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Corvallis-Albany Bikeway Advisory Group selects potential routes for a bicycle/pedestrian path

On February 22, 2017, great progress was made by the Corvallis-Albany Bikeway Advisory Group in selecting potential routes for a bicycle and pedestrian path along the Highway 20 corridor between Corvallis and Albany. Libby Barg, principal at Barney & Worth, facilitated the meeting and was “pretty amazed” the group narrowed 10 potential routes for the path down to 3 alternatives! “This is the first cut,” Libby told the group. “When we come back to you next time, we’ll be sharing much more information about what we know.”


News article:

Corvallis Gazette-Times

A stakeholders committee evaluating possible routes for a bike path between Corvallis and Albany was asked to cut the list of 10 alternatives in half on Wednesday, but in the end it did better than that, slashing the choices by two-thirds.

“I’m pretty amazed,” said meeting facilitator Libby Barg of the Barney & Worth consulting firm. “The goal was five, and we have three.”

The gathering at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library was the second meeting of the Corvallis-Albany Bikeway Advisory Group, an 11-member citizen panel formed by Benton County to evaluate possible alignments for a bicycle and pedestrian path along the Highway 20 corridor. The project has been on the county’s to-do list for a decade, but an effort two years ago to route the path alongside the Union Pacific railroad tracks collapsed in the face of landowner opposition.

At a public meeting in December, county officials announced the previous alignment had been taken off the table and unveiled a map showing 10 potential alternative routes for the path.

At Wednesday’s advisory group meeting, those routes were divvied up into three broad categories for discussion:

  • Bike lanes or paths in the Highway 20 right of way.
  • Bike lanes on various combinations of rural roads to the north of the highway.
  • A path south of the highway that would hug the west bank of the Willamette River.

The group spent two hours poring over aerial photos and talking over the pros and cons of different alignments. Then they used adhesive-backed colored dots to indicate their preferences on large maps: green for a preferred alternative, red for a route that should be taken off the list.

In the end, the three alternatives that survived the initial winnowing process were the river route; a two-way separated bike path along the south side of Highway 20; and a hybrid rural route that would run east from Highway 99W on Granger Road, then either continue as a separated bike path on the north side of 20 or cross the highway and skirt the river through Hyak Park and Takena Landing.

A number of questions remained unanswered about the three proposed routes, which are still considered “conceptual” at this time. Among them:

  • Would a Granger Road route connect to Corvallis via bike lanes on 99W and Elliott Circle, on Highland Drive and Lewisburg Road, or some other way?
  • If all or part of the path is south of 20, how would cyclists and pedestrians cross the busy highway?
  • And how would a river or southside alignment link up with a proposed Albany connection, planned to run along the north side of 20 as far as Scenic Drive?

Members of the advisory group also raised other concerns about the three conceptual alternatives, including cost, length, the possibility of flooding, and conflicts with existing land uses such as farming and gravel mining.

Benton County Public Works Director Josh Wheeler said all the concerns were valid but might not turn out to be insurmountable on closer inspection. Nine technical advisors representing state and local agencies (most of whom attended Wednesday’s meeting), with help from a consulting engineering firm, will perform preliminary analyses of the proposed routes and report back to the advisory group next month.

“This is the first cut,” Barg told the group. “When we come back to you next time, we’ll be sharing much more information about what we know.”

The Corvallis-Albany Bikeway Advisory Group will meet twice more, from noon to 2 p.m. on March 22 and April 25 at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 N.W. Monroe Ave. The meetings are open to the public and will include a short public comment period at the end.

An open house on the bikeway project is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 5 at the Sunset Building, 4077 S.W. Research Way.

The advisory group is expected to recommend a route to the Benton County Board of Commissioners, which will then decide whether to proceed with engineering, design and construction of a path. The board is scheduled to discuss the matter at a work session on May 16 and could make a final decision on June 6.

Reporter Bennett Hall can be reached at 541-758-9529 or Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt

Portland Public’s School Modernization Plan

Portland Public’s School Modernization Plan

Barney & Worth provided public engagement and communications services for Portland Public Schools’ capital improvement plan for their more than 90 school campuses and facilities.

The school district had experienced diminishing financial resources over more than a decade and was unable to adequately maintain or renovate school buildings. Anticipating a need for dedicated funding and partnerships to address these capital needs, the District hired Barney & Worth to develop communications strategies to engage the community, district staff and other stakeholders.

To inform the communications plan, Barney & Worth researched the District’s efforts to assess building conditions and involve stakeholders. To help determine capital improvement priorities and find the best ways to talk about them, Barney & Worth conducted public opinion research that included focus groups, meetings with leaders of key stakeholder groups, and partnering with school-based groups to hold discussions with parents and school staff.

Public outreach tasks conducted by Barney & Worth included: collaborating with the in-house communications team to develop and implement a public engagement plan, facilitating team meetings to monitor the plan activities and results, focus groups, outreach to key stakeholder groups, developing communication points and strategies, writing informational materials including video scripts, organizing and updating the project website content, and supplying information to the ultimately successful bond measure campaign that funded priority capital projects.

Portland Public’s School Modernization Plan

Everett Downtown Parking

Everett Downtown Parking

Barney & Worth is teamed with Rick Williams Consulting for an in-depth look at on-street and off-street parking in Everett’s CBD. Development pressure in the downtown, along with new housing, new visitor attractions and business vitality are creating demand for parking. Paid on-street parking is being weighed as a solution. The current project will update Barney & Worth’s team’s earlier comprehensive exploration of downtown parking issues in Everett, assessing parking conditions and customer demand throughout the downtown core, as well as recommending parking system changes that best meet the City’s needs. The consultant team also advised the City on joint development and shared operations of a hotel parking structure (now under construction). Among public outreach and customer survey efforts, the consultant team conducted two well attended workshops and a “Parking 101” forum which provided stakeholders with important background information on parking issues and elicited input on solutions. The result was consensus amount stakeholder and City policymakers that the best solution was implementing a uniform two-hour time limit for on-street parking and increasing enforcement – rather than converting to paid parking.

Everett Downtown Parking Survey 10 20 2015Everett Downtown Parking Forum December 8, 2015

Oregon City Water Rates

Oregon City Water Rates

In May 1996, Oregon City voters approved a City Charter amendment that rolled back water rates to 1994 levels. The roll-back was set to take effect in 2014, threatening the City’s ability to provide adequate drinking water service to the community. Barney & Worth facilitated a citizen stakeholder committee charged with providing a recommendation for sending a charter amendment to a vote of the community to eliminate the water rate rollback provision. Barney & Worth also conducted public opinion research (with DHM Research) and developed a communications plan for reaching customers and key stakeholders through public meetings, informational flyers, and website materials. The citizen stakeholder group recommended moving forward with a public vote, and in May 2013 the City Charter amendment was successfully passed by voters.

Milwaukie G.O. Bond

Milwaukie G.O. Bond

When the City of Milwaukie committed to pay for its share of TriMet’s south corridor light-rail project, funding was designated to come from Milwaukie’s General Fund that also supports for the City’s core services such as public safety and the library. In 2014 there was an opportunity for Milwaukie citizens to save money on the light-rail payments and protect core services through the issuance of $4 million in general obligation (G.O.) bonds. This would allow the City to borrow money at today’s low interest rates and extend the payments to ensure future residents who will benefit from the service can also contribute.

Milwaukie retained Barney & Worth and DHM to conduct public opinion research, develop a strategic communications plan, and design public education materials on the bond measure. The proposal was approved by voters in May 2014—Milwaukie’s first successful measure in more than 20 years.

Oak Lodge Water & Sewer District Consolidation

Oak Lodge Water & Sewer District Consolidation

Barney & Worth and DHM Research conducted opinion research and designed a customer engagement strategy for the merger of Oak Lodge Water and Sanitary Districts in Oregon. A financial analysis estimated cost savings of $4.25 million and pointed to opportunities for operational efficiencies. The measure was approved by Districts’ voters (73% yes) in May 2016.

Oak Lodge Water & Sewer District ConsolidationOak Lodge Water & Sewer District Consolidation Focus Groupolsd

Troutdale Road Maintenance Funding

Troutdale Road Maintenance Funding

The City of Troutdale is experiencing flat or declining revenues from its share of state gas tax revenues used to support local street maintenance. In response, the City has been looking for ways to increase and stabilize street maintenance funding. Options include enacting a local option gas tax, which would require a vote of the people to enact, or a street utility fee authorized by the City Council. The City understands the need for educating and engaging the public in this important funding decision and retained Barney & Worth to:

  • Develop a strategic communication plan and public education materials for Troutdale’s street funding opportunity, focusing on clear messages for: the possible funding options; conditions of Troutdale’s streets and maintenance equipment; need for additional funds; and the benefits of properly funding street maintenance.
  • Conduct public opinion research to gauge the attitudes and preferences of Troutdale voters regarding street maintenance needs and funding options, and confirm effective messaging.
  • Augment the City of Troutdale’s staff communications capabilities to support the public communication program.

Barney & Worth’s efforts resulted in Troutdale City Council referring a 3¢ per gallon motor vehicle fuels tax approved by voters at the November 2015 election.

Troutdale Road Maintenance Funding Focus Group
Troutdale Road Maintenance Funding Focus Group

Beaverton Marketing Plan

Beaverton The Best of Oregon Logo
Beaverton has a vision for its future, yet lacked a way to communicate with the public how the implementation of the vision has created a livable community. Barney & Worth created a marketing plan that identified actions and strategies to communicate the vision of Beaverton to its residents, business community and the region.

During the development of the action plan, stakeholder interviews were held with the City’s partners (Chamber of Commerce, parks district, city citizen committees) to increase the capacity of the community to participate in the marketing of Beaverton through their actions, activities and communication methods.

Dallas Community Branding and Marketing Strategy

Dallas Take a Closer Look Logo
For the community of Dallas, OR (population 14,600), Barney & Worth developed a strategy to market Dallas for business recruitment and tourism. The products included a fresh community brand along with marketing strategies for business recruitment and tourism. Also among the deliverables were: promotional themes; graphic design elements to support the brand – logo, colors, typestyles, sizes – that work for print materials and web applications; and guidelines for using the designs for greatest impact.

Livable Hermiston

Livable Hermiston Logo
Livable Hermiston is a community-wide visioning process sponsored by the City of Hermiston and Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce to identify future community liability assets that will continue to make Hermiston a great place to live. The goal is to set priorities for viable community livability assets to be pursued by the community over the next 10-20 years. Barney & Worth has provided community engagement, SWOT analysis, vision statement creation and an implementation plan. More than 2,200 residents from the greater Hermiston area – including 1,200 high school students – participated in online surveys that determined the priorities: a year-round aquatics/community center and a revitalized downtown.