13th Avenue Bikeway (Campus to Downtown)
The 13th Avenue Bikeway will feature a two-way protected bike lane on 13th Avenue from Alder Street to Lincoln Street linking the University of Oregon campus to downtown Eugene. Protected bike lanes provide physical separation between the bikeway and travel lanes. To facilitate two-way traffic, signalized intersections will have bike-only signal phases to prevent turning conflicts between automobile drivers and people riding bicycles.
The LiveMove student organization at the University of Oregon started the conversation by assembling a report called the "13th Avenue Downtown-Campus Corridor Concept Plan". The plan envisioned a two-way bicycling facility on 13th Avenue from UO campus to downtown Eugene. It also enumerated the amount of contraflow bicycle riding (westbound) on eastbound 13th Avenue. Based on positive community feedback from this report, new student housing developments on 13th Avenue, and recommendations to add the project to the Transportation System Plan, the city began a robust public outreach process in 2013.
The first step was to determine if there were alternative routes that would not necessitate changes to 13th Avenue. This included a community conversation at an open house in December 2013. The open house was used to test whether existing facilities on 11th Avenue (bike lane), 12th Avenue (bike route), and 13th Avenue (bike lane) were sufficient for bicycle traffic. There were over 100 attendees at the first open house, and many agreed that 13th Avenue needed some improvements. Familiarity with the two-way bikeway on Alder Street, installed in 2011, led many to state that a similar facility on 13th seemed like a solution worth considering.
Given the outcomes of the community conversations, city staff hired an engineering company to look into traffic and parking impacts of developing a two-way bikeway on 13th Avenue. Traffic operations staff agreed that a two-way bikeway could function on 13th Avenue with adjustments made to signal timing. It would require that the bikeway had it's own signal phase separate from the automobile traffic phase.
With the knowledge that a two-way bikeway was possible, staff canvassed the corridor again and scheduled another open house for April 17, 2014. At the April event, staff summarized the first open house and asked attendees to summarize their preferences for bicycling between the UO campus and downtown. Safety was the primary issue and many felt that a protected bikeway, with separate signal phases, would improve network and safety.
Later in 2014, staff scheduled meetings with business and property owners (June 19th-20th, 2014) and a public meeting on June 24th, 2014. Staff also met with PeaceHealth and the University of Oregon. The result of the public process was for city staff to implement infrastructure changes on 13th Avenue, including the two-way bikeway.
Since those initial conversations in 2014, city staff assembled funding from several funding sources to pay for project development. Additional analyses have also been completed including a traffic analysis and conceptual intersection sketches. Alta Planning + Design developed the intersection sketches linked below. These are concepts, not final designs, but they help to illustrate potential concepts that could be used for the 13th Avenue Bikeway.
More recently, in summer 2018, staff canvassed the corridor again, talked to businesses, and met with the University of Oregon, PeaceHealth, and the University Business District to discuss the project, which is scheduled for construction in 2019.
For more details on the public process, see the 13th Avenue Bikeway Process Page.
Below: Conceptual sketch of 13th Avenue at Alder Street with two-way bikeway
Project Funding and Naming
Funding for this project is from multiple sources. Grant funding from the Oregon Department of Transportation is provided through the All Roads Transportation Safety (ARTS) Program. This program was developed to address safety needs on public roads and aligns with the city's Vision Zero policy. The City of Eugene received $2.3M from ARTS.
The project also includes regional funding through the Surface Transportation Program-Urban (STP-U). These funds are distributed through the the Central Lane Council of Governments. The program provides flexible funding to improve and preserve transportation infrastructure related to walking, bicycling, riding the bus, and private automobile use. The city of Eugene received $450K from STP-U.
In addition, David Minor's family has committed $150,000 to the development of the bikeway. David Minor lost his life in a car-bike crash on 13th Avenue at Willamette Street in June 2008. The city will consider naming the project the "David Minor Bikeway" according to city procedures for naming infrastructure.
The project will go out to bid in the Fall of 2019 and construction is anticipated to begin in Spring 2020.
For more information please contact Reed Dunbar, Transportation Planner, 541-682-5727.