OSU, City, and Community Collaborate on New Concepts for Monroe Avenue 

The opportunity 

If you frequent the OSU Corvallis Campus, chances are good that you find yourself on Monroe Avenue multiple times weekly. It’s no wonder that Monroe Avenue is popular. It connects downtown Corvallis with OSU. It is also where the north edge of the campus connects with local businesses. Monroe Avenue is the nearest off-campus neighborhood to dine, shop, and get services.  

Whatever your mode of transportation on Monroe Avenue, you might have noticed challenges.  

  • Difficulty crossing the street
  • Waiting behind a bus loading/unloading passengers
  • Riding in a bike lane beside parked cars

These are a few issues that visitors have experienced. 

How can this important route and destination become more user-friendly for walkers, transit riders, cyclists and others?  

The Monroe Avenue Corridor study seeks answers to this question.  

Who is involved

  • OSU Planning 
  • City of Corvallis 
  • Kittleson & Associates 
  • Stakeholders throughout the community 

What we know so far 

In December 2023, the project team invited stakeholders to share their experiences on Monroe Avenue through a survey. Stakeholders also had the opportunity to pin locations on a virtual map. For each map location, they identified pain points and desired improvements for the corridor. 

At this writing, input marked on the map is being analyzed. Analysis of the survey is complete. One of the top takeaways, unsurprisingly, is that many people go to Monroe Avenue frequently.  

  • More than half of respondents who are coming from campus go to Monroe several times a week. 
  • Nearly a quarter of respondents who are coming from off-campus go to Monroe several times each week. 

Also, respondents prioritize feeling safer when they cross the street. When asked “what transportation amenities would you like to see enhanced along Monroe Avenue?” the top four answers were: 

  • More/better-marked pedestrian crossings.  
  • Better separation of bikes from cars and/or pedestrians. 
  • Better lighting. 
  • More space for outdoor dining. 

How will the study be used?  

OSU’s Sustainable Transportation Strategy and the  City Transportation System Plan both call for a study of Monroe Avenue, with a goal to find ways to improve access for people on bikes, on foot, and riding transit. Improving ease and safety opens active modes for more people. And reducing drive-alone trips supports the goals of both OSU and the City’s transportation plans. Working with stakeholders, project collaborators will distill the feedback into corridor concepts – a selection of possible strategies for improving Monroe Avenue. 

According to Bob Richardson of OSU Planning, construction is starting on the Jen-Hsun & Lori Mills Huang Collaborative Innovation Complex on the south side of Monroe Avenue. Also planned for nearby is a mobility hub where people can access various transit options in a dedicated location. The study will take these new construction projects into consideration and look for ways to provide safer connections to Monroe Ave and the businesses and organizations across the street to better meet the needs of Monroe visitors. 

For the City, the study will show opportunities to improve the layout of travel lanes, parking, transit, and pedestrian facilities. According to Greg Gescher of Corvallis Public Works, these opportunities are not currently funded by the City. Said Gescher, “In the short term, implementation of recommendations is likely to be limited to less expensive spot treatments that can be accomplished relatively quickly.  More expensive treatments will be implemented over a longer period of time as properties adjacent to Monroe redevelop, or perhaps with grant money from the State or Federal Government.”   

What’s next? 

Public responses to the survey and map are in. Now, the City, OSU and consultant are identifying potential corridor concepts. A community open house is soon to be announced, and will provide an opportunity for the public to view two corridor concepts and give input.  Concepts will be further refined based on public input, and final concepts will be presented to the City Council to select a preferred concept at a date to be determined. 

To keep up to date on this project, please: 

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