County shares designs to improve travel for pedestrians, cyclists in Wood Village

An open house was held for the Arata Road improvements project Monday, Feb. 10, at Wood Village Baptist Church.

While the turnout wasn’t great — around 10 people showed up, according to Joanna Valencia, senior transportation planner for Multnomah County — the county did receive good feedback from neighbors in the area who will be affected by the project.

County staff were seeking community input on designs to improve Arata Road, a street linking Fairview and Wood Village that has long been a safety concern for pedestrians and cyclists.

Valencia said some folks were particularly interested in how the county was going to address drainage, which also has been a problem on the road.

Other people were concerned with how the road improvements would impact their property and neighborhood, Valencia said.

“Largely, people are in support of the project and are excited for it to be constructed and completed,” Valencia said.

She said the corridor is heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists trying to access the numerous Wood Village amenities such as the Fred Meyer and Lowe’s stores.

The county’s latest street design includes constructing a complete streetscape on Arata Road between Northeast 238th Drive and Northeast 223rd Avenue with the addition of a 5-foot-wide sidewalk on the south side and a 10-foot-wide paved, shared-use path on the north side.

A water quality swale will be built on the north side to capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff.

Valencia said the multi-use path and swale will create a larger buffer between between traffic and people on bike or foot.

“It will create a safer feel for families traveling with strollers,” she said.

Construction on the project is expected to start in the spring of 2015, Valencia said, with the completion date anticipated for the fall of 2016.

Multnomah County Transportation has solicited public input on Arata Road improvements since 2008.

Funding for the project comes from multiple federal grants including $1.67 million from Regional Flexible funds, awarded by Metro, and $2.1 million allocated from the state of Oregon’s Flexible Funds.

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