Since You Asked: A greenway bridge is preferred

I'm excited to hear (finally) of a plan to route sensible, non-polluting traffic over Barnett Road as part of the Bear Creek Greenway project, rather than making bicyclists and pedestrians stop and wait for the fossil-fuel guzzlers at a signal. But why, exactly, is there a funding problem? I thought Oregon's Bicycle Bill (passed in 1971) was supposed to pay for projects like this. Also, I haven't yet read where a person might contribute to the fund to build the bridge; do you have an address? Please keep promoting transportation that isn't hooked to a gas pump. Thanks.

— Richard S., Medford

Karen Smith, Jackson County's greenway coordinator, said about $700,000 of federal money is earmarked for the greenway's crossing of Barnett Road. Several options were reviewed, and the least-expensive alternative, building an overpass, was selected, which is estimated to cost $2.2 million.

"The earmark is helpful but it's not enough," she said.

At one time the hope was to be able to take the greenway underneath Barnett Road. But a closer look showed it would cost too much because property would have to be purchased. Smith said a crosswalk will be put in at the street level in the interim, but a number of people want a link that bypasses traffic on Barnett.

Smith said the state bike bill covers the roadway, not the greenway. The new south Medford interchange project is not only following the state requirements for bicycle accommodations, but exceeding them, she said.

Joy Olson, a member of the Greenway Foundation board, said contributions for the crossing project are welcome and can be made to the Bear Creek Greenway Foundation, P.O. Box 4561, Medford, OR 97501. The federal tax identification number is 93-0907054. For more information visit on the Web.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to

Share This Story