culvert
under the Southern Pacific rail
road tracks will be used to
complete the route to Franklin
Blvd., says Lewis Kaoeck, Lane
County design department.
Construction is slated for
completion on Sept. 27.
The culvert will be enlarged to
allow cyclists to go under the
tracks. Wildish Construction will
do the job at a cost of $122,622.
A two-mile extension of the
Greenway loop west of Valley
River Center was completed
jointly by Eugene and Lane
County during the summer.
Construction included a 12-foot
wide and 50-foot long bike
bridge over a marshy area at a
cost of $145,000, Kaoeck said.
EWEB is also planning a utility
line over or under Beltline Road
and could be the base for a path
crossing the freeway, Bishop
says.
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