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Cedar Mill News
Volume 6, Issue 10


October 2008

Connecting our neighborhoods

by Virginia Bruce

At the September 2 meeting of our Citizens’ Participation Organization (CPO1) we brainstormed ideas for creating a network of walking and biking trails by finding, improving, and creating connections between existing trails and paths and routes away from busy and sidewalk-less roads.

CPO 1 represents citizens of Washington County who live in Cedar Hills and Cedar Mill. Most of our area is not in any city, and the county usually provides sidewalks only along major street improvements, or when new development occurs. This has left us with a patchwork of unwalkable neighborhoods and unsafe bike routes.

Rather than wait around for “them” to solve our problem, we decided that we’d ask folks to bring their suggestions of short segments that, if improved and/or constructed, would connect people to the places they want to go. Many good suggestions came out of the session, and comments are posted in the group’s website forum (see below).

CPO1 Google Map
You can add your suggestions to this map on Google - find it at tinyurl.com/cpo1map

In addition, CPO member Erik Mace set up a Google map that can be edited by anyone with web access. You’re invited to take a look at the map, and if you know of a good place to make a connection that hasn’t been suggested, add it! You can access the map and the online discussion at cpo1friends.org—just click on the Forums link on the left side of the home page and then scroll down to Pedestrian Walkways & Connectivity.

One popular suggestion is an unimproved segment of 95th Street which could provide a pedestrian and bike connection for people in the West Haven neighborhoods to reach the Sunset Transit Center. And everyone wants sidewalks on 113th and 119th.

Washington County has a Minor Betterments program that can make some funds available for additional sidewalks. Anne Madden, Land Use & Transportation Program Educator, says, “Eligibility for Minor Betterments or other projects paid for with Road Funds requires that the project be on a county road, so off-road trails would not qualify.” But they are adding segments of McDaniel, 119th, Rainmont and 113th to their list for possible sidewalk infill.

She continues,”One very important point to remember is that improvements like these sidewalks need support not just from the broader CPO community, but especially from the local residents whose property would be affected. Adding sidewalks can be a very difficult and expensive enterprise due to slopes, drainage requirements, etc.  If neighbors are not willing to donate easements, lose hedges, etc., with our limited resources it can be well nigh impossible.”

Washington County is in a time of transition with regard to policies for urban unincorporated areas like Cedar Mill. Providing amenities needed by residents of our suburbs may well be part of the county’s future. Madden suggests, “Perhaps a pedestrian element could be part of a future county road (MSTIP) program...if this is what citizens desire.”

I know a lot of folks who do…




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Published monthly by Cedar Mill Advertising & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229