The following chapter summarizes the overarching concepts for Downtown Pendleton and the three key elements of the Downtown Pendleton Plan. The three elements, which are detailed in the subsequent three chapters, include:
Multi-Modal Circulation and Parking;
Streetscapes, Open Space and Public Art; and
Land Use, Built Form and Zoning.
Downtown Pendleton has two major commercial spines that should be further emphasized and enhanced. Court Avenue was the original commercial corridor in Pendleton. Main Street supplanted Court Avenue as the more prominent retail street with the development of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company Station and the later conversion of Court Avenue to a one-way arterial roadway. Historic structures and current Downtown businesses are largely concentrated on these two corridors, especially on South Main Street between Frazier Avenue and the Umatilla River and on Court Avenue between SW 1st Street and SE 3rd Street.
The concentration of uses along Downtown’s two major axes should be extended beyond their current limits to provide better connections to adjacent neighborhoods and other community assets, such as Round Up. Modifications and improvements to South Main Street should extend south of Frazier Avenue to the railroad and north of Byers Avenue to the River (see Figure 3). Similarly, future improvements to Court Avenue should help promote redevelopment and new development of properties beyond the historic core. Extending streetscape improvements beyond the historic core will also provide better connections to residential areas, parks and other civic uses.
Other streets within the Downtown should be improved to better accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. While South Main Street and Court Avenue should be prioritized for streetscape improvements, less expensive improvements can be equally transformative along other Downtown streets. For example, simple improvements such as striping new bicycle lanes, creating shared (“sharrow”) lanes, and adding signage and bicycle parking can make bicycling to and within Downtown much more attractive and safer. The pedestrian experience can be enhanced on secondary streets by improving the edges of off-street surface parking lots with landscaping and consolidated driveways where possible. An enhanced River Parkway trail can provide additional recreation and transportation connections along the Umatilla River with improved trail access points.
The Downtown benefits from a variety of open spaces ranging from a pocket plaza at Centennial Park adjacent to SE Dorian Avenue and South Main Street, to the new Riverfront Park between SW Court Avenue and the Umatilla River. The community expressed strong sentiments throughout the planning process that existing parks and open spaces should be improved so that they each play a unique and meaningful role in the Downtown. The community indicated a preference for improving existing facilities over developing new parks or plazas. Where new open spaces are planned, they should be limited to providing additional access to the River and the River Parkway; and where new plaza space is planned, it should be flexible and incorporated into the public right-of-way and/or improved parking lots, e.g., as a convertible street/plaza.
The public improvements emphasized throughout this plan are intended to set the stage for private reinvestment in Downtown. There are many opportunities within the plan area to rehabilitate and adaptively reuse existing structures; however, as is often the case with downtown redevelopment, private development may not happen without a “catalyst” public improvement project.
INSERT FIGURE 3. ILLUSTRATIVE PLAN
Multi-Modal Circulation and Parking
The Downtown Plan area consists of a grid pattern of streets that are within the jurisdictions of the City of Pendleton and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). The existing pedestrian network is fairly comprehensive and, for the most part, lacks any significant gaps. However, Downtown streets do not adequately accommodate bicycle travel. Bicycle lanes are provided only along the east-west Frazer Avenue and Emigrant Avenue corridors, and even in those corridors the bike lanes are not continuous.
Frontage Thru-Pedestrian Furnishing
Zone Zone Zone he majority of streets in the downtown study area are very similar. The typical section is approximately 60 feet wide with two travel lanes and on-street parking. Parking is dropped in some locations to allow room for turn lanes or mid-block crosswalks. The sidewalk environment contains a narrow zone for lighting and utilities next to the curb; a thru-pedestrian zone; and a narrow frontage zone. Street trees are infrequent and on some streets they are planted behind the sidewalk on private property. A short segment along the south edge of SW Frazer has pavers in the sidewalk and street trees planted in what would normally be the frontage zone at the back of the sidewalk. Main Street and a short segment of SE Court Avenue have a typical section of approximately 80 feet with additional furnishings, street trees and lighting.