Newsletter of the Mid-Valley Bicycle Club
by Paul Liberman
Next month Dave Gifford takes over as your MVBC president. I first met Dave about five years ago. He was picking up his daughter and I was picking up my granddaughter at Garfield School, all of us on bicycles. Dave and his family were about to embark on a bicycle tour in Europe. Right away I was impressed by Dave's commitment to doing adventures as a family. The next year we both joined the Board at the same time, Dave as a Member-at-large, and me as Vice-president. I noticed right away that Dave was quietly taking in all the discussions and only contributed when he had a well thought out important comment. Soon the pandemic hit and things got pretty chaotic. There was a bit of a vacuum in leadership and before we knew it Dave and I were thrust into the roles of President and Vice-president. Neither of us felt very prepared for these roles, but with the help of a very supportive and engaged board we made a go of it.
Dave immediately started refocusing our monthly meetings to bring in more community officials and bicycle advocates to talk to us about projects related to safety and infrastructure. Ancillary to his role with MVBC Dave was part of the Safer Circle initiative which resulted in better bike lanes on Circle Blvd. This really was the beginning of our refocusing the club towards more advocacy. Since Rob Upson joined us as the Advocacy director, Dave has worked closely with Rob on many of our advocacy initiatives.
It was when we hosted the panel discussion with Lynn Peterson at the campus auditorium, that I witnessed Dave, along with Rob, and David Lerman, represent the club with an air of professionalism that I could never hope to achieve, that I felt very confident that our club was going to be in good hands after my term ended.
And so I would like you all to welcome Dave as our new president and give him all of the support and appreciation that you have given me these past three years. I'm looking forward to all the great things the club is going to accomplish with Dave's leadership.
by Rob Upson, Bicycle Advocate
The goal of the Club’s advocacy efforts is to get more people on bikes and keep people safe when cycling. The Advocacy Committee is starting to plan its priorities for 2024 by looking at multi-use path maintenance and funding for neighborhood bikeways. What would you like to see on the agenda? Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.
The club was awarded a Green Grant by the City of Corvallis to present a webinar on safe bike infrastructure. That webinar occurred on Nov. 2. You can watch a recording on Google drive by clicking here.
Speaker Chris Thomas shared street designs which often lead to bodily injury crashes. Speaker Evan Manvel advised getting involved in budget talks to get good projects funded. We also heard about new state Climate Friendly rules and the implication for cyclists. Significantly, large cities like Corvallis need to update bike parking rules, inventory bike amenities, modify their Transportation Plan, develop a low-stress bike network, and propose high-density “Climate Friendly Areas” which are livable with active transportation. The Advocacy Committee will keep you updated on all these matters as the Climate Friendly programs roll out.
As always, head to the MVBC Advocacy page for updates on everything above at https://www.mvbc.com/education
Leaf season is almost behind us. Leaves in the bike lane represent a hazard for experienced cyclists and even more for kids and those who are already a little uncertain about cycling. It is illegal to place leaves in the bike lane and the Advocacy Committee asked Corvallis City Councilors to make that message clear as they renegotiate the franchise agreement with Republic Services.
Your advocacy committee made efforts to have Republic clear the bike lanes of leaves and has asked the City to give notice to homeowners and businesses that pile leaves in the bike lanes. This is an area where we need to do more in 2024. If you have ideas about how to tackle this pernicious problem or want to become more active in this area, please contact us at email@example.com .
The Van Buren Bridge project continues to unfold with more equipment and materials stockpiled and work underway on the new structure. The temporary bridge and bike lane are now operational. Completion of the permanent bridge is expected for 2026.
In Corvallis, changes to the 11th Street Neighborhood Bikeway are underway. Speed humps have been installed and are awaiting painting. Slower speeds make cycling safer. Look for more changes on 11th Street and Tyler Avenue in 2024.
The results of the 2022 Corvallis Community Questionnaire on Land Use are out. The Community Development Director’s memo says that one issue raised in the 2017 and 2022 surveys is, “ensuring better connectivity for bicycles and pedestrians.” The MVBC Advocacy Committee will continue to work on this.
The NE Circle repaving project is complete. There is now a bike ramp at 99W and Circle and a pedestrian/cyclist refuge at Jack London and Circle. Car lane width was decreased to provide a buffered bike lane, which encourages cycling by making it safer.
Many MVBC members are comfortable riding a bike for errands. Corvallis and Albany are well-suited for this. They are small, flat cities with lots of bike lanes. It's sometimes hard to remember that there are a lot of people hesitant to ride on our streets. They could be new cyclists and even children. They may not see the roadways the same way as experienced MVBC members. We need to do more to encourage cycling for transportation, as well as for recreation.
Several committee members are following development of design alternatives for modifying West Hills Road between 53rd Avenue traffic circle and Western. The latest design option incorporates separate bike and pedestrian paths, vehicle lane width reductions, and various traffic calming measures. Learn more about the West Hills Corridor plan here.
If you have any questions about bike advocacy, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above: The final crossing of the Van Buren Bridge by MVBC riders, photo by John Roedecker.
by Eileen Tokuda, Membership Director
The 2024 new year is just around the corner and the current Board of Directors extends a very sincere thank you for your continued membership and engagement with MVBC activities. You are at the heart of what keeps this organization vibrant. I invite you to consider ways you can contribute volunteer time in 2024 and become an even greater part of the MVBC experience!
Volunteering has lots of personal benefits:
Building community and connection
Meeting new people who share your interests
Learning new skills
Creating lasting relationships
Developing leadership skills
There is a new link on our website that makes it easy to scan the kinds of tasks and volunteer opportunities that may work with your work and family schedules. Some volunteer tasks can be done virtually, some are a one-of event, others are ongoing engagement activities – there are plenty of options to choose from!
Please take a few moments to go to the link provided or send me an email at email@example.com. I’d be delighted to explore your interests and see where there may be a compatible fit with your schedule. Have an enjoyable holiday season.
The MVBC calendar lists MANY events in our area. (I recommend putting it in "month" mode.)
Club Event Dates for 2024
Loop Tour 1: June 22-30
Loop Tour 2: July 20-28
Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour (CBBT): Sunday, August 11, 2024
Other area events
January 13, 14, 2024 Bike Indy Drop the Hammer Weekend, Winter Ride
April 12-14 (tentative) Spring Classic, Brownsville
May 11 Mohawk Valley Metric Century, Coburg, Oregon
June 14-16 Swift Summit v. 7 (200, 100 or 50 miles) Lebanon
July 5-7, 2024 Northwest Tandem Rally, Corvallis
McKenzie Pass east side paving project
Many riders look forward to riding McKenzie Pass before the cars return to the road. From Oregon Department of Transportation. Read more here.
As a part of a federal grant, the east side of McKenzie Pass will be repaved in 2024. The timing of paving will depend on the weather, and crews will start as soon as they are able. This will mean that this side of the highway is completely inaccessible until the paving is complete. Please do not attempt to enter the construction zone next year while the highway is being repaved. This can be dangerous for you and the crews and could also extend the time it takes to complete the work. We are looking forward to making this route smoother and safer for everyone.
Washington Way improvements to include a cycle track for two-way bicycle traffic
New Cycle Track & Traffic Pattern Change Coming to Washington Way: SW Washington Way between 17th – 26th St. is scheduled to reopen on Jan. 8. Major improvements include relocation of the roadway further away from the railroad tracks, wider sidewalks, lighting improvements and the opening of Corvallis’s first dedicated cycle track, which allows for two-way bicycle traffic completely separated from the road and sidewalk. The Washington Way cycle track will eventually extend from 15th St. to 35th St., but with only one section opening in January, there will be temporary pavement markings directing bicyclists traveling east to cross traffic at SW Benton Place and rejoin the existing bicycle lane on the south side of Washington Way. An official Campus Notification will be posted in January once the cycle track opens.
From OSU Today, about the rebuilt Washington Way thru campus.
A local loop to the coast and southern Oregon
The annual meeting includes the announcement of the Loop Tour plan for the following year. If you missed it, this years tour is starting from Corvallis and heading to southern Oregon via the coast. It will travel by six rivers and three lakes.
The Loop Tour page on the website is here.
To look through the power point from the annual meeting, click here.
For route summaries and registration details click here.
by Tracy Hug, newsletter editor, photos by John Roedecker
The pandemic brought many changes and one of them was to a long-time MVBC tradition of having a holiday party and white-elephant gift exchange. Traditionally, a club member would host this party at their house: many thanks to Richard & Lindy Burgess and Mike and Lori Wilson (and others!) for hosting through the years.
In 2021, with concerns surrounding Covid, the party was moved to the outdoor location at Common Fields and the party continued for the third year on December 16. Instead of a white elephant gift exchange, the club provides a handful of door prizes, including the ever popular gift card to our local bike shops and, of course, Hiatt Bakery! Also, MVBC member George Shaw gifted two birdhouses with found license plate tops.
A big thank you goes to MVBC treasurer Melissa Cowan who coordinates with Common Fields, gathers all the door prizes and makes this event happen! Yes, I help out the day-of with the little things (also thanks to Betty Tucker and Dan Upper for their help!) but without Melissa's commitment, this event wouldn't happen. She is also the one who took on coordinating dinner, acquiring the event site and coordinating volunteers for the annual meeting: quite the task!
If you would like to join in the fun and help out see the volunteer link on the MVBC page.
Also a thank you to John Rodecker who often provides photos to make this newsletter merry and bright!