But as seems to be the case of late, comparative data from other places is rarely persuasive. So maybe this is not useful. Anyway...
|Crystal Lakes Cemtery Walking Path Opening|
Signage: Dogs on Leash, Closes at Dusk
|Crystal Lake Cemetery in Corvallis (center)|
borders sports complex and housing
Eyes and ears - people who care.
|CoHo Ecovillage; Cemetery on R in map|
The axis of the path is north-south only. While a map suggests an east-west access would be more useful, more directly connecting the neighborhood and sports complex, there is a slough on the east edge of the cemetery that would make this more difficult, and it is logical that the cemetery would use the slough as a natural barrier.
So the walking path is low-key and not something that is highlighted. It is neighborhood and local lore, not something the City or County officially maps or promotes.
But it shows that it is possible to have a walking path through a cemetery that enhances security and historic values.
Corvallis was interesting in other ways. Over at The Upright Cyclist, B+ has written a nice appreciation of the bicycle system in Corvallis.
The thing that stood out to me, was actually how old the system seemed to be.
|Corvallis bike map|
Corvallis has one of the best cycling networks in the country with bike lanes on 97% of all collector and arterial streets.[italics added]97%!!! Not just arterials, but collectors, too, several of which it seemed had speed limits of 25mph + bike lanes! (For notes on arterials and collectors see street hierarchy. Here's Corvallis' Transportation Master Plan for specifics on them.)
So a person bicycling usually doesn't have to go more much more than 5 blocks on a local street to reach a collector or arterial with a full bike lane. On a collector, the lower speeds combined with bike lanes made for a very comfortable ride. Arterials were less easy, but people in cars also seemed like they were more attuned to people on bike, and it was rarely stressful. And of course there is an extensive path system that is not in the roadway. While there were some sharrows downtown, most of the engineering represented vintage 1980s best practices. It may not, actually, be a very modern system.
But it was essentially complete and so it was highly functional.
Corvallis is a gold-rated Bicycle Friendly Community. Without digging too deeply, it seems like census data suggests a little more than 10% of commute trips in Corvallis are by bike. (By comparison, Salem is rated bronze and at about 1.5%.) So the system in Corvallis works well for the estimated 8% of those who are "strong and fearless" and "enthused and confident" and is beginning to make inroads to serve those who are "interested but concerned." Of course among students the proportion of people biking is much higher. Salem's fragmentary system still pretty much only serves the 1% of strong and fearless.
Even with the university, and all the apartments, Corvallis isn't that dense, and the prevailing feeling was suburban. The town is small enough that a person could make a huge number of trips by bike. It would be difficult to find a house or apartment that was more than 3 miles from downtown, I think.
So what is it going to take to move the needle so that a quarter or a third of commute trips are by bike?
I don't know that it's important here to figure out Corvallis' problems, but it was interesting to consider.
More to the point, Salem currently has only just over 50% of arterials and collectors striped with bike lanes and the plan, until Bike and Walk Salem revised it slightly, was to have 70% striped by 2030. Remember that 97%? We're way behind Corvallis just on the 1980s stuff!
On the other hand, Corvallis doesn't have the big barriers Salem has to contend with: The City is flat, Marys River is small and easy to bridge relative the Willamette, and Corvallis does not straddle the Willamette; additionally, Corvallis doesn't have I-5 or the Union Pacific rail running through it. It only has Highway 99W as an urban highway and stroad.
|First Alternative Coop is on Highway 99W,|
a five-lane stroad with bike lanes and
a flashing beacon crosswalk and median
the sidewalk here is also extrawide for a contraflow multi-use path.
(It was interesting the coop wasn't downtown)
|BMX/Skate Park under Highways 34, 20, and 99W|
These observations are all too preliminary and random, the result of a quick-hit visit.
Have you been to Corvallis? What do you think of it?