In 2016, Klamath County, OR, ranked near the bottom of Oregon counties in health outcomes, while ranking about average in terms of clinical care. In response to this disparity, the Healthy Klamath partnership began to look for opportunities to improve health outcomes outside of the realm of traditional medicine. They decided to focus on the built environment and identified specific locations in Klamath Falls, OR, that could benefit from a more walkable and bike-friendly environment.
Identify the specific route for a low-stress bikeway that would best connect downtown Klamath Falls to Moore Park. The bikeway would provide surrounding residents with more opportunities to walk and bike, while calming traffic and helping to revitalize a neighborhood that has seen local businesses leave. Kittelson worked with Sky Lakes Wellness Center and its partners to develop a plan for a protected bike lane connecting downtown Klamath Falls to Moore Park.
Protected Bike Lane Fosters Community Health
The plan received widespread grassroots support from the community. Since the plan was adopted, Sky Lakes Wellness Center has secured funding for the first phase of design and construction, which is currently underway, as of September 2017. This first phase will connect downtown to the adjacent neighborhood, as well as provide a key connection between downtown and routes that lead to the Oregon Institute of Technology, a four-year college located in Klamath Falls.