A technical memo from a transportation consultant provides design details for new trails, bike lanes and roads that are part of John Day’s Innovation Gateway area plan.

The Aug. 5 transportation solutions analysis memo from DKS Associates of Portland incorporates most of the project elements submitted in the city’s 2019 BUILD grant application, city manager Nick Green said.

The city applied for as much as $15 million to finance a list of new and old road projects. The deadline for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant was July 15. The transportation discretionary grants were previously known as TIGER grants.

“Not all recommended improvements need to be in place prior to developing land within the John Day Innovation Gateway Area Plan study area,” DKS said.


Plans call for a system of sidewalks, multi-use paths and trails to provide a safe and efficient walking system between downtown John Day, Innovation Gateway, the Hill Family and Davis Creek city parks, a proposed city campground, a proposed aquatic facility, the Seventh Street sports complex, the county fairgrounds and the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site.

A continuous sidewalk on the north side of Highway 26 would connect downtown to Patterson Bridge Road. Because of topography, the sidewalk on the south side would only extend to Johnson Drive, the new access road to the city’s commercial greenhouses.

The new Seventh Street extension from Bridge Street to Patterson Bridge Road would have a sidewalk on the north side and a multi-use path on the south side.

A new footbridge at the Hill Family City Park and improvements to the former Oregon Pine bridge near the sawmill building would connect trails on the north side of the John Day River to the city park, Kam Wah Chung, downtown and Innovation Gateway.

A sidewalk would be located on the east side of Patterson Bridge Road from Highway 26 to Government Entry Road, where the Forest Service offices are located.


Bike lanes or sharrows — where bikes share vehicle lanes — would be incorporated in the Innovation Gateway area plan. Given the slow vehicular speeds on the Seventh Street extension, bikes would share 12-foot travel lanes with motor vehicles. Bikers would also be able to use the multi-use path along the river.

Six-foot wide bike lanes in both direction are recommended for Highway 26 between downtown and Patterson Bridge Road. This would enhance the portion of the 174-mile long Old West Scenic Bikeway that passes through John Day, DKS said.

Sharrows are recommended for Patterson Bridge Road between Highway 26 and Government Entry Road and for the new road from Patterson Bridge Road to Valley View Drive. Bike racks and storage areas are also recommended.


The goal of the Innovation Gateway area plan is to provide a safe and efficient path and trail network that would tie in with the transit circulation system.

Pullouts for the county’s People Mover buses are recommended for strategic locations on the Seventh Street extension.

Future bus stops should include necessary infrastructure, including shelters, benches and signs, DKS said.


Turn lanes are recommended for existing streets like Highway 26 where new streets would intersect, such as Johnson Drive and a site about 1,100 feet east of Patterson Bridge Road proposed for a future hotel.

The Seventh Street extension would provide an alternative route to Highway 26 for homes, businesses and parks north of the John Day River. The Government Entry Road extension and the new Gateway Drive would connect Seventh Street and Patterson Bridge Road to new residential areas on the hillside north of the river.

DKS recommends 12-foot rather than the city standard 14-foot travel lanes for Seventh Street to encourage slower vehicle speeds. Bikes would share travel lanes with vehicles.

Wider travel lanes are recommended for Gateway Drive because it would slope uphill, but with no bike travel provisions. Even wider travel lanes are recommended for Government Entry Road as it also slopes uphill, but sharrows for bikes would be provided.

In John Day’s citywide transportation plan, Highway 26 would continue as a main arterial; Patterson Bridge Road, Bridge Street and Government Entry Road would continue as collector streets; Seventh Street would be a minor arterial street; Gateway Drive would be a collector street; and Johnson Drive would be a local street.

Richard Hanners is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. He can be contacted at rick@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.


Richard Hanners is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. He can be contacted at rick@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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