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Yamhelas Westsider Trail Proposal

Yamhill County Parks has been actively working with the Friends of Yamhelas Westsider Trail, citizens, local businesses, and partner agencies (including the Cities of Carlton, Yamhill, McMinnville, Gaston, Washington County, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and the National Parks Service) on the proposed acquisition of an abandoned Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way from Hagg Lake to OR 99W, near McMinnville. The 17-mile-long railway corridor is located in the heart of scenic Oregon Wine Country and provides linkages between 4 cities, 2 counties and several regionally significant recreation sites. The acquisition would preserve the railway in one single public ownership and address multiple transportation needs, including pedestrian, bicycling and future rail service.

The project is identified in the 2009 Carlton Transportation System Plan (TSP) as a priority pedestrian and bicycle priority improvement project. The path will provide a safe off-street facility for commuters, school trips, recreational use and other local trips in Carlton and Yamhill. Yamhill County adopted an amendment to add the Yamhelas Westsider Trail to the Yamhill County TSP in December 2012. The current TSP, originally adopted in 1996, includes a policy objective of pursuing the conversion of abandoned rail lines to trails that connect with the County's trail/bikeway system. Yamhill County’s TSP update, adopted in 2014, includes the Yamhelas Westsider Trail. The project is also consistent with policy objectives provided in the 2003 Yamhill County Parks and Open Space Master Plan, as well as the 2009 Yamhill County Agri-Business Economic and Community Development Plan, which indicates the need for transportation infrastructure and amenities such as trails, to further support agri-tourism economic development efforts. Washington County indicated the project will be included in their TSP during the next update in early 2014. The project was identified as a needed community development infrastructure project in the 2012 Mid-Willamette Valley Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and is consistent with CEDS goals and objectives to promote livable communities through improved access to recreation opportunities.


Video: Yamhelas Westsider Trail Design Charette

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