Possible improvements to Wheatland Road North, such as filling in sidewalk gaps, are one of many potential options under discussion.

If you drive, walk, bike, bus, live or work along Wheatland Road North, the City of Keizer wants to hear from you. 

Keizer Public Works and the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments (MWVCOG) are hosting a virtual open house on possible changes. 

“Public participation is a critical element in the study, as we want to know what residents of Keizer and other stakeholders believe are the priority issues and needs along the corridor,” said Mike Jaffee, transportation planning director at MWVCOG.

Residents can view information on existing conditions and possible improvements at: tinyurl.com/WheatlandRd. There is a link to a survey residents can use to respond with their thoughts on potential projects. 

The information is available now and residents can offer comments for the next few weeks. 

The goal of the Wheatland Road Corridor Study is to develop a multimodal corridor plan and conceptual street design that removes barriers for all modes of travel, considers the latest urban safety improvements for pedestrians, bicycles, and transit facilities while creating an enjoyable experience for all users.

The project will cover Wheatland Road North from River Road North to Jays Drive North, roughly 1.8 miles in length. 

The initial study notes that the existing design works well for traffic, but has limited infrastructure for bikes and poor uniformity in the areas where it does. Only one intersection was rated “good” for pedestrian traffic. All others are tabbed as “poor.” Filling in sidewalk gaps and adding street lights are suggested, especially because students use the route to walk to and from bus stops.  

Cycling conditions are rated “fair” throughout most of the area, but separated or buffered bike lanes are suggested. The plans include an option for a multi-use path that would solve the needs of walkers and riders. 

Other issues the project is expected to address include poor street lighting, visibility and potentially dangerous bus stops. 

There were a total of 54 crashes between 2014 and 2018, but none were fatal and only one resulted in serious injury. Nearly half of the crashes were rear-enders. 

The most common location of crashes were at Russett Drive North and Wheatland Road as vehicles slowed to turn left on Wheatland Road. The suggested remedy is to place a northbound left turn lane at that point.

Other topics covered in the study include public transit options, including a note that there are no covered stops on Wheatland Road.