Posted by: Deborah Bryant | February 28, 2007

Highway 131 Refinement Plan

A planning effort is currently underway to identify improvements to the Highway 131 Corridor between the wayside in Oceanside and the Whiskey Creek Road intersection south of Netarts. In Oceanside, neighbors Joanne Jene and Lenora Lawerence have joined the study group.

I was very excited when I finally took the time to read about the scope of the project and learn that it includes taking a look at the corridor for possible improvement from thepedestrian and bicycle perspective. You can read all about the project on the ODOT web site, or take a quick look at the project description borrowed from the site, below:

“The Highway 131 Refinement Plan is being led by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) in coordination with Tillamook County Department of Community Development and the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County . The technical consultant is CH2M HILL.

Funding for this project is being provided by ODOT’s Transportation and Growth Management Program. This project began in November 2006 and will be completed in June 2007.

Project Overview
The study area for this Refinement Plan is Highway 131 between the communities of Netarts and Oceanside, including parcels immediately east and west of the highway. The study area will also include the Cape Lookout Junction (intersection of Hwy 131 and Whiskey Creek Road), southeast of Netarts.

Located on the Oregon Coast in Tillamook County on District Highway Number 131, Netarts Highway between the unincorporated communities of Netarts and Oceanside is designated as an “alternate bike route” on the Oregon Coast Bike Route map.

This section of the highway is a two lane section that travels through the commercial node of Netarts and then continues to wind through residential development to the community of Oceanside where it terminates at a State-owned wayside and parking area.

The Three Capes Scenic Bike Route is designated as a shared roadway alternate bike route from Bay Ocean Road over the top of Cape Meares and through Oceanside, Netarts and over the top of Cape Lookout. It receives seasonally high usage, and bicyclists often choose to avoid climbing the hill over Cape Meares and cut off on Highway 131 at the Tillamook River Bridge and connect back up to Scenic Bike Route in Netarts.

Highway 131 is narrow, has limited shoulder width and limited sight distance clearance. An evaluation of whether Highway 131 is safe for use by bicyclists and what measures can be taken to improve the safety for use by bicyclists and pedestrians will be included in the scope of this project.

The popular resort communities of Netarts and Oceanside both have Netarts Highway as their main street and issues associated with the relationship of the communities to the Highway. Oceanside, in particular has challenging parking issues due to the topography and built environment.

The community of Oceanside has been suggested as appropriate for designation as a Special Transportation Area (STA). This project will include an evaluation of an STA designation in Oceanside.

Project Objectives The objectives of the Highway 131 Refinement Plan include the following:
Strategies to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety on Highway 131
Strategies to address parking and circulation in Oceanside and Netarts
Main street strategies in both Oceanside and Netarts to address pedestrian, bicyclist and auto circulation while maintaining the through function of the Highway.
Evaluation of an STA designation for the community of Oceanside

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