There is excessadequate vehicle capacity but the sidewalk environment is constrained along Main Street in isolated instances;
There is little to no accommodation of bicycle travel along the north-south streets in Downtown Pendleton;
There is sufficient parking supply within a comfortable distance (1-2 blocks) of the Downtown Core to meet the estimated future parking demand of the Core area; At present, parking is sufficient except during peak demand times. However with additional activities of a 24 hour downtown, reduced vacancies, new development, and reduction of on-street parking due to crosswalk setbacks, there will be a need for additional parking in the core area.
Similarly, there is sufficient parking supply within the broader Downtown area to meet the estimated future parking demand of that area; and
Pedestrian safety, bicycle access, and vehicle operations (e.g., automobiles, service and delivery trucks, and buses) can be enhanced without acquiring additional right-of-way or building a public parking structure.
The multi-modal circulation and parking element of the Downtown Plan emphasizes two primary concepts: 1) “walk first” and 2) “park once.” While improvements will make walking, biking and taking transit to Downtown easier, many people will still drive for a variety of reasons. For those individuals who must drive, it is important to be able to find convenient parking within easy walking distance of shops and services, allowing them to “park once.” To do this, the Plan recommends the following improvements that will make walking around Downtown safer, more convenient and enjoyable:
Convert Main Street from four travel lanes to three travel lanes;
Widen sidewalks along Main Street from 10-feet to 15-feet;
Add curb extensions to all Main Street intersections/ crosswalks and State highway crossings within the Downtown Core;
Enhance mid-block pedestrian crossings with raised table-top surfaces and curb extensions, which will slow traffic down;
Add bicycle boulevard treatments—a combination of lane markings indicating streets are shared by bicyclists and motorists; enhanced signage and wayfinding; and additional bicycle parking. Bicycle boulevard treatments will be added to SW 1st Street and SE 1stMain Street to better accommodate north-south bicycle travel and to link downtown to the River Parkway trail; and
The City and/or Urban Renewal District will work with owners of surface parking lots to enhance the lots for visual aesthetics and pedestrian safety.
Streetscapes, Open Space and Public Art
In 2011, the sidewalk environment on most Downtown streets contains a narrow zone for lighting and utilities next to the curb; a thru-pedestrian zone; and a narrow frontage zone. With the exception of Main Street, street trees are infrequent and are often planted behind the sidewalk on private property. Street trees within the Main Street public right-of-way have been poorly maintained or removed by adjacent property owners.
Open space in Downtown is currently limited to four primary locations. Riverfront Park, Brownfield Park and Stillman Park are located between SE Byers Avenue and the Umatilla River. Centennial Park is situated at the intersection of South Main Street and SE Dorion Avenue. A fifth location exists at the Southern edge of the district, near the Heritage Museum and the Chamber of Commerce.
Opportunities and Challenges
Existing parks (with the exception of Riverfront Park) do not play a significant role in the identity or function of Downtown. TheySomeare in poor condition and are not coordinated with one another. The parks should be updated or renovated;
The Pendleton Farmer’s Market lacks amenities that would accompany a permanent market or festival space;
Existing access to the River Parkway is limited. With the exception of Riverfront Park, which contains a newly developed Parkway connection, access is limited to Byers Street and Brownfield Park; both of which are not well marked and therefore perceived by some as unsafe;
The River Parkway would receive more use and it would provide a safer environment overall if these access points were made more visible and additional access points were provided. New accesses could be improved where streets currently dead-end at the Parkway.
The City-owned parking lot on the north side of the Umatilla River may provide additional opportunities for connecting Pendleton’s neighborhoods to the River Parkway and Downtown; the Plan considers redevelopment opportunities along the Riverfront, as well as the potential for recreational access to the river itself;
Where it is not possible to provide direct access to the river, additional viewing opportunities may be possible along the Parkway;
The River Parkway has some segments in relatively poor condition and the trail is discontinuous with a missing link between Byers Street and Brownfield Park; and
Low traffic on SW Byers Street may provide an opportunity to improve the River Parkway.
The streetscape, open space and public art element of the plan focuses on five major improvements that are intended to improve the overall attractiveness and comfort of Downtown for residents and visitors alike. The five major categories of improvements include:
Targeted streetscape improvements to Main Street to improve the pedestrian environment, slow traffic and provide spaces that are more conducive to restaurants and retailers spilling out onto the sidewalk;
Improvements to surface parking lots to provide summer shade (reduce the heat island effect), improve aesthetics and attract additional users who currently circulate in search of on-street parking spaces;
Enhancements to the River Parkway, and a series of related improvements that will provide connections to the Umatilla River;
Improvements to existing parks and plaza spaces, including improvements to spaces at street corners and at mid-block pedestrian crosswalks; and
Introduction of art in public spaces; public art shouldmay help tell the Pendleton story.