News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

ODOT hosting open houses on traffic studies

The Oregon Department of Transportation is hosting a pair of open houses on a traffic study the agency is putting together for Scio, Lyons and Mill City.

The first open house runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lyons Flea Market in the Santiam Valley Grange Hall, 1140 Fifth St. A second event is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Scio Fairgrounds and Event Center.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is looking at safety improvements in three Santiam Canyon corridors, Highway 226 in Scio and Lyons and Highway 22 in Mill City. The Scio stretch runs between 6th Avenue and SE Ash Street, the Lyons piece is between 6th Street and the Santiam River Bridge, and the Mill City corridor is on Highway 22 between NE 3rd Avenue and NE 7th Avenue.

In addition to the two open houses, ODOT is gathering feedback from an online survey that is running through Aug. 6. 

The project page is at https://direc.to/jd5E. Check on the “online open house” link to take the survey. The study, which is being paid for with federal funds, costs $125,000 but does not include money for design or construction.

The potential improvement ideas, if constructed, would make it safer and more comfortable to walk along and cross these highways on foot. The study also will look at bike lanes and intersection safety improvements, as well as other issues brought up by the public and stakeholders. Possible upgrades could include sidewalks, crosswalks and bike lanes.

ODOT officials said they are studying these highways to understand potential designs before future maintenance or other projects are planned for the area. 

After the study, ODOT will look for funding to include the improvements along with other necessary work to make best use of limited resources. For example, if ODOT has a project to update the curb ramps, the agency may be able to also improve pedestrian crossings with new striping and signs that make it safer to cross the street. 

ODOT needs to define these desired improvements now as part of the study so that they can be easily implemented later as opportunities arise.

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