New 'Oregon Community Paths' program
MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In the summer of 2021, more than a dozen communities, including Madras, received notice they’d been awarded funds from the new Oregon Community Paths program. They could now start on projects aimed at creating safer passages and easier ways for people to walk and roll.
One recently completed project is in Madras, where a 900-foot multi-use path now connects two popular parks: Juniper Hills Park and Madras East Trails park.
“Juniper Hills Park is the largest park in Jefferson County, and Madras East Trails is a biking/hiking/running trail park that encompasses close to 500 acres,” said Jeff Hurd, public works director with the city of Madras. “This path provides a direct walking/biking connection between the two parks.”
Making it safer for everyone
Previously, it was precarious to navigate between the two parks. Hurd noted people walking had to use the existing bike lane, putting them in potential conflict with bicycles – and vehicles.
“With the addition of the trail connection, people can enjoy safe passage between parks, which has made it more inviting to sporting groups wanting to host events,” Hurd said.
A new round of projects will be funded soon, with the Oregon Transportation Commission scheduled to review recommendations at its July meeting.
According to Hurd, it’s worth the effort to apply for OCP funding.
“I was pleased with the ease of administration between the city and ODOT, from application through construction,” he said. “It’s a great resource, and hopefully we can partner with ODOT again in the near future for another project.”