One of the most pleasant and scenic roads to walk along in Newport has, for years, been less than safe for bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s Oceanview Drive that peels off of Highway 101 at the north end of town, winds its way toward the ocean, then parallels it south through Agate Beach, and up the hill to the south, plateaus past NW 15th, then drops down to Spring Street.
There are those who actually ride their bikes and even dare to walk along this rather cramped stretch of city street. Near misses are common as blind spots abound due to heavy vegetation and curves and elevation ups and downs.
A group of Newport citizens are going to ask the Newport City Council to upgrade bike and pedestrian safety along Oceanview. Some want the speed limit dropped to 25mph…maybe even 20. It’s 35mph now. ODOT says it’s a certified 35mph roadway by state law. An ODOT official told the city he wouldn’t bet on getting approval for even 30mph as city Public Works Director Tim Gross is willing to look at. Gross said ODOT might agree to 30mph.
Some ideas that are expected to be explored include getting property owners to trim their property vegetation that is illegally encroaching on public right of way. Those who need to “trim back” their little jungles will be notified by city crews. City staff says there are stretches where sidewalks would be possible which would also be accompanied by storm sewers. And they’re not cheap.
The entire stretch of Oceanview Drive provides much needed access to the Nye Beach part of Newport, so any idea of making Oceanview “one way” won’t likely be entertained.
Any of these or other ideas that might arise will take some time to be analyzed, costed-out and money acquired. City staff says they’ve budgeted some time in front of the city council to listen to those who want Oceanview to be improved so that more people can more safely bicycle or hike along it’s rather lovely meanderings. The city council meeting is set for Monday, September 5th, 6pm at City Hall.
Anyone wanting to give their thoughts or opinions about upgrading Oceanview Drive are cordially invited to join the discussions.