Buffered bike lane opens next week in Klamath Falls

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Workers are pedaling toward the finish line on a major bike lane project in Klamath Falls, which is aimed at making a healthier community.

The $475,000 buffered bike lane extends a little over two miles.

“It’s going to begin at Beihn Street, and it will terminate at Main Street, going down Oregon Avenue and Ninth Street,” City Engineer Scott Sounders said.

The late Dr. Stephanie Van Dyke of the Sky Lakes Wellness Center was a strong backer of the project when it was first proposed about 3 years ago.

“What would be the most effective project for Klamath in terms of improving our health, improving our economy?” asked Dr. Van Dyke in an interview from 2015. “And we thought a protected bike lane project would really get at improving both of those factors.”

Souders said the lanes will limit parking on sections of Oregon Avenue. “We’re effectively removing parking on one side of the street, but maintaining parking on the other side of the street.”

Souders added that lane separators can be taken out for snow removal during the winter. “Those delineators are designed to be removed during the winter months, so the bike lane area will effectively act as a storage area for our snow.”

Crews are getting ready to mark out the bike lanes, with completion scheduled for next week.

“Our target deadline is next Thursday, June 21st,” said the city engineer. “We’re planning a ribbon cutting during Third Thursday.”

The project is funded through a cooperative effort between the city of Klamath Falls, Sky Lakes Medical Center, Cascade Health Alliance, and the Blue Zones Project.

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.

He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.

“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.

When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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