The following paragraphs describe the purpose, authority, and scope of services for the City of Eugene's Bikeways Master Plan Evaluation. The development of this project, and a brief history of the Eugene Bikeways are also described.
The Purpose of the City of Eugene Bikeways Master Plan Evaluation is to analyze the relationship between bicycle accidents and the Eugene Bikeway System. Specific emphasis includes the measurement of bicycle usage on all bicycle facilities, analysis of Eugene's bicycle accidents, determination of the level of accident reporting, developing a program to monitor accidents, evaluating the existing bikeway system, and evaluating the City's construction standards, maintenance, and implementation process.
The Authority for work on this project is contained in Standards 609, 613, and 614 of the National Highway Safety Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-564) as updated and amended in the 1973 and 1976 Highway Safety Acts. A grant from the Oregon Traffic Safety Commission finances the project. The grant agreement authorized the City to retain the services of Regional Consultants, Inc. to plan, direct and assist in the development and preparation of the Bikeways Master Plan Evaluation. The City has provided "in-kind" services of personnel who have worked directly on the project.
SCOPE OF SERVICES
The Scope of Services is to provide project management and technical assistance for the performance of the necessary data collection tasks, which will provide updated records of bicycle facility usage and bicycle accidents. The scope also includes the analysis of the gathered data for the development of improvement programs and identification of improvement projects. The report details the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the project team.
STATE TRAFFIC SAFETY PROGRAM
The State Traffic Safety Program, administered by the Oregon Traffic Safety Commission, has as its goal the reduction of all traffic accidents and fatalities. The OTSC recognizes that bicycles are an important element of transportation in Oregon, and the reduction of bicycle accidents is an important part of reducing traffic accidents. This project recognizes that accident reduction can best be achieved through local efforts coordinated with regional and state-wide efforts.
The Project Area encompasses the area within the City Limits of Eugene. The bicycle facility inventories included all facilities within the City, and the improvement programs recognize the areas of influence around the City of Eugene.
Citizen Involvement is essential for the success of any Traffic Safety Improvement Program. The Mayor's Bicycle Committee has provided this essential involvement. During monthly committee meetings and a public hearing, the committee has provided for input from citizens of Eugene. In addition, a survey concerning citizen attitudes toward Eugene's Bikeways and bicycle riding has been distributed with assistance of the Bicycle Committee.
PROJECT DEVELOPMENT AND PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
During the initial phase of work, a project team was assembled from personnel of the Engineering, Planning, and Police Departments with project management and technical assistance provided by the Consultant. The City of Eugene's Traffic Engineer was the Project Director responsible for project records and reporting to OTSC.
At the beginning of the project, a reconnaissance survey was made of all bicycle facilities to determine and evaluate problem conditions. Records of traffic accidents involving bicycles were reviewed to identify high accident locations and accident causes. The activities of the Public Works, Police, Parks, and Planning Departments as they relate to bicycle operation and safety, were also reviewed. The following conditions were noted:
RECENT HISTORY OF EUGENE BIKEWAYS
In the fall of 1970, the Eugene City Council established a five-man staff committee to study bicycle use to determine if bicycle paths were necessary in Eugene. Five citizens joined the committee in February 1971 to form the Mayor's Bicycle Committee. This committee determined the necessity of comprehensive bike system planning and sought assistance with the planning. In the fall of 1973, Eugene commissioned an engineering and planning firm to prepare a Bikeways Master Plan for Eugene, Springfield, and the surrounding areas. The Master Plan was completed and accepted by the Eugene City Council in January 1975 and implementation began immediately.
Nearly 50 miles of the proposed 152 mile bikeway system have been completed within the City of Eugene. The completed sections include over 10 miles of separate bike paths, 20 miles of striped bike lanes, 13 miles of signed bikeways on city streets, and over 3 miles of sidewalk bike routes.
Bridges across the Willamette River and Railroad grade separations have been constructed or improved for use of bicyclists and pedestrians.
Most bicycle facilities in Eugene are well used. This Project evaluates the safety, effectiveness, and usage of these existing facilities. The evaluation process has identified well-used and poorly used, safe and unsafe bicycle facilities. Specific pertinent data are now readily available for the continuing evaluation of bicycle facilities and for the annual updating of the Bikeways Master Plan.
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance received from the Oregon Traffic Safety Commission, Oregon State Highway Division and Lane County. The input and assistance provided by Eugene's City Administration, Public Works, Engineering, Parks, Planning, and Police Departments have enhanced the value of this project. The dedicated assistance of the Mayor's Bicycle Committee has been most valuable. Enthusiastic and motivating input for this project has come from the citizens of Eugene. We sincerely appreciate all of these efforts and the opportunity to work with the City of Eugene.