Did you know that you can get from one end of Corvallis to the other with just two traffic lights or less? In this writeup we’ll take you from the Willamette Landing neighborhood in south Corvallis all the way to the Timberhill neighborhood up north.
Being led by someone makes it less stressful and is a great way to actually experience how easy it can be to get across town (by bike) from different spots.
Let’s check out the traffic lights we’ll come across. The first is at Crystal Lake Dr and Hwy 99 (or 3rd St). This only really counts going southbound, because going northbound is a right-hand turn onto the multi-use path and there’s really no stop needed to get on the path. There’s also a bike lane along Hwy 99.
The second traffic light is at 29th & Walnut. You don’t have to cross Walnut at a traffic light, but it’s a hassle because of how many lanes and how fast cars travel on it. It’s a major arterial for cars and is SEVEN LANES in some spots (4 car lanes, 1 turn lane, 2 bike lanes). And it’s 35mph speed limit along most of Walnut with actual speeds faster due to the way the road is designed (nice wide and smooth lanes). The signal at 29th typically gets triggered with the sensors in the bike lane, so this is one of the easiest ways to cross Walnut.
You can actually go south-to-north (or north-to-south) with zero traffic lights if you are adventurous. It’s very easy to get across most of Corvallis and minimize the number of traffic lights you hit but sometimes traffic signals make it much easier to cross certain streets that have a lot of fast car traffic.
The route shown below (~8 miles) goes from the Willamette Landing neighborhood in south Corvallis to Chip Ross Park trailhead at the north end of NW 29th St. Here’s a link to the route that allows you to zoom in and see some street view images that have been added:
You could actually continue further north through McDonald-Dunn Forest or go further south and get to Block 15 taproom or 4 Spirits Distillery without any other traffic lights.
One of the best parts about this route is that it goes across the smoothest railroad crossing that won’t knock your teeth out. Scooters and skaters rejoice! This crossing is along Adams Ave at 6th St.
For Open Streets 2019, there are several routes to lead people to the event in south Corvallis. Being led by someone makes it less stressful and is a great way to actually experience how easy it can be to get across town from different spots. All are encouraged to meet at any of the route starting points starting just after 11 am for each route.
Corvallis is a great city for riding a bike (or skateboard/scooter) compared to many other places in the US. Imagine having more dedicated car-free “open streets” without a bunch of traffic lights or even stop signs. Convenience is a big factor for people to choose their travel mode, and it sure would be nice if Corvallis made it more convenient to travel by bike or something other than a car.
Jeff Hallman owns Corvallis Electric Bicycles and is part of the volunteer team that designed the neighborhood group bike rides to Open Streets this year. Jeff loves the cycling community in Corvallis and wants to help get more people on bikes any way that he can.