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.

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