A new section of the City of Hood River’s pedestrian/bicycle network has been added — the Wilson-A Street Bicycle Corridor, with 18 new thermoplastic bicycle "sharrows" recently installed on the stretch and more improvements to come.
Sharrows are white pavement markings showing a bicycle symbol with two chevrons on top, named for a combination of the words “share” and “arrow,” indicating multi-modal transportation. The lanes are shared by vehicles — dedicated bike only lanes are marked with chevrons on the sides as well.
Wilson and A streets between 10th and 18th (one block north of Belmont/Union Street) is a rare continuous stretch connecting east-west sides of 12th and 13th streets that can serve traffic in the area and commuters to nearby schools to keep pedestrians and cyclists off streets with higher vehicle traffic, stated a city press release. “Compact Only” restriction signs have been placed on two parking stalls at the corner of 13th and A streets to improve visibility. Crosswalk signage improvements are planned to complete this project.
Spearheading the project is City GIS Analyst Jonathan Skloven-Gill.
“We kickstarted bicycle route improvements while streets were quieter during the Stay-Home order,” Skloven-Gill said. “The project our team designed includes immediate actions and future expansions for projects that require more planning and involvement.”
The Wilson-A Corridor is the first step in a larger plan to expand the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) network in the Heights area. SRTS projects create neighborhood to school connections for children and adults who commute by foot and bicycle.
Conceptual outlines have been created for the next phase, on the Heights, to include bicycle lanes along Pacific Avenue from Second Street to 12th Street connecting to the Wilson-A Corridor. This section incorporates improvements on a small segment of the Indian Creek Trail just north of Dutch Bros. to Union Street. Phase Two would also connect the Wilson-A Corridor north along 18th Street to May Street and the existing Safe Routes to Schools network. These project segments, as part of the City’s Transportation System Plan (TSP), will require extensive engineering and redesign that will take more time.
An updated network plan and map, adopted by city council in May, serves as a foundation to the city’s bicycle system and can be expanded and improved in the future. Although current work is only a small step towards Hood River becoming a comprehensive Safe Routes to Schools community, once complete, these SRTS projects would add significantly to the city’s pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure.