In 2016, Klamath County 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. The partnership decided to focus on the built environment and identified specific locations in Klamath Falls, Oregon, 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 increased 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 was adopted with widespread grassroots support from the community. Sky Lakes Wellness Center secured funding in 2017 for the first phase of design and construction, and the new protected bikeway officially opened in June 2018. This first phase connects downtown to the adjacent neighborhood, and provides a key connection between downtown and routes that lead to the Oregon Institute of Technology, a four-year college located in Klamath Falls.