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Highway 26 through Rhododendron.(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Busline (ODOT) knows that if Mt. Awning is to abide a accepted amusement destination there’s got to be a bigger way to get up there than active in a car. Highways that affix to Mt. Awning are acceptable magnets for bottleneck and crashes, so the bureau has launched the Mt. Awning Mutlimodal Busline Plan, a activity they’re alive on in affiliation with the US Forest Service, the Federal Artery Administration, and Awning River and Clackamas Counties.

The catalyst for this activity (which includes Mt. Hood, Sandy, and Awning River) is the federal Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. Section 1207 of that law, beneath the branch “Tribal provisions, planning and studies” says that ODOT charge develop, “an integrated, multimodal busline plan for the Mount Awning arena to accomplish absolute solutions to busline challenges.” Among those challenges, says ODOT Arena 1 Activity Planner Mike Mason is ever-increasing cartage and a history of crashes.

“There’s a lot of appeal and absorption in biking both on Artery 35 and 26.”— Mike Mason, ODOT Arena 1

Traffic to Mt. Awning is alone accepted to admission from the 2-5 actor anniversary visitors it already gets and one huge advance breadth is bicycling. Mt. Awning is home to a hut-to-hut abundance biking system, accepted singletrack trails, a growing cardinal of abundance bike contest and events, the Sandy Ridge aisle system, the abundance bike esplanade at Skibowl, and the Timberline MTB Bike Esplanade which is accepted to be accessible for business in summer 2014. Added bicycling trends about Mt. Awning are adulterine alley contest and fatbiking on snowmobile and cross-country ski trials.

“In the winter and summer months, there is a amazing cardinal of bodies who go up to the abundance for recreations,” said Mason during a buzz alarm beforehand this week, “During aiguille periods it’s absolutely chock-full and dangerous. There are a lot of crashes.” Separate from this planning project, ODOT is already pumping $27 actor dollars into “safety and preservation” projects like their U.S. 26 Mt. Awning Artery Safety Project.

While the Artery 26 activity is aimed at authoritative active safer, Mason says the ambition of their Multimodal Busline Plan is to animate beneath bodies to hop in a car to activate with. “What we’re acquisitive to acquisition are acceptable account to abate the cardinal of bodies who feel they charge to drive cars up there.” He’s additionally acquainted that abundant of the Mt. Awning cartage comes from adolescent bodies who may not alike drive yet. “How are they activity to up there?” he wonders.

One of the abounding accomplished bicyclingbackroads aloof off Artery 26.

Due primarily to ecology constraints, Mason fabricated it bright that accretion artery accommodation for auto cartage is not on the table. “Widening the aisle is not activity to happen,” he said. “This isn’t a archetypal ODOT artery planning project.”

“Are bodies absorbed in added alteration amid Gresham and Sandy?” Mason asked rhetorically,”Does it accomplish faculty to accept a park-and-ride and jump on a bus? What types of means can we get beneath bodies active up but still get them to the ski hills?” (It’s account acquainted that The Mt. Awning Forest and Clackamas County were aloof awarded a alteration admission for the “Mountain Express” bus account a few weeks ago.)

Mason batten a lot about bicycling and admission to absolute bike trails. “We apprehend a lot from Awning River about bodies biking. There’s a lot of appeal and absorption in biking both on Artery 35 and 26.”

The account for this plan is $300,000 for beat and planning and $350,000 for accomplishing (paid with funds from all activity partners). With the implementations funds, ODOT says they could end up accomplishing things like lane striping changes, convalescent the action of artery shoulders, convalescent admission to trailheads, alteration barrier alignments, and so on. “This plan isn’t meant to accommodate everything,” is how Mason put it, “What we’re aiming to do is appear up with some affordable projects that can be implemented in the abreast term.”

This will be a actual absorbing plan to chase and captivation from bodies who bike on, to, or about Mt. Awning will be crucial. ODOT needs and wants to apprehend from you and they plan to accept a “manageable list” or accomplishments by this summer and apparatus them by the end of the year. Stay acquainted for a analysis and added options to allotment your ascribe in the abutting few months.

Learn added at the official ODOT activity page.

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