Clearwater County Safe Routes to School (SRTS) invited Idaho Smart Growth to visit the city of Orofino this summer. We conducted three activities while we were there.
We held a pedestrian/bike Count Training with community volunteers and then did an on-the-ground practice count. The SRTS program plans to use these volunteers to conduct counts that will be used to prioritize needed improvements such as extended curbs at crosswalks and locations for rapid flashing beacons.
We completed a walkabout on State Highway 7 with community members and ITD representatives to assess conditions and look for solutions to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. Highway 7 serves the High School, the Health Center, and popular baseball fields. Today it has no bike facilities, inconsistent and substandard (too narrow) sidewalks, a 45 mph speed limit on the outer stretch near the high school, and an intersection on the edge of downtown that is dangerous for all users, but especially for pedestrians and bicyclists trying to access the adjacent park. We are in the process of making recommendations to Orofino and ITD for possible improvements.
We also completed a driving and walking assessment of US Highway 12 and reviewed the findings of the recent walk-through conducted by ITD and community members. This five-lane stretch of highway is between downtown, the schools and health center, and a majority of the residential development in Orofino. We are following up with discussions with all parties to determine solutions for making walking and biking to these important destinations safer.
Thank you to the Idaho Walk Bike alliance for traveling with us and lending a hand. We appreciate your partnership.