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Cedar Mill News

Volume 9, Issue 2
February 2011

Connecting Neighborhoods subcommittee makes progress toward goals

A couple of years ago, a group of CPO 1 members got together to try to improve connections for people who wanted to travel around our area without cars. Rather than wait for the "powers that be" to determine where walking and cycling facilities should be developed, these people thought they had a better idea of where the gaps were in the ped/bike system.

After presenting the idea at a CPO 1 meeting, one of the group, Erik Mace, set up an editable Google Map (* with existing and planned trails. We invited the community to add their knowledge of "secret" paths and trails, and also areas where a little connection would go a long way toward improving active travel.

The group started meeting monthly, recording and prioritizing projects and sharing their knowledge about how the various government agencies worked. We have been learning how to do research, create partnerships, and use our influence to make things happen.

One of our first accomplishments was to encourage the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District to put a temporary trail on the property they'd purchased between 107th St. and Cedar Mill Park. The district had been waiting for funding to build a hard-surface trail, but we pointed out that a soft trail would allow many kids to walk to school, and neighbors to use the trail for recreation.

We've had several similar successes, but many challenges remain. One of our main goals is to encourage the county to make the remaining unimproved arterial, major collector and neighborhood collector streets safe for walking and biking.

Because of the development pattern in Washington County, many roads have a patchwork pattern of sidewalks. In the past, the county has only built sidewalks and bike lanes in conjunction with major road projects, or when they can be required as part of a new development. This leaves pedestrians to navigate narrow road margins on many of our roads.

Subcommittee leader James Trumper notes, "The goal is to get the County and Clean Water Services to consider and implement interim solutions such as filling in ditches, widening roads (by enough to make them safe for walking) and completing sidewalk gaps. This can be achieved by taking a multi-pronged approach such as appending requirements for such improvements to the Urban Road Maintenance District (URMD) ordinances, and increasing funding and use of the Minor Betterments program."

Some of the other projects we've been working on include: connecting Barnes Road to the Highway 26 ped/bike path near the cemetery; connecting the Terra Linda and Bauer Crest neighborhoods so kids can walk to the nearby school and neighbors can walk to the shopping centers; getting a sidewalk along Cornell just east of Saltzman (we now hear that this will be accomplished before long—the county will use funds from the Minor Betterments program); and completing the trail from Ironwood to Bonny Slope Elementary.

We are also working on community outreach through an improved website, use of social networking, and developing other communication tools to inform neighbors and increase our membership.

We meet on the second Wednesday of every month at Leedy Grange Hall, from 7-9 pm. We also gather for a monthly field trip to walk the area, checking out routes and noting problem areas. If you're interested in improving active travel options, please join us. If you'd like to be added to our email list, please send a message to James Trumper at

*Note: you need to be logged into your (free) Google account to edit the map.




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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291