Consultant: Sharrows on the Oregon City Arch Bridge likely (with public push)

Consultant: Sharrows on the Oregon City Arch Bridge likely (with public push)

New sharrows on Main Street in Oregon City.
Will they put these on the Arch Bridge too?
(Photos: Don Arambula)

According to a source close to the project, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the cities of West Linn and Oregon City are strongly considering installing sharrow markings on the historic Arch Bridge when it re-opens next month after a multi-million rehabilitation project.

Back in August, we wondered whether the time was right for ODOT to add sharrows to the bridge’s main roadway. After all, we thought, ODOT installed sharrows on the St. Johns Bridge back in May following a similar rehab project. And like the St. Johns, the Arch Bridge has sub-standard sidewalks that do not adequately serve bicycle traffic. With people all but forced onto the main bridge roadway, having a large bicycle symbol in the center of the lane would be a small, yet helpful, bike safety improvement.


Aerial view shows new sharrows downtown and ongoing construction of the bridge.

In recent weeks, ODOT Community Affairs staffer on the project, Susan Hanson began looking into the possibility. On August 28th, she told me via email that, “We are working through this,” and that she was “in discussions” with leaders from Oregon City and West Linn about it (the bridge over the Willamette River connects the two cities).

Since then, we’ve learned that the downtown circulation study developed by consulting firm Crandall Arambula for Oregon City in 2010 (and later adopted by city council) recommended sharrows on the bridge. Don Arambula, principal at the consulting company, tweeted a photo this morning from the dedication of downtown street improvements (which include sharrows) in Oregon City. Arambula also wrote that, “Sharrows will likely be on the Arch Bridge.”

Arambula says that sharrows on the bridge roadway were adopted recently by Oregon City and ODOT as part of his firm’s reconstruction plan; but it’s not a done deal yet. The city engineer must sign-off on the plan and ODOT is not obligated to install them.

The topic is expected to be discussed tonight at a meeting of the Oregon City Transportation Advisory Committee. If you want to see sharrows on the Arch Bridge, consider speaking at that meeting and/or email Oregon City Public Works Director John Lewis at jmlewis@orcity.org or ODOT’s Susan Hanson at Susan.C.Hanson@odot.state.or.us.

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