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City OKs ‘bike hub’ expansion at Festival Park

Bike racks have already been installed at Lewis & Clark Park, above, but more amenities are planned for next year if a $48,000 grant from the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department is awarded to the city of The Dalles.

Bike racks have already been installed at Lewis & Clark Park, above, but more amenities are planned for next year if a $48,000 grant from the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department is awarded to the city of The Dalles. Photo by Jesse Burkhardt.

The development of a local “bike hub,” a high priority of The Dalles City Council, rolled forward this week.

On Monday, the council voted unanimously to support the submission of a grant application to the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department for the development of a Columbia River Gorge Bike Hub at Lewis & Clark Festival Park on First Street.

The application asks for $48,000 to complete the city’s bike hub construction project.

“I am finalizing a grant application to be submitted soon,” said Matthew Klebes, assistant to the city manager. “It was on the council agenda because we needed a resolution as part of the grant application.”

Klebes said if the grant is accepted, he expects the city would find out late this summer or fall, with construction likely to begin early in 2018.

The bike hubs are a network of welcome centers, information centers, trailheads and rest areas for travelers — especially hikers and bikers.

Klebes said the hub is a conceptual part of the Historic Columbia River Highway Bike Trail, but would be a great amenity for bikers in general. The kiosks will have information on the highway trail and other trails in the region. The hub in The Dalles is part of a series of six hubs being built in six communities along the Historic Columbia River Highway. The hubs stretch from Wood Village to The Dalles – about 70 miles.

“The bike hub is an integral part to The Dalles becoming a strong partner with the bike trail,” said Mayor Steve Lawrence.

“It will provide way-finding, trail information, repair resources, water and other necessities to bicyclists.”

In The Dalles, the hub will serve cyclists on the city’s nine-mile Riverfront Trail, as well as tourists who visit The Dalles on the tour boats that come to the city’s dock about one block from the park’s bike hub.

Part of the project calls for encouraging visitors to begin bike trips from the business districts of the respective hubs as a way to boost economic development. The six hubs are in various stages of development. In 2015, Hood River’s bike hub became the first one launched.

If the city is awarded the grant, The Dalles would be required to provide a 40 percent match. Klebes said approximately $28,000 will need to be budgeted in the city’s 2017-18 fiscal budget under the special grants fund.

“Previously, $20,970 was budgeted as a match in the 2016-17 fiscal budget for a prior grant that was not awarded,” Klebes said. “Those funds are available to roll into fiscal year 2017-18; an additional $7,727 is required.”

The hubs are all

designed with particular design features to create a sense of place, reflect the Historic Highway, and be consistent in style throughout the trail system. A Cycle Oregon Grant has already been acquired in the amount of $4,000 to assist with the construction of kiosks with information specific to the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, as well as nearby trails and other pertinent information.

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