Delight Street improvements draw committee complaints

Members of Keizer’s Traffic Safety Committee voiced ire over vehicles being permitted to park in a pathway along Delight Street North.

Improvements to Delight Street North, intended to make it safer for students to walk and ride to school, drew fire from members of the Keizer Traffic Safety, Bikeways and Pedestrian Committee. 

“People who know I serve on this committee have come to me and said this looks like an accident waiting to happen, it looks that way to me so far,” said Pat Fisher, a committee member at a June 11 meeting.

The multiuse path is delineated by an expanded roadway and new striping, it isn’t a full sidewalk and there isn’t a protective curb for much of the stretch of road between Dearborn Avenue and Chemawa Road. 

Fisher directed her frustration toward neighbors parking their vehicles on the new path. 

“There’s not a lot of room to walk there and there’s not a whole lot of room to bike there without being hit by a car door,” Fisher said. 

Fisher’s discontent was echoed by another member of the committee, Wayne Frey.

“When we were looking at this through Safe Routes to Schools, we saw it as a multiuse path and not to allow parking there. I’m shocked to see cars there and I don’t think cars should be there,” Frey said.

Keizer Public Works Director Bill Lawyer addressed the parking issue at an earlier city council meeting. He said he was in contact with neighbors along the route regarding parking and that if problems develop the city could take action to make it a no parking zone. 

When Fisher posted about her issues with the area on social media, she said Mayor Cathy Clark responded that the path was never intended for bikes, only pedestrians. Parking is permitted on a multiuse path, but not a bike path. The path is not striped or otherwise signaled as a bike path. 

Fisher said the final design fell short no matter what the city chose to call it. 

“If it’s a path it’s not designed and built as a path, if it’s a walkway it’s not designed and built as a walkway,” she said. “I’m not sure how it is going to function when schools open up and not sure families will let kids walk there.”

She added there are extra elements of danger for pedestrians, such as cars pulling out of driveways, without more being done to signal the path’s intended use. 

“There are ways to re-stripe it or identify that it is not a place for parking, but those visual cues are not there currently,” Fisher said. “I feel bad for the neighborhood and that they have not received something that we said was coming.”