Photo by Amber Marra
White Salmon City Councilor Kimberly Hoppus takes a jog with her daughter, Heidi, on the Loop Trail off of Highway 141. Hoppus and the White Salmon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) will be holding an open house to discuss mapping walk routes through town on Jan. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Pioneer Center.
As of Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Anyone who walks, runs, bikes, or just lives in White Salmon is invited to an open house seeking input on the creation of maps that would show walking routes through the area.
The White Salmon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) has adopted developing the walk route maps as its first undertaking not only to show the community some of the best places to get some exercise and fresh air or to simply unwind, but because the advisory committee is essentially unfunded.
“This is just one of the things in the works that we identified we could tangibly do without lots of money,” said White Salmon City Councilor Kimberly Hoppus, who serves on the BPAC.
The open house is scheduled for Jan. 28 from 6 to 8 pm at the Pioneer Center. Debi Budnick, Klickitat County’s public health educator who also serves on the BPAC, said there will be examples of walk routes at the open house, but that the committee is looking for input from residents on everything from elevation and viewpoints to level of difficulty desired, potential for calories burned, and historical features along the way.
Budnick also said the committee is looking for anyone who might have ideas regarding funding sources for projects associated with the maps, as well as other projects.
“What we’re really hoping to do is put maps up on the tables for people to look at, have some more detailed questionnaires, and really invite people to come and talk about this stuff with us because there is no point in doing this work if we’re not getting input from the community about what people actually want to see happen in town,” Budnick said.
Currently, the BPAC has an online survey available to White Salmon residents regarding a community walk-route map. The survey can be taken at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/z7BVYZK and will be available for the next few weeks, according to Budnick.
It is the hope that by creating a walk-route map that more residents will branch out from White Salmon’s popular Loop Trail, which partially runs along Highway 141.
“It’s a great loop. It’s beautiful, it’s convenient, it’s flat for the most part, but what if we could encourage people to go on some of these other areas that are more residential, or have wider streets and are less dangerous, so we thought we would make this map to share with people,” Budnick said.
Eventually, the BPAC would like to use the maps to offer suggestions to the White Salmon City Council when the city is considering street improvements.
“Hopefully as an advisory committee we can provide recommendations to the city that these are our top priorities, so if you have to do some triage or organize those priorities we want walking and biking on these routes to be one of the first places you look when you decide what pot holes you’re going to fill, things like that,” Budnick said.
Hoppus said she also wants to use the walk-route maps to help those who are visiting figure out where to walk or bike in White Salmon.
The Jan. 28 open house will also include a raffle for a free bike tune up by Dr. Roscoe’s Holistic Bicycle Repair and free pizza from Beneventi’s.