199

Document Sample
199 Powered By Docstoc
					H I G H W A Y 199 E X P R E S S W A Y U P G R A D E PROJECT
Final Visual Quality Technical Report

County: Josephine Oregon Department of Transportation Region: 3 Key Number: 14019

Township, Range, Section: T36S, R5W, S19; T36S, R6W, Sections 22-28

Prepared for

Oregon Department of Transportation
by Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas, Inc. September 2006

Visual Quality Final Technical Report Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project

This final technical report for the Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project was completed in September 2006. The data in this report is based on the project’s level of design at that time. Since the completion of this technical report, the project design has progressed, which has resulted in slight modifications to some technical analysis contained in the technical report. The most current data and analysis was used to complete the environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate the project’s effects. Therefore, some data and analysis presented in the EA may differ from what was presented in this technical report.

October 31, 2006

TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .............................................................................................................................. 1 Area of Potential Impact........................................................................................................................... 1 Methods and Coordination....................................................................................................................... 2 Environmental Baseline Conditions ......................................................................................................... 2 Temporary Effects and Benefits .............................................................................................................. 3
No Build ................................................................................................................................................................3 Alternatives A and C .............................................................................................................................................3

Long-Term Effects and Benefits .............................................................................................................. 4
No Build ................................................................................................................................................................4 Alternatives A and C .............................................................................................................................................4 Alternative A and C...............................................................................................................................................4 Alternative A and C...............................................................................................................................................4

Indirect and Cumulative Effects and Benefits .......................................................................................... 6
Indirect Effects and Benefits .................................................................................................................................6 Cumulative Effects and Benefits ...........................................................................................................................6

Mitigation.................................................................................................................................................. 6 CHAPTER 1. PROJECT PURPOSE AND NEED..................................................................................... 9

Purpose.................................................................................................................................................... 9 Need......................................................................................................................................................... 9
Safety ...................................................................................................................................................................9 Access ................................................................................................................................................................11 Capacity and Congestion....................................................................................................................................12 Growth ................................................................................................................................................................13 System Efficiency ...............................................................................................................................................13

CHAPTER 2.

PROJECT ALTERNATIVES ............................................................................................ 15

No Build.................................................................................................................................................. 15 Alternative A........................................................................................................................................... 17
Phase 1 ..............................................................................................................................................................17 Phase 2 ..............................................................................................................................................................26

Alternative C .......................................................................................................................................... 26
Phase 1 ..............................................................................................................................................................26 Phase 2 ..............................................................................................................................................................31

CHAPTER 3.

METHODS AND COORDINATION .................................................................................. 33

Methods ................................................................................................................................................. 33 Coordination........................................................................................................................................... 35 CHAPTER 4. BASELINE CONDITIONS ................................................................................................ 37

Visual Resources and Landscape Units ................................................................................................ 37
Existing Visual Resources and Visual Quality ....................................................................................................38 Existing Visual Resources and Visual Quality ....................................................................................................39 Existing Visual Resources and Visual Quality ....................................................................................................40

Visual Quality Scores by Landscape Unit.............................................................................................. 41 Permit Requirements and Permits Related to Visual Quality ................................................................ 41
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report i

CHAPTER 5.

TEMPORARY EFFECTS AND BENEFITS ...................................................................... 43

No Build.................................................................................................................................................. 43 Alternatives A and C .............................................................................................................................. 43 CHAPTER 6. LONG-TERM EFFECTS AND BENEFITS ....................................................................... 45

No Build.................................................................................................................................................. 45 Alternative A........................................................................................................................................... 45
Phase 1 ..............................................................................................................................................................45 Phase 2 ..............................................................................................................................................................50

Alternative C .......................................................................................................................................... 50
Phase 1 ..............................................................................................................................................................50 Phase 2 ..............................................................................................................................................................52

CHAPTER 7.

INDIRECT AND CUMULATIVE EFFECTS AND BENEFITS .......................................... 53

Indirect Effects and Benefits .................................................................................................................. 53 Cumulative Effects and Benefits............................................................................................................ 53 CHAPTER 8. MITIGATION/CONSERVATION MEASURES ................................................................. 59

Measures for Construction Plans and Specifications ............................................................................ 59
Temporary Effects ..............................................................................................................................................59 Long-Term Effects ..............................................................................................................................................59

General Measures ................................................................................................................................. 59
Temporary Effects ..............................................................................................................................................59 Long-Term Effects ..............................................................................................................................................60

CHAPTER 9.

REFERENCES.................................................................................................................. 63

CHAPTER 10. GLOSSARY ...................................................................................................................... 65

LIST OF EXHIBITS
EXHIBIT 1. PROJECT LOCATION AND AREA OF POTENTIAL IMPACT (API) ....................................................... 2 EXHIBIT 2. COMPARISON OF EFFECTS FROM NO BUILD ALTERNATIVE AND ALTERNATIVES A AND C................ 5 EXHIBIT 3. CHANGE IN VISUAL QUALITY SCORES BY ALTERNATIVE AND SEGMENT BENEFITS OF ALTERNATIVES A AND C ............................................................................................................................................... 6 EXHIBIT 4. HIGHWAY 199 ACCIDENT SUMMARY BETWEEN TUSSEY LANE TO MIDWAY AVENUE ..................... 10 EXHIBIT 5. ACCIDENTS OCCURRING ON HIGHWAY 199 EAST AND WEST OF DOWELL ROAD .......................... 10 EXHIBIT 6. V/C RATIOS FOR INTERSECTIONS ON HIGHWAY 199 (2005)....................................................... 12 EXHIBIT 7. ALTERNATIVE A AND ALTERNATIVE C FROM MIDWAY AVENUE TO DOWELL ROAD ........................ 18 EXHIBIT 8. ALTERNATIVE A BETWEEN DOWELL ROAD AND FAIRGROUNDS ENTRANCE .................................. 21 EXHIBIT 9. ALTERNATIVE A AND ALTERNATIVE C BETWEEN FAIRGROUNDS ENTRANCE AND TUSSEY LANE .... 24 EXHIBIT 10. ALTERNATIVE C BETWEEN DOWELL ROAD AND FAIRGROUNDS ENTRANCE ................................ 28 EXHIBIT 11. VISUAL QUALITY ASSESSMENT – SAMPLE MATRIX ................................................................... 34 EXHIBIT 12. VIVIDNESS, INTACTNESS, AND UNITY RATING SCALES.............................................................. 34 EXHIBIT 13. LANDSCAPE UNITS, AND LOCATION AND ORIENTATION OF VIEWS .............................................. 38 EXHIBIT 14. AVERAGE VISUAL QUALITY SCORES BY LANDSCAPE UNIT ........................................................ 41
ii Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

EXHIBIT 15. VISUAL QUALITY SCORES – EXISTING VIEWS .......................................................................... 42 EXHIBIT 16. ALTERNATIVE A: MIDWAY AVENUE TO DOWELL ROAD, VISUAL QUALITY SCORES – PROPOSED VIEWS ................................................................................................................................................ 46 EXHIBIT 17. ALTERNATIVE A: DOWELL ROAD TO FAIRGROUNDS ROAD: VISUAL QUALITY SCORES – PROPOSED VIEWS ................................................................................................................................................ 48 EXHIBIT 18. ALTERNATIVE A: FAIRGROUNDS ROAD TO TUSSEY LANE: VISUAL QUALITY SCORES – PROPOSED VIEWS ................................................................................................................................................ 49 EXHIBIT 19. ALTERNATIVE C: DOWELL ROAD TO FAIRGROUNDS ROAD: VISUAL QUALITY SCORES – PROPOSED VIEWS ................................................................................................................................................ 51 EXHIBIT 20. PLANNED AND CONSIDERED IMPROVEMENTS IN AND NEAR THE API.......................................... 55 EXHIBIT 21. LOCATIONS OF PLANNED AND CONSIDERED IMPROVEMENTS .................................................... 57

APPENDICES
APPENDIX A. Photos APPENDIX B. Visual Quality Scoring

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

iii

ACRONYMS
Acronym or Abbreviation API ADT FHWA OHP MP MVM v/c area of potential impact average daily traffic Federal Highway Administration Oregon Highway Plan mile post million vehicle miles volume to capacity Meaning

iv

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Executive Summary

The purpose of the project is to address vehicular and pedestrian safety, and current and future congestion and operational deficiencies, along Highway 199 between Tussey Lane and Midway Avenue. This technical report describes the existing Visual Quality conditions as well as evaluates potential effects and benefits on these resources by the proposed action. Mitigation is recommended to alleviate adverse impacts.

Area of Potential Impact
An area of potential impact (API) has been defined for the project and is depicted in Exhibit 1. The Project Management Team anticipates that impacts associated with this project would be contained within the API. Thus, the API serves as the boundary for evaluating environmental effects. Documented environmental constraints within the API were mapped and used by the design team to minimize impacts as alternatives, to address the project’s purpose and need, were developed. The API is defined as the general area of Highway 199 bounded by: Midway Avenue to the west and Tussey Lane to the east; Hubbard Lane from Highway 199 to Demaray Drive to the south; Redwood Avenue from Highway 199 to Dowell Road, and 500 feet north of Highway 199 along Ringuette Street.

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

1

EXHIBIT 1. PROJECT LOCATION AND AREA OF POTENTIAL IMPACT (API)

Methods and Coordination
This report follows guidance described in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Visual Impact Assessment for Highway Projects. The FHWA document provides guidance for documenting visual resources (U.S. DOT, 1988). The FHWA document also describes how to quantitatively assess a view’s visual quality, which is composed of three components: vividness, intactness, and unity. Visual quality is calculated for each view and is the average of these three components. The existing visual quality scores are compared to the proposed visual quality scores for each alternative.

FHWA Visual Quality Calculation Visual Quality Vividness + Intactness + Unity 3

=

Environmental Baseline Conditions
Visual resources in and visible from the API include a primarily flat landscape (with views of distant mountains and rolling hills), some stands of coniferous and deciduous trees, and a mixture of unremarkable manmade development that is generally more urban on the east end of the corridor and more rural on the west end. Existing visual quality ranges from ‘very low’ to ‘high,’ but in general is considered ‘average.’

2

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Planning requirements in the Comprehensive Plan for Josephine County (2001) related to visual quality include:
• •

To preserve and maintain agricultural lands and the rural character of Josephine County. To preserve valuable natural resources, unique natural areas and historic features.

Planning requirements in the City of Grants Pass & Urbanizing Area Comprehensive Community Development Plan related to visual quality include:
• •

To conserve, restore, and enhance the area’s scenic river, historic, and natural resources. To maintain and improve the quality of the air, water, and land resources of the area.

Trees located in the right of way are regulated and controlled by City of Grants Pass ordinance. An encroachment permit is required to plant, prune, root prune, remove, kill, or disturb a tree in the right of way.

Temporary Effects and Benefits
No Build Under the no build alternative, construction of this project would not occur so there would be no related construction activity effects or benefits. Alternatives A and C The temporary effects and benefits on visual quality are similar throughout the API and between the two build alternatives. Temporary negative effects to visual quality would be from a degree of disorder and manmade elements within the API such as construction equipment and workers, material stockpiles, debris, signs, high-visibility fencing, staging areas, temporary work platforms, demolition activities, light and glare, and the potential increase in traffic congestion. Grading and vegetation removal could alter existing views, which would be temporary if these areas are rehabilitated after construction. A benefit of construction would be that driving speeds would likely be reduced giving viewers more time to experience a view.
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report 3

Long-Term Effects and Benefits
No Build Under the no build alternative, traffic congestion within the API would worsen over time. Increased light and glare from cars and trucks would disrupt existing key views, and the increased presence of cars, trucks, pedestrians, and bicyclists would add more disorder to many views. Alternatives A and C
Landscape Unit D – View 22 Existing Visual Quality = Moderately High (Demaray Drive and Hubbard Lane)

Midway Avenue to Dowell Road The effects to visual resources and overall visual quality in this segment would be the same for both alternatives. The visual quality of the proposed views in this segment would remain the same as the visual quality of the existing views (5 = moderately high). There would be minor visual impacts such as some vegetation removal, minor terrain modification, and the addition of a median barrier or median curb, but none of the impacts to visual resources would be substantial enough to decrease the visual quality scores of the views in this segment. Alternative A and C Dowell Road to Fairgrounds Road The effects to visual resources and views would be different under Alternative A than under Alternative C. Individual views would experience different visual effects; however, overall, the visual quality of the proposed views in this segment would remain the same as the visual quality of the existing views (2 = low) for both alternatives. Generally, the negative effects such as vegetation removal would be offset by benefits such as decreased congestion and a more visually ordered roadway and highway. Alternative A and C Fairgrounds Road to Tussey Lane The effects to visual resources and overall visual quality in this segment would be the same for both alternatives. The visual quality of the proposed views in this segment would be low (2) while the visual quality of the existing views is very low (1). This improvement stems largely from a decrease in visually distracting congestion.

4

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Exhibit 2 summarizes the temporary, long-term, indirect, and cumulative effects of the No Build Alternative and Alternatives A and C. Exhibit 3 shows the existing and proposed visual quality scores by alternative and segment.
EXHIBIT 2. COMPARISON OF EFFECTS FROM NO BUILD ALTERNATIVE AND ALTERNATIVES A AND C No Build Temporary Effects N/A Alternative A Alternative C

Degree of disorder and manmade elements such as: construction equipment and workers, material stockpiles, debris, signs, highvisibility fencing, staging areas, temporary work platforms, demolition activities, light and glare, and the potential increase in traffic congestion. Grading and vegetation removal could alter existing views, which would be temporary if these areas are rehabilitated after construction. Midway Avenue to Dowell Road: Vegetation removal and upgrading of the highway itself, but none of the impacts to visual resources would be substantial enough to decrease the visual quality scores in this segment. Dowell Road to Fairgrounds Road: Generally, the negative effects such as vegetation removal and increased encroachment from signs and signals would be offset by benefits such as decreased congestion and a more visually ordered roadway and highway. Fairgrounds Road to Tussey Lane: Increased encroachment from wider roads, new signals, and minor vegetation removal. However, overall improvement to visual quality in this segment due to a reduction on visually distracting congestion.

Long-Term, Direct Effects

No potential improvement to visual order as in Alternatives A and C. No vegetation or structure removal, or terrain grading or fill.

Indirect Effects

Continued negative effects to visual quality from disorder and congestion.

Increased traffic on roads in the surrounding area, which would affect views by increasing vehicle light and glare over time. Increased traffic movement through view areas would detract from the cohesion and unity of existing views, and could distract viewers from other views beyond the immediate foreground. Increased development – area becomes more urbanized. Transportation improvements – reduce congestion improving visual quality. Road improvements – increased segmentation of views, increased light and glare, additional encroachment from signs and signals; more visually ordered roadways and highways. Vegetation removal – decreases the color, form, texture, and line elements that trees and shrubs provide.

Cumulative Effects

Increased urban character as a result of other development projects.

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

5

EXHIBIT 3. CHANGE IN VISUAL QUALITY SCORES BY ALTERNATIVE AND SEGMENT BENEFITS OF ALTERNATIVES A AND C

Alt. A & C: Midway Avenue to Dowell Road Alt. A: Dowell Road to Fairgrounds Road Alt. C: Dowell Road to Fairgrounds Road Alt. A & C: Fairgrounds Road to Tussey Lane
0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Visual
Existing Proposed

Indirect and Cumulative Effects and Benefits
Indirect Effects and Benefits Indirect effects to visual quality could include increased traffic on roads in the surrounding area which could: increase vehicle light and glare over time; detract from the cohesion and unity of existing views; and distract viewers from other views beyond the immediate foreground. Cumulative Effects and Benefits The Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project along with other improvements could: increase development in the area, resulting in a more urbanized character; remove vegetation within the API; and add potentially distracting visual elements such as signs or streetlights. Conversely, transportation improvements may reduce traffic congestion which can detract from existing views.

Mitigation
Maintaining as many existing elements as possible, such as open fields, intact stands of trees, and existing structures, will help retain the overall character of the API. Mitigation
6 Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

measures, such as the use of vegetation to blend project elements with the surrounding landscape, will help minimize the few negative effects to visual quality. Below are project specific measures that could mitigate negative effects the project would have on visual quality. These would apply to Alternatives A and C.
• •

Consolidate and bury aboveground utilities to reduce visually distracting elements and unify views. Plant trees and other vegetation in areas where they have been removed to soften and reconnect visual gaps and/or to buffer undesirable views. Re-vegetate slopes with appropriate (typically native) grasses, shrubs, and/or trees. Utilize directional street lights with beam cut-off and shading devices to minimize light pollution and light trespass. Construct concrete and median barrier and curb designs that employ simple clean lines, neutral colors, and/or other techniques that are not distracting to drivers. Use bold pavement striping clearly delineating travel lanes, bike facilities, and pedestrian crossings. Implement design detail such as landscaping, paving, and furnishings in areas where pedestrian use is expected (such as intersections, street crossings, and residential areas). Use treated (painted, stained, pigmented, or chemicalpressured) materials with low color contrast (to blend into the predominant surrounding environment). Use surface textures or other architectural techniques to minimize the appearance of bulkiness or mass.

• •

•

• •

•

•

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

7

CHAPTER 1. Project Purpose and Need

Purpose
The purpose of the project is to address vehicular and pedestrian safety, and current and future congestion and operational deficiencies along Highway 199 between Midway Avenue and Tussey Lane.

Need
The need for the project is based on the accident history, congestion, access, growth of surrounding area, and system efficiency of Highway 199. Safety There have been 370 accidents reported within the limits of the project between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2005. Of these reported accidents, 2 percent included fatalities, 55 percent involved injuries, and 43 percent involved property damage only (Exhibit 4). Highway 199 from Tussey Lane to Midway Avenue has experienced an accident rate consistently higher than the statewide average for similar facilities. Along the eastern portion of Highway 199 from Tussey Lane to Dowell Road, the accident 2005 rate is 2.79 accidents per million vehicle miles (MVM) which is higher than other comparable Suburban Nonfreeway Oregon highways (1.39 accidents per MVM). Within the western portion of Highway 199, from Dowell Road to Midway Avenue, the 2005 accident rate is 0.42 accidents per MVM which is lower than other comparable Rural, Nonfreeway Oregon highways (1.01 accidents per MVM). Exhibit 5 shows the number of accidents occurring on Highway 199
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report 9

east and west of Dowell Road from January 1999 through December 2005.

EXHIBIT 4. HIGHWAY 199 ACCIDENT SUMMARY BETWEEN TUSSEY LANE TO MIDWAY AVENUE
50 45 40

Fatal Injury Property Damage Only
39 33 29 27 2323 21 18 12 20 19 28 25 44

35 30 25 Num ber of Accidents 20 15 10 5 1 0 1999 2000 2001 2002 Year 2003 2004 2005 0 2 0 2 3 1

EXHIBIT 5. ACCIDENTS OCCURRING ON HIGHWAY 199 EAST AND WEST OF DOWELL ROAD 80
70 60 50
Number of Accidents
West of Dow ell Road East of Dow ell Road

8 14 7 6 62 9

40 30 20 10 0

12 4 35 43 26 48 52

44

1999

2000

2001

2002
Year

2003

2004

2005

The highest number of accidents occurred between Tussey Lane and Dowell Road. Accidents within this segment tend to be less severe than accidents west of Dowell Road. Between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2005, there have been 310 accidents in this segment, one of which involved a fatality. Between Dowell Road and Midway Avenue, accidents occur less, but the severity of the accidents is greater due to the higher speeds. From 1999 through December 2005 there have
10 Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

been 60 accidents, of which there were 8 accidents that included fatalities. There were 13 fatalities reported in Josephine County in 2005; one of these was in this project’s API. West of Dowell Road, there is a lack of safe areas for school buses to stop along the highway to pick up school children. During peak traffic hours, vehicles at uncontrolled intersections have longer waits to find gaps in traffic to safely enter the highway. This is especially difficult for vehicles attempting to make left turns across multiple lanes of traffic. In these situations, drivers wait long periods of time, become increasingly frustrated, and take higher risks to enter the highway. Access There are 15 intersections along Highway 199 in the API. Five of the intersections are controlled by 4-way signals, and ten are partially controlled by stop signs at the intersecting local roads. In addition to the controlled intersections, there are approximately 13 driveways that allow uncontrolled access to Highway 199. A particularly unsafe area occurs on westbound Highway 199 between Tussey Lane to Ringuette Street where there is no curb or defined driveways which allows uncontrolled access into dense commercial development. This presents a situation where traffic freely enters and exits the highway, which increases the risk of accidents. The signals at Ringuette Street, Fairgrounds Road, and Redwood Avenue do not meet the standard signalized access spacing of at least 0.5 mile. Only the spacing from Allen Creek Road to Dowell Road signals currently meets this standard. The current substandard spacing of signalized intersections, the multiple driveways and uncontrolled access along the highway, and the high traffic volumes during peak hour traffic has created an environment of stop-and-go traffic due to vehicles slowing and stopping to enter or exit the highway. These conditions diminish the ability of Highway 199 to function as an expressway where traffic should travel safely at efficient high speeds and promote high volume traffic movements.
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report 11

Controlled Intersection An intersection that has signs or signals that establish who has the right-of-way. It includes traffic signals, stop signs on side streets, or all-way stop. Uncontrolled Intersection An intersection that has no signage or signals but where the basic right-of-way rule controls who has the right-of-way at the intersection (first at the intersection has the right-of-way, but yield to the right if two vehicles approach at the same time). Partially Controlled Intersection An intersection that has stop signs only on the side streets or the intersecting local roads.

Capacity and Congestion The average daily traffic (ADT) between Tussey Lane and Dowell Road ranges from 38,000 to 22,000 and from Dowell Road to Midway Avenue it ranges from 22,000 to 12,000. Congestion is occurring throughout the Highway 199 corridor. Currently four intersections within the corridor are functioning at an unacceptable volume to capacity (v/c) level, and two intersections are nearly at the unacceptable level (Exhibit 6). A v/c ratio above 0.70 for highways such as Highway 199 is considered unacceptable per the 1999 Oregon Highway Plan.
EXHIBIT 6. V/C RATIOS FOR INTERSECTIONS ON HIGHWAY 199 (2005)

Tussey Lane Ringuette Street (1) Fairgrounds Road (1) Redwood Avenue (east end)(1) Allen Creek Road (1) Dowell Road (1) Willow Lane Hubbard Lane Rogue Community College Midway Avenue Redwood Avenue (west end) 0 0.2 0.28 0.23 0.23 0.4 0.6 0.8 0.34 0.49 0.69 0.71 0.69

0.91 0.96 1.06

0.7

1

1.2

1.4

Volume to Capacity Ratio (V/C)
(1) Signalized Intersection (assumed with 120 second cycle length)

Queue

A waiting line of vehicles.

Additionally, traffic simulations were developed to determine where delays and traffic queues may impact adjacent intersections along the corridor. The simulation analysis indicates that significant queues would form in both directions at Ringuette Street affecting traffic operations at adjacent intersections in both directions. Additionally, the intersection of Allen Creek Road with Redwood Avenue, which is currently a stop sign for traffic on Allen Creek Road and no stop sign or signal for Redwood Avenue traffic, in the future would likely queue through the Highway 199/Allen Creek Road intersection, affecting traffic operations there. Congestion levels at the South Y would also continue to affect overall

12

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

traffic operations eastbound on Highway 199 approaching the Allen Creek Road intersection. Growth Grants Pass, the second largest city in Southern Oregon, has experienced a high population growth rate, averaging 2.9 percent annual increase from 1996 to 2005. Over the last ten years the population of Grants Pass has increased by 29 percent. The current estimated population of Grants Pass is 26,085 (Portland State University 2006). Development is occurring at a high rate within and near the Highway 199 project limits. With the increase in population comes an increase in traffic. Traffic west of Dowell Road is growing at a rate of 1.5 to 2 percent per year. Looking ahead, growth in Grants Pass is likely to increase over the next several years and add traffic to the currently congested Highway 199. System Efficiency Highway 199 is currently not functioning as an expressway as defined by the Oregon Highway Plan (OHP). The 1999 OHP defines an expressway as a highway that provides for safe and efficient high speed and high volume traffic movements. The primary function of an expressway is for interurban travel and connections to ports and major recreation areas with minimal interruptions. Private access is discouraged and public access is highly controlled. Freight, commuters, and tourists cannot effectively move through the Highway 199 corridor due to high traffic congestion, slower speeds, and numerous access points that have negatively impacted inter-regional and regional travel. High traffic volumes on Highway 199 also create a barrier for north-south local travelers trying to use local roads. Local users are also using Highway 199 to make short trips, such as to the hospital, local business, or community college located next to the highway. Local users are often making more turning movements onto and off of the highway, which puts local use in conflict with through users and decreases the system’s efficiency. This high level of local use conflicts with the through users who are using the expressway for inter-regional travel.
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report 13

CHAPTER 2. Project Alternatives

The Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project considered a range of alternatives to rectify the safety, access, congestion, and future growth needs while minimizing effects to the community and environment. This range of alternatives was narrowed down to two build alternatives (Alternatives A and C) as well as the No Build Alternative. The alternatives are described below. For description and analysis purposes, each build alternative is broken into three segments (from west to east): Midway Avenue to Dowell Road, Dowell Road to the Josephine County Fairgrounds entrance, and the Fairgrounds entrance to Tussey Lane. Each build alternative would be constructed in two phases, Phase 1 and Phase 2; each phase is also described.

Safety Corridor Sign for Highway 199.

No Build
The No Build Alternative provides the basis for a comparative analysis of the build alternatives. The No Build Alternative assumes that roadway configurations along Highway 199 within the API would remain in their current configuration. Currently, Highway 199 within the API has two travel lanes in each direction, with signalized intersections at Dowell Road, Allen Creek Road, Redwood Avenue, Fairgrounds Road, and Ringuette Street. Unsignalized intersections include: Midway Avenue, Rogue Community College, Hubbard Lane, Willow Lane, and Tussey Lane. In addition, Arbor Ridge Drive, Dawn Drive, and many private driveways currently have direct and uncontrolled access onto Highway 199. Between Allen Creek Road and Tussey Lane the westbound and eastbound travel lanes on Highway 199 are separated by a large median. From
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Existing signalized intersection of Highway 199 and Fairgrounds Road.

15

Midway Avenue to Willow Lane there is no median restricting vehicular movements across travel lanes. At the intersection of Highway 199 and Willow Lane there is a median curb, which provides traffic on Highway 199 with one left-turn-only lane onto Willow Lane and prohibits traffic on Willow Lane from crossing Highway 199. There are limited and unconnected dedicated bicycle and pedestrian facilities within the API. There is an existing bicycle and pedestrian shared use path along the south side of Highway 199, beginning at the Rogue Community College entrance and continuing east until Nebraska Avenue. Along Redwood Avenue and most of Hubbard Lane, pedestrians and bicyclists use paved shoulders. A small section of sidewalk exists along the west side of Hubbard Avenue just south of Highway 199. The No Build Alternative also assumes that other programmed and funded projects within and adjacent to the API will occur, regardless of whether the Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project is constructed. The No Build Alternative assumes the following future improvements:
• • •

Minor road realignment and signal installation at Park Street and Lewis Avenue Signal installation at Harbeck Road and OR 238 Construct eastbound passing lane on Highway 199 (mile post (MP) 10.4-11.2) about 6 miles west of the project API Repave and construct bicycle and pedestrian facilities on OR 99 (MP 0 to 1.39) and OR 238 (MP 0 to 1.7) Redwood Avenue improvements including reconstruction of two travel lanes, center turn lane, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities from Redwood Circle to Dowell Road Improve Redwood Avenue at Dowell Road intersection and install traffic signal

• •

•

16

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Alternative A
Alternative A would be constructed in two phases. Phase 1 would include improvements from Midway Avenue to Tussey Lane, and Phase 2 would include additional improvements from roughly the Josephine County Fairgrounds to Tussey Lane. Phase 1 Midway Avenue to Dowell Road Exhibit 7 shows the general improvements proposed as part of Alternative A between Midway Avenue and Dowell Road, with insets to provide greater design detail at major intersections. This segment has the following design features:
•

Highway 199 would continue to have four travel lanes (two in each direction) but a median barrier would be added between the eastbound and westbound lanes. From Midway Avenue to the Rogue Community College entrance, the barrier would be an approximately 42inch-high concrete median barrier. This median barrier would transition to a median curb (approximately 8 inches high) in the vicinity of the Rogue Community College entrance. The median curb would continue east to Dowell Road. Insets 7 and 8 of Exhibit 7 illustrate these typical road sections. The existing configuration of the Highway 199 at Midway Avenue intersection would remain two through lanes in each direction and left-turn-only and right-turnonly lanes from Highway 199 north and south onto Midway Avenue (Exhibit 7, Inset 1). Improvements to this intersection would include widening Highway 199 to accommodate u-turn movements. Arbor Ridge Drive, Dawn Drive, and various private driveways would be restricted to right in/right out movements due to the median barrier along Highway 199. A new driveway collector nearly 500 feet long would also be constructed east from Dawn Drive.

•

•

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

17

EXHIBIT 7. ALTERNATIVE A AND ALTERNATIVE C FROM MIDWAY AVENUE TO DOWELL ROAD

18

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

•

The entrance to Rogue Community College from eastbound Highway 199 would have a deceleration lane for right turns into the college. Entrance to the college from westbound on Highway 199 would be from a leftturn-only lane. Exit from the college would be right out only. A portion of the South Highline Canal adjacent to the southeast corner of the intersection of Highway 199 and the Rogue Community College entrance would be realigned for about 150 feet. Highway 199 at the intersection with Hubbard Lane would include left-turn-only lanes, two through lanes, and right-turn-only lanes in both directions. U-turns would be permissible. This intersection would be constructed to accommodate a future traffic signal once traffic conditions warrant signal installation (Exhibit 7, Inset 2). Hubbard Lane would be improved to City of Grants Pass design standards (including a planter strip and sidewalk along both sides) south of Highway 199 (Exhibit 7, Inset 6). The southern-most 400 feet of Hubbard Lane would be realigned to create a new intersection with Demaray Drive (Exhibit 7, Inset 5). The existing intersection of Hubbard Lane and Demaray Drive would be closed and made into a cul-de-sac. A separated bicycle and pedestrian shared use path would be constructed along the north side of Highway 199 between Hubbard Lane and Dowell Road. The existing bicycle and pedestrian shared use path along the south side of Highway 199, beginning at the Rogue Community College entrance and continuing east past Dowell Road, would be reconstructed (Exhibit 7). Highway 199 at the intersection with Willow Lane would remain two through lanes in each direction, rightturn-only lanes in both directions, and median curb allowing left-turn-only from a dedicated turn pocket for westbound traffic (Exhibit 7, Inset 3). Eastbound traffic
19

•

•

•

•

•

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

would continue to be prohibited from making left-turns. Willow Lane would continue to be right in/right out only north and south of Highway 199.
•

Highway 199 at the intersection with Dowell Road would continue to be signalized. It would include leftturn-only and right-turn-only lanes off Highway 199.

Dowell Road to Josephine County Fairgrounds Entrance Exhibit 8 shows the general improvements proposed as part of Alternative A between Dowell Road and the Josephine County Fairgrounds entrance, with insets to provide greater design detail at major intersections. This segment of has the following design features:
•

At Dowell Road, Highway 199 would transition from four travel lanes to six travel lanes with median curb continuing between the eastbound and westbound lanes (see Exhibit 8, Inset 4). The intersection of Highway 199 and Allen Creek Road, as shown in Inset 1 of Exhibit 8, would be signalized and include the following features: - Eastbound Highway 199 would have three through lanes, one left-turn-only lane, and one right-turnonly lane. - Westbound Highway 199 would have three through lanes, with the right-hand lane also allowing for right turns, and two left-turn-only lanes. - Northbound Allen Creek Road would have one through lane, two left-turn-only lanes, and one right-turn-only lane. - Southbound Allen Creek Road would have one combined through and right-turn lane and two leftturn-only lanes.

•

20

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

EXHIBIT 8. ALTERNATIVE A BETWEEN DOWELL ROAD AND FAIRGROUNDS ENTRANCE

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

21

•

Allen Creek Road would be extended approximately 250 feet north of the existing Redwood Avenue where it currently ends at a “T” intersection (see Exhibit 8, Inset 2). Sidewalks would be added on both sides of Allen Creek Road and u-turns would be permissible at the intersection of Allen Creek Road, Redwood Avenue, and the new access road. This new intersection would be signalized and: - Northbound from Allen Creek Road would have one through lane and one left-turn-only lane. - Eastbound from a realigned Redwood Avenue would have no through lanes, one left-turn-only lane, and two right-turn-only lanes. - Southbound from a new access road would have a combined through lane and right-turn lane. - Westbound from a realigned westbound Highway 199 slip ramp would have one through lane, one left-turn-only lane and one right-turn-only lane.

•

To connect with the new extension of Allen Creek Road, Redwood Avenue would be realigned starting just west of Redwood Circle (Exhibit 8). The realigned portion of Redwood Avenue would curve to the north. The remaining portion of Redwood Avenue east of the new curve would cul-de-sac just before Allen Creek Road and properties along this stretch would use this road to access the realigned Redwood Avenue at a new signalized intersection with Redwood Circle. A new local street would be constructed to connect Daisy Lane with Redwood Circle; thereby providing properties along Daisy Lane access to Redwood Avenue. Access to the Josephine County Fairgrounds, the YMCA, and other county-owned parcels east of the YMCA would be from a new access road (Exhibit 8). The access road would bulb out to the north of the new Allen Creek Road extension, curve east, then south across the quarter track portion of the fairgrounds
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

•

•

22

raceway before straightening and continuing east adjacent to Highway 199 and into the Fairgrounds.
• •

The access road would have two lanes and a sidewalk on both sides of the road (Exhibit 8, Inset 5). A realigned one-way slip ramp from westbound Highway 199 would be constructed (Exhibit 8, Inset 3). This slip ramp would allow westbound traffic to either continue through the new Allen Creek Road intersection to the realigned Redwood Avenue, turn right onto the new access road, or turn left towards the Highway 199 at Allen Creek Road intersection. The existing signal at the Highway 199 at Redwood Avenue intersection would be removed. The existing separated bicycle and pedestrian shared use path along south side of Highway 199, which begins at the Rogue Community College entrance, would continue east to Nebraska Avenue. A bike lane along north side of Highway 199 between the Redwood Avenue slip ramp and the Fairgrounds entrance, and continuing east to Tussey Lane, would be striped on the roadway shoulder. A bike lane would be added along the south side of Highway 199 between Allen Creek Road and Ringuette Street and would be striped on the roadway shoulder. Sidewalk, separated by a planter strip, would be added to the north side of Highway 199 from the Redwood Avenue slip ramp to Tussey Lane. A sidewalk would be added to the south side of Highway 199 from Allen Creek Road to Ringuette Street.

• •

•

•

•

Josephine County Fairgrounds Entrance to Tussey Lane Exhibit 9 shows the general improvements proposed as part of Alternative A between the Josephine County Fairgrounds entrance to Tussey Lane, with insets to provide greater design detail at major intersections. This segment has the following design features:

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

23

EXHIBIT 9. ALTERNATIVE A AND ALTERNATIVE C BETWEEN FAIRGROUNDS ENTRANCE AND TUSSEY LANE

24

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

•

This segment of Highway 199 would provide six travel lanes with median curb continuing between the eastbound and westbound lanes (Exhibit 9, Inset 2). Where permitted, direct access to Highway 199 would be right in/right out only. Curb and a detached sidewalk would be constructed along the westbound portion of Highway 199. Access would be defined by driveways with some shared between parcels. The existing signal at the intersection of Highway 199 and the Josephine County Fairgrounds entrance would be removed and traffic movements would be restricted to right in/right out. The new access road would provide a new, additional access point for fairgrounds traffic. The intersection of Highway 199 and Ringuette Street, as shown in Inset 1 of Exhibit 9, would continue to be signalized and include the following features: - Westbound Highway 199 would have three through lanes, one left-turn-only lane, and one free flowing right-turn-only lane. - Eastbound Highway 199 would have three through lanes, two left-turn-only lanes, and one right-turnonly lane. - Northbound Ringuette Street would have one through lane, two left-turn-only lanes, and one right-turn-only lane. - Southbound Ringuette Street would have one through lane, one left-turn-only lane, and one rightturn-only lane. - A left-turn-only lane would be added to southbound Ringuette Street at the intersection with Union Avenue.

•

•

•

•

Henderson Lane and Tussey Lane would continue to provide access to Highway 199 and traffic would continue to be restricted to right in/right out movements due to median curb along Highway 199.
25

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

•

A sidewalk, separated from Highway 199 by a planter strip, would continue along the north side of Highway 199 between the Fairgrounds entrance and Tussey Lane. A sidewalk would also be constructed along both sides of Ringuette Street north of Highway 199 for approximately 300 feet. A sidewalk along the south side of Highway 199 would continue from Allen Creek Road to Ringuette Street. The bike lane striped on the roadway shoulder along north side of Highway 199, starting at Allen Creek Road, would continue between the Fairgrounds entrance and Tussey Lane. The bike lane striped on the roadway shoulder along the south side of Highway 199, starting at Allen Creek Road, would continue to Ringuette Street.

•

Phase 2 Phase 2 of Alternative A would extend the access road and would be constructed in Phase 1. The extension would continue the access road from the Josephine County Fairgrounds east to Tussey Lane. This access road would relocate business and residential driveways that are currently on Highway 199 to the new access road. Construction of Phase 2, and the actual alignment, would not be set unless this access road concept is found to be part of the overall solution for the South Y Interchange Planning Study scheduled to begin in 2007.

Alternative C
Alternative C would also be constructed in two phases; Phase 1 would include improvements from Midway Avenue to Tussey Lane and Phase 2 would include additional improvements from roughly the Josephine County Fairgrounds to Tussey Lane. Phase 1 Midway Avenue to Dowell Road This section of Alternative C has the same design features as Alternative A, see Exhibit 7.

26

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Dowell Road to Josephine County Fairgrounds Entrance Exhibit 10 shows the general improvements proposed as part of Alternative C between Dowell Road and the Josephine County Fairgrounds entrance, with insets to provide greater design detail at major intersections. This segment has the following design features:
•

At Dowell Road, Highway 199 would transition from four travel lanes to six travel lanes with median curb continuing between the eastbound and westbound lanes (see Exhibit 10, Inset 4). There would be no direct access to Highway 199 from businesses or residences. The intersection of Highway 199 and Allen Creek Road, as shown in Inset 1 of Exhibit 10, would be signalized and include the following features: - Eastbound Highway 199 would have three through lanes, one left-turn-only lane and one right-turnonly lane. - Westbound Highway 199 would have three through lanes, two left-turn-only lanes and two right-turnonly lanes. The right-turn-only lanes would be signalized. The right-turn-only lanes would begin approximately 700 feet east of the intersection to enable vehicle queuing when the signal is red. - Northbound Allen Creek Road would have two through lanes, one left-turn-only lane, and one right-turn-only lane. - Southbound Allen Creek Road would have one combined through and right-turn lane and two leftturn-only lanes.

•

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

27

EXHIBIT 10. ALTERNATIVE C BETWEEN DOWELL ROAD AND FAIRGROUNDS ENTRANCE

28

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

•

Allen Creek Road, north of Highway 199 would be curved slightly to the west to connect with a new threelegged signalized intersection with a realigned Redwood Avenue and a new access road. This intersection, as shown in Inset 2 of Exhibit 10, would include the following features: - Northbound Allen Creek Road would have two through lanes and one right-turn-only lane. - Southbound realigned Redwood Avenue would have two through lanes and one left-turn-only lane. - Westbound new access road would have one leftturn-only lane and one right-turn-only lane.

•

To connect with the new Allen Creek Road intersection, Redwood Avenue would be realigned and curved north just west of Redwood Circle. A new four-legged signalized intersection with Redwood Avenue and Redwood Circle would provide access to the properties located along the old Redwood Avenue alignment between Redwood Circle and Allen Creek Road. This intersection would also provide access to those properties north along Redwood Circle. In addition, a new local street would be constructed connecting Daisy Lane with Redwood Circle; thereby providing properties along Daisy Lane access to Redwood Avenue. This intersection, as shown in Inset 3 of Exhibit 10, would include the following features: - Eastbound realigned Redwood Avenue would have one through lane and one left-turn-only lane. - Westbound realigned Redwood Avenue would have one through lane, one combined through and rightturn lane, and one left-turn-only lane. - Southbound Redwood Circle would include one combined through and right-turn lane and one leftturn-only lane.

•

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

29

- Northbound Redwood Circle would have one combined through and right-turn lane and one leftturn-only lane.
•

Access to the Josephine County Fairgrounds, the YMCA, and other Fairground parcels east of the YMCA would be from a new access road. This access road would bulb out slightly to the north/northeast of the new three-legged intersection with Allen Creek Road and Redwood Avenue, and then curve south and back east running along the north side of Highway 199 into the Fairgrounds. The access road would have two travel lanes, bike lanes, and a sidewalk on both sides of the road. (Exhibit 10, Inset 5) Access to properties along the old Redwood Avenue alignment between Allen Creek Road and the new access road would be at an intersection with the new access road and Pansy Lane. Cul-de-sacs would be constructed on either end of this portion of the old Redwood Avenue alignment. Properties along Flower Lane would have access via a new local street connection between Flower Lane and Pansy Lane. From all four directions, this intersection would have a combined through and right-turn lane and a left-turnonly lane. Stop signs would be place on the Pansy Lane and Redwood Avenue access sides of the intersection (See Exhibit 10). The existing signal at the intersection of Redwood Avenue and Highway 199 would be removed and access to Redwood Avenue from westbound Highway 199 would be from the two right-turn-only lanes at the Allen Creek Road intersection. The existing separated bicycle and pedestrian shared use path along south side of Highway 199, which begins at the Rogue Community College entrance, would continue east to Nebraska Avenue. A bike lane would be added along north side of Highway 199 between the Allen Creek Road and the
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

•

•

•

•

30

Fairgrounds entrance, and continuing east to Tussey Lane, would be striped on the roadway shoulder.
•

A bike lane would be added along the south side of Highway 199 between Allen Creek Road and Ringuette Street and would be striped on the roadway shoulder. Sidewalk, separated by a planter strip, would be added to the north side of Highway 199 from Allen Creek Road to Tussey Lane. A sidewalk would be added to the south side of Highway 199 from Allen Creek Road to Ringuette Street.

•

Josephine County Fairgrounds Entrance to Tussey Lane This section of Alternative C has the same design features as Alternative A, see Exhibit 9. Phase 2 Phase 2 of Alternative C has the same design features and conditions as Phase 2 of Alternative A.

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

31

CHAPTER 3. Methods and Coordination

Methods
This report follows guidance described in the document FHWA Visual Impact Assessment for Highway Projects. This document provides guidance for documenting visual resources (U.S. DOT, 1988). Aerial photographs and maps were consulted to determine potential visual resources such as stands of trees, variation in topography, or water features. A site visit was conducted February 21-22, 2005, to identify and photograph visual resources and views. A subsequent site visit was conducted November 4, 2005, to photograph additional views. The FHWA guidance also describes how to quantitatively assess a view’s visual quality, which is composed of three components: vividness, intactness, and unity. A quantitative assessment of the overall visual quality of the existing views toward and from the road by landscape unit (areas along the roadway with similar visual character) was completed for the Final Visual Quality Baseline Conditions Report (baseline report) for this project. However, from the time the baseline report was finalized, more specific design details have been developed. Therefore, some new views have been incorporated into this report (views 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22) to document the effects to visual quality of those specific design details (i.e., access road near the Fairgrounds, intersection at Redwood Avenue and Allen Creek Road, intersection of the access road with Ringuette Street, and new intersection at Demaray Drive and Hubbard Lane).
FHWA Visual Impact Assessment for Highway Projects

This document provides guidance for conducting a visual resources inventory and determining visual quality scores.

Vividness, Intactness, and Unity

Vividness is the memorability of the visual impression received from contrasting landscape elements as they combine to form a striking and distinctive visual pattern. Four components constitute vividness: landform, vegetation, water, and manmade development. Intactness is the integrity of visual order in the natural and human-created landscape, and the extent to which the landscape is free from visual encroachment. Intactness considers the overall intactness of the view and the level of encroachment upon the view. Unity is the degree to which the visual resources of the landscape join together to form a coherent, harmonious visual pattern. Unity refers to the compositional harmony or intercompatibility between landscape elements. Unity considers the overall unity of a view as well as the unity between manmade and natural resources.

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

33

Views 9, 12, 13, and 14 from the baseline report have been omitted from this report because the revised API does not include the Redwood Avenue and Highway 199 intersection, or the stretch of Redwood Avenue between Dowell Road and Hubbard Lane. The visual quality assessment in this report incorporates vividness, intactness, and unity into a scoring matrix as described in Exhibit 11 and Exhibit 12.
EXHIBIT 11. VISUAL QUALITY ASSESSMENT – SAMPLE MATRIX VIVIDNESS INTACTNESS UNITY

Between Manmade and Natural

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

EXHIBIT 12. VIVIDNESS, INTACTNESS, AND UNITY RATING SCALES INTACTNESS INTACTNESS VIVIDNESS 7 = Very High 6 = High 5 = Moderately High Integrity of Visual Pattern 7 = Very High 6 = High 5 = Moderately High Encroachments 7 = None 6 = Few 5 = Some UNITY 7 = Very High 6 = High 5 = Moderately High 4 = Average 3 = Moderately Low 4 = Average 3 = Moderately Low 4 = Average 3 = Several 4 = Average 3 = Moderately Low 2 = Low 1 = Very Low 2 = Low 1 = Very Low 2 = Many 1 = Very Many 2 = Low 1 = Very Low

34

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE

Integrity of Visual Pattern

From or Toward Road

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

Average

Overall

Water

The components of vividness, intactness, and unity are rated on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest rating and 1 being the lowest rating. Visual quality is calculated for each view and is the average of vividness, intactness, and unity.
Visual Quality = Vividness + Intactness + Unity 3

Coordination
The Comprehensive Plan for Josephine County and City of Grants Pass & Urbanizing Area Comprehensive Community Development Plan were reviewed to determine planning requirements related to visual quality. Planning requirements in the Comprehensive Plan for Josephine County related to visual quality include:
• •

To preserve and maintain agricultural lands and the rural character of Josephine County. To preserve valuable natural resources, unique natural areas and historic features.

Planning requirements in the City of Grants Pass & Urbanizing Area Comprehensive Community Development Plan related to visual quality include:
• •

To conserve, restore, and enhance the area’s scenic river, historic, and natural resources. To maintain and improve the quality of the air, water, and land resources of the area.

Required Permits Related to Visual Quality

The City of Grants Pass was consulted regarding permits related to removal or modification of vegetation.

A City of Grants Pass encroachment permit to plant, prune, root prune, remove, kill, or disturb a tree in the right of way would be required. Once applied for, the encroachment permit usually takes no more than two business days to acquire.

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

35

CHAPTER 4. Baseline Conditions

This section provides a summary of the visual resources in and visible from the API, and presents a map of landscape units in the API (Exhibit 13). This is followed by a general discussion of the existing visual resources and visual quality within each landscape unit (Exhibit 14). Exhibit 15 presents the visual quality scores of all relevant existing views. Landscape Unit C has been eliminated (since this area will not be affected) and Landscape Unit D has been added (to account for the extension of Hubbard Lane south to Demaray Drive). This section ends with a discussion of planning requirements and permits related to visual quality.

Please refer to the Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project, Final Visual Quality Baseline Conditions Report for a detailed discussion of the overall existing visual quality of landscape units based on views 111.

Visual Resources and Landscape Units
Visual resources can either increase or decrease visual quality. Visual resources in the API or visible from the API include the following: Land Form: Mountains, small rolling hills, valleys, flat terrain; Land Cover – Water: Creeks and streams, standing water in canals/ditches; Land Cover – Vegetation: Individual coniferous (evergreen) and deciduous (lose leaves in fall and winter) trees, uniform and mixed stands of trees, shrubs, grass fields and lawns; and Land Cover – Manmade Development: Commercial buildings, houses and apartment buildings, other buildings, athletic fields and recreational areas, roads and parking lots, above ground utilities, signs, art work.
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report 37

The API has been divided into three Landscape Units based on visual character along the road and in the area. Landscape Units A, B, and D are shown in Exhibit 13, as well as the location and orientation of all views.
EXHIBIT 13. LANDSCAPE UNITS, AND LOCATION AND ORIENTATION OF VIEWS

The following pages describe the existing visual quality of the three landscape units and provide examples of representative views. All views analyzed in this report are referenced in Appendix A. Existing Visual Resources and Visual Quality Landscape Unit A Landscape Unit A is characterized by extensive manmade development and very few beneficial visual resources such as trees, water, landform variation, or visually appealing structures. The terrain in this unit is flat and commercial buildings and signs are immediately adjacent to the road in most parts of this unit. Traffic signals hang above the road throughout this unit, especially on Highway 199. The road itself is a significant component of most views, especially on
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Landscape Unit A – View 1 Existing Visual Quality = Very Low (Highway 199 at Tussey Lane)

38

Highway 199 where the paved surface it is at least four lanes wide. With the exception of distant mountain tops, it is difficult to see much beyond the road corridor because of the flatness of the terrain and high number of distracting features, particularly aerial utilities, signs, and buildings, immediately adjacent to the road. Sources of light include natural light, headlights, taillights, traffic signals, street lights, illuminated signs, and interior building lights. Viewers looking from the road include through users (those who pass through the unit without stopping) and local users (those who have a destination in the corridor). Viewers include pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists and their passengers. The average visual quality of views from the road in Landscape Unit A (views 1, 2, 3, 4, 15, and 16) is low (score = 2). Views have low vividness, intactness, and unity. Viewers looking toward the road include those who travel on side roads in the API (mostly local users) and those who live or work adjacent to Highway 199 or Redwood Avenue. The average visual quality of views toward the road in Landscape Unit A (views 5, 6, 17, 18, and 19) is very low (score = 1). Views have very low vividness, intactness, and unity. Existing Visual Resources and Visual Quality Landscape Unit B Landscape Unit B transitions from an eastern-end that is more developed and encroached upon to a western-end that is more natural or semi-rural. This unit is characterized by intermittent residential development (subdivisions, multi-family units, individual houses) and roadside commercial development often separated by large intact stands of trees or open fields. Toward the western end of the unit, development tapers off, the road rolls slightly and views are characterized by stands of mature trees and views to distant mountain tops. There are fewer manmade sources of light to compete with natural light in this landscape unit, so natural light is highly apparent. Other sources of light include headlights, taillights, and some interior

Landscape Unit A – View 2 Existing Visual Quality = Moderately Low (Redwood Avenue looking east from west of Allen Creek Road)

Landscape Unit A – View 15 Existing Visual Quality = Very Low (Highway 199 looking west between Tussey Lane and Ringuette Street)

Landscape Unit B – View 7 Existing Visual Quality = Average (Highway 199 looking east toward Willow Lane)

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

39

building lights from housing or other buildings spread throughout the landscape unit. Viewers looking from the road include through users and local users. Viewers include pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists and their passengers. The average visual quality of views from the road in Landscape Unit B (views 7 and 8) is moderately high (score = 5). Views have moderately high to high vividness (memorability), intactness, and unity.
Landscape Unit B – View 8 Existing Visual Quality = High (Highway 199 looking west between Hubbard Lane and Midway Avenue)

Viewers looking toward the road are mostly local users including visitors to and employees of a few businesses and churches, residents, employees and students at Rogue Community College, and bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists and their passengers on roads adjacent to Highway 199. The average visual quality of views toward the road in Landscape Unit B (views 10 and 11) is moderately high (score = 5). Views have moderately high to high vividness, intactness, and unity. Existing Visual Resources and Visual Quality Landscape Unit D Landscape Unit D comprises the area around the intersection of Hubbard Lane and Demaray Drive. This unit is characterized primarily by rural residential homes with an area of higher density residential homes to the northwest of the intersection. There are many large, mature stands of trees which frame the views of the two streets. The flatness of the terrain and stands of trees block most of the middleground and background of views from the road. Sources of light include natural light, headlights, taillights, and interior and exterior lights from houses and other buildings. Viewers looking from the road include through users and local users. Viewers include pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists and their passengers. The average visual quality of views from the road in Landscape Unit D (views 20, 21, and 22) is moderately high (score = 5). Views have moderately high vividness, average intactness, and low unity. Viewers looking toward the road are mostly local residents who live adjacent to Hubbard Lane or Demaray Drive.
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Landscape Unit B – View 10 Existing Visual Quality = Moderately High (Looking northeast from Rogue Community College toward Highway 199)

Landscape Unit D – View 20 Existing Visual Quality = Moderately High (Looking southwest from Demaray Drive toward future intersection with Hubbard Lane)

40

Visual Quality Scores by Landscape Unit
Exhibit 14 shows the average visual quality scores (existing views) by landscape unit.
EXHIBIT 14. AVERAGE VISUAL QUALITY SCORES BY LANDSCAPE UNIT Average Visual Quality Landscape Unit A B D
i

View s from Road 2 5 5

View s toward Road 1 5 i

View s in Landscape Unit 2 5 5 Landscape Unit D – View 21 Existing Visual Quality = Moderately High (Looking south from Hubbard Lane toward future intersection with Demaray Drive)

T h i s p o rt i on of t he A P I i s re la t i v e l y n a rro w (h o ri zo n ta lly) d u e t o v eg etat ion o n e it he r s id e o f

De ma ra y Drive . T h e t h ree v iew s “f rom t h e ro a d ” a d e qua t e ly c ap t u re t he exist in g v is u a l c h a ra c t e r o f th is sma ll p o rt io n o f th e A P I , a s w e ll a s t h e a re a t h a t wo u ld be impa c t e d .

Exhibit 15 shows the visual quality scores all existing views (1-8, 10, and 11, and 15-21).

Permit Requirements and Permits Related to Visual Quality
The Comprehensive Plan for Josephine County and City of Grants Pass & Urbanizing Area Comprehensive Community Development Plan were reviewed to determine planning requirements related to visual quality. Planning requirements in the Comprehensive Plan for Josephine County related to visual quality include:
• •

Planning Documents with Requirements Related to Visual Quality

Comprehensive Plan for Josephine County (April 2001) Grants Pass & Urbanizing Area Comprehensive Community Development Plan (June 2002)

To preserve and maintain agricultural lands and the rural character of Josephine County. To preserve valuable natural resources, unique natural areas, and historic features.
Required Permits Related to Visual Quality

Planning requirements in the City of Grants Pass & Urbanizing Area Comprehensive Community Development Plan related to visual quality include:
•

To conserve, restore and enhance the area’s scenic river, historic, and natural resources.

A City of Grants Pass encroachment permit to plant, prune, root prune, remove, kill or disturb a tree in the right of way would be required. Once applied for, the encroachment permit usually takes no more than two business days to acquire.

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

41

•

To maintain and improve the quality of the air, water and land resources of the area.
UNITY Between Manmade & OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE 1 3 2 3 1 1 1 3 1 3 1 4 6 5 6 5 5 5

EXHIBIT 15. VISUAL QUALITY SCORES – EXISTING VIEWS VIVIDNESS INTACTNESS Integrity of Visual Pattern From or Toward Road

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

A A A A A A A A A A A B B B B D D D

1 2 3 4 5 6 15 16 17 18 19 7 8 10 11 20 21 22

F F F F T T F F T T T F F T T F F F

1 5 5 5 1 1 1 4 2 4 1 6 5 6 5 2 2 2

n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a

1 3 2 2 1 1 1 3 1 4 1 5 7 6 7 7 6 7

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 4 4 4 4 4

1 3 3 3 1 1 1 3 1 3 1 4 5 4 5 4 4 4

1 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 6 5 6 6 5 6

1 4 3 4 1 2 1 4 1 3 1 4 6 5 6 6 5 6

1 3 3 3 1 2 1 3 1 3 1 4 6 5 6 6 5 6

1 2 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 5 5 5 5 5 5

1 2 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 7 5 7 7 5 7

1 2 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 6 5 6 6 5 6

Shaded rows indicate views analyzed in this report that were not analyzed in the baseline report.

Trees located in the right of way are regulated and controlled by City of Grants Pass ordinance. An encroachment permit is required to plant, prune, root prune, remove, kill, or disturb a tree in the right of way. The permit is free, and violators may be fined. Once applied for, the encroachment permit usually takes no more than two business days to acquire (Blankenship 2005).
42 Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Average

Natural

Overall

Water

CHAPTER 5. Temporary Effects and Benefits

Temporary effects and benefits are those that are of short duration and are not permanent. Oftentimes, construction activities and related effects are temporary. The temporary effects and benefits of each alternative are discussed below.

No Build
Under the no build alternative, construction of this project would not occur so there would be no related construction activity effects or benefits.

Alternatives A and C
Temporary effects and benefits would be the same for Alternatives A and C. There would be temporary negative effects to visual quality from construction activity. Temporary negative effects would be associated with the presence of construction equipment and workers, material stockpiles, debris, signs, high-visibility fencing, staging areas, temporary work platforms, and demolition activities. All of these elements would add a degree of disorder and manmade intrusion into views. Glare from reflective signs, metal surfaces of vehicles, and safety lighting would temporarily add bright manmade light and color to existing views, which may contrast with natural colors and light. Grading and vegetation removal, if necessary for staging areas, could temporarily alter existing views by changing terrain and reducing the colors and textures that vegetation provides.
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report 43

However, these negative effects would be temporary if staging areas are rehabilitated after construction finishes. Normal construction related activities such as increased numbers of construction vehicles and the movement of trucks, equipment operations, and workers moving about would be most noticeable to viewers closest to the construction activity (i.e., pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists on affected roads) and those who experience longer duration views (i.e., residents and local employees). However, this activity would be visible to some degree from nearly all views and by all viewers. A benefit of construction would be that driving speed would likely be reduced near construction areas, giving viewers more time to experience a view. On the other hand, detours and lane shifts demand greater driver attention, and may distract motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians from views beyond the immediate construction area. Moreover, construction may cause temporary traffic congestion which would increase manmade presence in views (vehicles and light and glare from vehicles) and add to visual disorder.

44

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

CHAPTER 6. Long-Term Effects and Benefits

Long-term effects and benefits are those direct changes to the environment that are permanent. Some construction activities, many ongoing maintenance activities, and the new or modified facility improvements result in long-term, permanent effects and benefits to the environment. These effects and benefits are discussed below.

No Build
Under the no build alternative, traffic congestion within the API would worsen over time. Increased light and glare from cars and trucks would disrupt existing key views, and the increased presence of cars, trucks, pedestrians, and bicyclists would add more disorder to many views.

Alternative A
Tables showing the existing and proposed visual quality scores of all views analyzed under Alternative A (Phase 1) are included in Appendix B. Phase 1 Midway Avenue to Dowell Road This alternative would have no substantial negative effect on the visual quality of the views affected by this alternative (views 7, 8, 10, 11, 20, 21, and 22) (Exhibit 16). The average visual quality of views toward the road would remain the same, and the average visual quality of views from the road would also remain the same. The primary benefit of this alternative would be the improved flow of vehicles, which would potentially decrease visually distracting congestion.
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report 45

EXHIBIT 16. ALTERNATIVE A: MIDWAY AVENUE TO DOWELL ROAD, VISUAL QUALITY SCORES – PROPOSED VIEWS OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE 4 6 5 6 5 5 5 VIVIDNESS INTACTNESS Between Manmade & Natural Integrity of Visual Pattern UNITY

From or Toward Road

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

B B B B D D D

7 8 10 11 20 21 22

F F T T F F F

6 5 6 5 2 2 2

n/a n/a 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a

5 6 6 5 6 5 6

1 4 4 4 4 4 4

4 5 4 5 4 4 4

4 6 5 6 5 4 5

4 5 5 5 5 5 5

4 6 5 6 5 5 5

4 5 5 5 4 4 4

4 6 5 6 6 5 6

4 6 5 6 5 5 5

Landscape Unit B – View 7 Proposed Visual Quality = Average (Highway 199 looking east toward Willow Lane)

In view 7 there would be minimal vegetation removal to accommodate turn pockets, especially near the intersection of Highway 199 and Willow Lane, but the overall proposed visual quality (4 = average) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (4 = average). In view 8 there would be minimal vegetation removal along either side of the road to accommodate the addition of median barrier, a slight increase in encroachments (mainly from the increased vertical presence of pavement from the median barrier), and a slight decrease in overall unity. However, the overall proposed visual quality (6 = high) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (6 = high). In view 10 there would be minimal vegetation removal to accommodate the left-turn pocket and median barrier, a slight increase in encroachments (mainly from increased presence of pavement from widened roadway), and a slight decrease in overall unity. However, the overall proposed visual quality (5 = moderately high) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (5 = moderately high).

Landscape Unit B – View 10 Proposed Visual Quality = Moderately High (Looking northeast from Rogue Community College toward Highway 199)

In view 11 there would be minimal vegetation removal to accommodate turn pockets and median barrier, a slight increase
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

46

Average

Overall

Water

in encroachments (mainly from increased presence of pavement from widened roadway), and a slight decrease in overall unity. However, the overall proposed visual quality (6 = high) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (6 = high). In views 20 and 22 there would be minimal vegetation removal to accommodate turn pockets, a slight increase in encroachments (mainly from increased presence of pavement from widened roadway), and a slight decrease in overall intactness and unity. However, the overall proposed visual quality (5 = moderately high) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (5 = moderately high). In view 21 there would be some vegetation removal to accommodate the extension of Hubbard Lane to Demaray, a slight increase in encroachments (mainly from increased presence of pavement from widened roadway), and a slight decrease in overall intactness and unity. However, the overall proposed visual quality (5 = moderately high) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (5 = moderately high). Dowell Road to Fairgrounds Road This alternative would have no substantial negative effect on the visual quality of the views affected by this alternative (views 2, 3, 4, 6, 17, 18, and 19) (Exhibit 17). The average visual quality of views toward the road would remain the same, and the average visual quality of views from the road would also remain the same. The primary benefit of this alternative would be the improved flow of vehicles, which would potentially decrease visually distracting congestion. In view 2, the vividness (memorability) scores would remain the same, but there would be slightly increased encroachment from added pavement for the cul-de-sac. However, the overall proposed visual quality (3 = moderately low) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (3 = moderately low). In view 3, there would be minimal vegetation removal along either side of the road to accommodate the addition of median
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report Landscape Unit D – View 22 Proposed Visual Quality = Moderately High (Looking northeast from Demaray Drive toward future intersection with Hubbard Lane)

Landscape Unit A – View 2 Proposed Visual Quality = Moderately Low (Redwood Avenue looking east from west of Allen Creek Road) 47

curb, a slight increase in encroachments (mainly from the increased presence of pavement), and a slight decrease in overall unity. However, the overall proposed visual quality (2 = low) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (2 = low).
EXHIBIT 17. ALTERNATIVE A: DOWELL ROAD TO FAIRGROUNDS ROAD: VISUAL QUALITY SCORES – PROPOSED VIEWS OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE 3 2 3 1 1 2 1 VIVIDNESS INTACTNESS Between Manmade & Natural Integrity of Visual Pattern UNITY

From or Toward Road

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

A A A A A A A Landscape Unit A – View 4 Proposed Visual Quality = Moderately Low (Redwood Avenue looking west between Allen Creek Road and Dowell Road)

2 3 4 6 17 18 19

F F F T T T T

5 5 5 1 2 4 1

n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

3 2 2 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 2 1

3 3 3 1 1 2 1

2 2 2 1 1 3 1

3 3 4 1 1 2 1

3 3 3 1 1 3 1

2 1 2 1 1 2 1

2 1 2 1 1 2 1

2 1 2 1 1 2 1

In view 4, there is no change. The overall proposed visual quality (3 = moderately low) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (3 = moderately low). In view 6, the vividness would remain very low, encroachments would increase (largely due to additional paved lanes and an overall increase in the size of the intersection), and unity would remain very low. However, the overall proposed visual quality (1 = very low) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (1 = very low). In view 17, the vividness, intactness, and unity would remain very low and the overall proposed visual quality (1 = very low) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (1 = very low). In view 18, the vividness and unity would decrease slightly (due to the addition of new streets), and intactness would

Landscape Unit A – View 18 Proposed Visual Quality = Moderately Low (Looking east from northeast corner of BMX track)

48

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Average

Overall

Water

remain moderately low. The overall proposed visual quality (2 = low) would be slightly lower than the overall existing visual quality (3 = moderately low). In view 19, the vividness, intactness, and unity would remain very low and the overall proposed visual quality (1 = very low) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (1 = very low). Fairgrounds Road to Tussey Lane This alternative would have no substantial negative effect on the visual quality of the views affected by this alternative (views 1, 5, and 15) (Exhibit 18). In fact, the average visual quality of one view toward the road (view 5) and one view from the road (view 15) would improve slightly (from 1 = very low to 2 = low). The primary benefit of this alternative would be the improved flow of vehicles, which would potentially decrease visually distracting congestion.
EXHIBIT 18. ALTERNATIVE A: FAIRGROUNDS ROAD TO TUSSEY LANE: VISUAL QUALITY SCORES – PROPOSED VIEWS OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE 1 2 2 VIVIDNESS INTACTNESS Between Manmade & Natural Integrity of Visual Pattern UNITY

From or Toward Road

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

A A A

1 5 15

F T F

1 1 1

n/a n/a n/a

1 1 1

1 1 1

1 1 1

1 1 1

2 2 2

2 2 2

1 1 1

1 2 2

1 2 2

In view 1, vividness and unity would remain the same, but intactness would improve slightly. While there would be an increased presence of pavement from the widened road, there would also be improved traffic flow. The overall visual quality (1) would remain the same because these slight improvements would not be enough to substantially change the overall character of the existing view.

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Average

Overall

Water

49

In view 5, the vividness scores would remain the same, while there would be slightly fewer encroachments because traffic signals would be removed, and traffic flow would be improved. In addition, the improved highway would add some visual order thereby improving unity slightly. The road would have a more dominant presence in the view due to its widening, but the overall visual quality (2) would improve slightly. In view 15, the vividness scores would remain the same, while there would be slightly fewer encroachments because traffic flow would be improved. In addition, the improved highway would add some visual order thereby improving unity slightly. The road would have a more dominant presence in the view due to its widening, but the overall visual quality (2) would improve slightly. Phase 2 Fairgrounds Road to Tussey Lane If Phase 2 were to be constructed, views would likely change somewhat, but the overall visual quality in this area would likely not be substantially negatively affected because the existing visual quality of views is low or very low.

Landscape Unit A – View 5 Proposed Visual Quality = Low (Highway 199 looking toward intersection with Fairgrounds Road)

Alternative C
Tables showing the existing and proposed visual quality scores of all views analyzed under Alternative C (Phase 1) are included in Appendix B. Phase 1 Midway Avenue to Dowell Road There would be similar long-term effects and benefits to visual quality as described under the Alternative A: Midway Avenue to Dowell Road (discussed above). Dowell Road to Fairgrounds Road This alternative would have no substantial negative effect on the visual quality of the views affected by this alternative (views 2, 3, 4, 6, 17, 18, and 19) (Exhibit 19). Views 3, 4, 6, 17, and 19 would have the same proposed visual quality scores under Alternative C as under Alternative A. There would be a slight difference in the visual quality scores for views 2 and 18 under Alternative C when compared to Alternative A. The
50 Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

average visual quality of all views toward the road except one (view 18) would remain the same. The average visual quality of all views from the road except one (view 2) would also remain the same. View 2 would experience a slight decline in visual quality from moderately low (3) to low (2). (Under Alternative A, the proposed visual quality of view 2 would remain moderately low (3).) The visual quality of view 18 would remain moderately low (3) under Alternative C. (Under Alternative A, the proposed visual quality of view 18 would decrease from moderately low to low (2).) The primary benefit of this alternative would be the improved flow of vehicles, which would potentially decrease visually distracting congestion.
EXHIBIT 19. ALTERNATIVE C: DOWELL ROAD TO FAIRGROUNDS ROAD: VISUAL QUALITY SCORES – PROPOSED VIEWS OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE 2 2 3 1 1 3 1 VIVIDNESS INTACTNESS Between Manmade & Natural Integrity of Visual Pattern UNITY

From or Toward Road

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

A A A A A A A

2 3 4 6 17 18 19

F F F T T T T

5 5 5 1 2 4 1

n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

2 2 2 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 2 1

3 3 3 1 1 2 1

2 2 2 1 1 3 1

2 3 4 1 1 3 1

2 3 3 1 1 3 1

2 1 2 1 1 3 1

1 1 2 1 1 3 1

2 1 2 1 1 3 1

Views 2, 18, and 19 would potentially experience different visual effects from Alternative C than Alternative A. For the remaining views in this segment (views 3, 4, 6, 17), please see the effects discussion under Alternative A. In view 2, the vividness (memorability) score, overall, would remain the same, although there would be some vegetation removal. Intactness would decrease slightly due to increased
Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report 51

Average

Overall

Water

pavement for a new cul-de-sac. This added pavement would encroach further upon the view. The overall proposed visual quality would decrease slightly from moderately low (3) to low (2). In view 18, the vividness would decrease slightly due to the addition of a new street and limited vegetation removal, but intactness and unity would remain moderately low. The overall proposed visual quality of the view, however, would remain moderately low (3). In view 19, the vividness, intactness and unity would remain very low and the overall proposed visual quality (1 = very low) would be no different than the overall existing visual quality (1 = very low). Fairgrounds Road to Tussey Lane There would be similar long-term effects and benefits to visual quality as described under the Alternative A: Fairgrounds Road to Tussey Lane (discussed above).
Landscape Unit A – View 19 Proposed Visual Quality = Very Low (Looking south toward Redwood Avenue from Daisy Lane)

Phase 2 Fairgrounds Road to Tussey Lane If Phase 2 were to be constructed views would likely be modified, but the overall visual quality in this area would likely not be substantially negatively affected because the existing visual quality of views is low or very low.

52

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

CHAPTER 7. Indirect and Cumulative Effects and Benefits

Indirect and cumulative effects and benefits may occur in the API. Generally, indirect effects and benefits occur as the result of a proposed action, but take place later in time than the initial action. Cumulative effects and benefits occur as a result of incremental impacts of the action when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions.

Indirect Effects and Benefits
Indirect effects to visual quality would be expected to be approximately the same for both alternatives and could include increased traffic on roads in the surrounding area, which would affect views by increasing vehicle light and glare over time. Increased traffic movement through view areas would detract from the cohesion and unity of existing views, and could distract viewers from other views beyond the immediate foreground.

Cumulative Effects and Benefits
Nineteen planned or proposed projects within the API were considered in relation to potential cumulative effects associated with the project. The projects and their approximate location are presented in Exhibit 20. These projects are mapped on Exhibit 21 below. Collectively, the project along with other improvements could increase development in the area, particularly roads, intersections, and related structures. The collective effects would be expected to be approximately the same for both

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

53

alternatives. These facilities could change the character of the area to become more urbanized. Conversely, transportation improvements may reduce traffic congestion which can encroach on, and detract from, existing views. The collective benefits would be expected to be approximately the same for both alternatives. New roads and associated improvements can also increase encroachment on visual elements and contribute to the segmentation of existing landscape views, such as those of fields and forests. The addition of potentially distracting visual elements such as reflective signs or streetlights may lead to increased spillover of light into rural, naturally lit environments. The project would also contribute to the collective removal of vegetation in the API. This would negatively affect existing views by decreasing the color, form, texture, and line elements that trees and shrubs provide.

54

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

EXHIBIT 20. PLANNED AND CONSIDERED IMPROVEMENTS IN AND NEAR THE API Map Identification 1 ODOT Agency Improvement Grants Pass Parkway Resurfacing 2 ODOT OR 99/OR 238 Paving Approximate Location Highway 199 (MP 1.990.69) OR 99 south of US 199 to MP 1.39 OR 238 south of US 199 to MP 1.7 3 ODOT South Y Grant Pass Planning study underway to examine ways to address congestion at the South Y interchange (OR 238/ OR 99/ US 199). Potential solutions could include a complete rebuild of the interchange 4 ODOT & City of Grants Pass 5 ODOT & City of Grants Pass 6 ODOT & City of Grants Pass 7 City of Grants Pass 6 /7 Street Grants Pass Bundle 6 /7 Street Grants Pass Bundle 6 /7 Street Grants Pass Bundle Redwood Avenue (Redwood Circle to Dowell Road) 8 City of Grants Pass Redwood Avenue/Dowell Road Redwood Avenue, Grants Pass Intersection of Redwood Avenue/Dowell Road 9 City of Grants Pass West Park Improvement Project West Park Street from 6
th th th th th th th th th

Description Resurfacing from I-5 (exit 55) to the South Y on Highway 199

Repave and construct bicycle and pedestrian facilities on OR 99 (MP 0 to 1.39) and OR 238 (MP 0 to MP 1.7)

Grants Pass

Repave 6 and 7 Streets from M Street to the South Y

Grants Pass

Minor road realignment and signal installation at Park Avenue and Lewis Avenue

Grants Pass

Signal installation at Harbeck Road and OR 238

Reconstruction of Redwood Avenue, to include two travel lanes, center turn lane, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities Improve Redwood Avenue at Dowell Road intersection and install traffic signal Improve West Park Street from 6 Street to Ringuette Street by constructing curb, gutter, sidewalks and bicycle lanes New bridge across the Rogue River possibly connecting Allen Creek Road, Flower Lane, and Ironwood Drive
th

Street to Ringuette Street 10 City of Grants Pass Fourth Bridge Rogue River between Allen Creek Road and Ironwood Drive in Grants Pass 11 City of Grants Pass Allen Creek Road Widening Between Redwood Avenue and Denton Trail Road in both Grants Pass and Unincorporated Josephine County

Provide 70 feet right-of-way. Reconstruct as 48 foot wide arterial street with sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides from Redwood Avenue south to Denton Trail Road

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

55

Map Identification 12

Agency City of Grants Pass

Improvement Dowell Road Improvements

Approximate Location Between Leonard Avenue and Schutzwohl Road in Grants Pass.

Description Install Sidewalks on both sides from Leonard Avenue to Redwood Avenue. From Highway 199 to Schutzwohl Road full reconstruction providing a 48 foot wide collector with continuous two-way left-turn lanes, bike lanes, and side walks on both sides

13

City of Grants Pass

Hubbard Lane Improvements

Between Redwood Highway to Redwood Lane

Reconstruct street to 42 feet wide with bike lanes and sidewalks on both side Build Sidewalks on both sides, and reconstruct east half of street to 36 feet wide

14

City of Grants Pass

Nebraska Avenue Improvements

Between Ramsey Avenue and McCarter Lane in Grants Pass

15

City of Grants Pass

Rogue Community College Multi-Use Path

Rogue Community College Campus in Grants Pass Josephine county

Construct new multi-use path through the campus

16

Josephine County

Redwood Avenue at Southgate Way

Trim/eliminate trees obscuring site distance

17 18

Josephine County Josephine County

Dowell Road at Wolf Lane Highway 199 at Redwood Ave

Josephine County Josephine County

Intersection improvements Channelize northbound and southbound approaches to provide separate twin lanes

19

Josephine County

Highway 199 at Redwood Avenue

Josephine county

Install left-turn lane on Redwood Avenue

56

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

EXHIBIT 21. LOCATIONS OF PLANNED AND CONSIDERED IMPROVEMENTS

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

57

CHAPTER 8. Mitigation/Conservation Measures

Measures for Construction Plans and Specifications
Temporary Effects The following mitigation measures are presented as possible techniques that could be used individually or in combination, to potentially minimize or eliminate the negative temporary effects on visual quality.
•

To the extent practicable, construction staging areas that are not needed once the project is completed would be required to be restored to pre-project existing conditions. Minimize to the extent practicable the amount of vegetation removal in clear and grub areas. Construction lighting would be shielded and/or focused on work areas to minimize ambient spillover of light into adjacent areas.

• •

Long-Term Effects No mitigation/conservation measures for construction plans and specifications are proposed.

General Measures
Temporary Effects Several mitigation measures could be employed individually or together to minimize operational and maintenance effects.

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

59

Many of the operational and maintenance activities such as routine sweeping, vegetation management, minor repairs, and signal operation promote and ensure safety, and, therefore, mitigation techniques must not hinder that function. Routine vegetation removal and pruning, particularly in the western half of the API, could be tapered to create a visual blending effect, rather than removing trees in stark, linear patterns. If done on a regular basis, routine sweeping could help maintain an ordered and tidy visual state. Limiting sweeping to off peak travel hours, if appropriate and feasible, could help limit congestion that may occur around maintenance vehicles. It would also minimize the number of viewers who would be exposed to congestion and the presence of maintenance vehicles. Minor repair work could also be limited to off peak travel hours, when appropriate, for the same reasons described above, and when not in use, maintenance vehicles could be parked out of view or behind vegetative shields. Lighting near work areas or on maintenance vehicles could be focused onto the work area and shielded to prevent spillover of light into adjacent areas, especially near residences. Long-Term Effects Several mitigation measures could be employed individually or together to minimize long-term effects. Although the alternatives would have no substantial negative effect on visual quality, specific mitigating measures that could provide longterm visual quality benefits include:
•

Plant trees and other vegetation in areas where it has been removed to soften and reconnect visual gaps and/or to buffer undesirable views. Re-vegetate slopes with appropriate (typically native) grasses, shrubs, and/or trees. Utilize directional street lights with beam cut-off and shading devices to minimize light pollution/light trespass.

• •

60

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

•

Construct concrete and raised median barrier and curb designs that employ simple clean lines, neutral colors, and/or other techniques that are not distracting to drivers. Use bold pavement striping clearly delineating travel lanes, bike facilities, and pedestrian crossings. Implement design detail such as landscaping, paving, and furnishings in areas where pedestrian use is expected (such as intersections, street crossings, and residential areas). Use treated (painted, stained, pigmented, or chemicalpressured) materials with low color contrast (to blend into the predominant surrounding environment). Use surface textures or other architectural techniques to minimize the appearance of bulkiness or mass.

• •

•

•

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

61

CHAPTER 9. References

Blankenship, Tal. 2005. Personal communication. City of Grants Pass Parks Division. December 8, 2005. City of Grants Pass. 2002. Grants Pass & Urbanizing Area Comprehensive Community Development Plan. http://www.ci.grants-pass.or.us/cdccdp.pdf. (Accessed March 23, 2005). Josephine County. 2005. The Comprehensive Plan for Josephine County. http://www.co.josephine.or.us/planning/Files/Code/GP2002.pdf. (Accessed March 23, 2005). Portland State University. 2006. Population Research Center. Available, http://www.pdx.edu/prc/. Accessed September 7, 2006 U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). 1988. Visual Impact Assessment for Highway Projects. Publication No. FHWA-HI-88-054.

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

63

CHAPTER 10. Glossary

Term Access control

Definition Access control is the limiting and regulating of public and private access to Oregon State’s highways.

Intactness

The integrity of visual order in the natural and human-created landscape, and the extent to which the landscape is free from visual encroachment. Intactness considers the overall intactness of the view and the level of encroachment upon the view.

Median barrier

A median barrier is typically a 3-foot-high concrete barrier that controls traffic movements.

Median curb

A median curb is an approximately 6-or 8-inch-high curb that emphasizes travel and turn-lane edges, delineates pedestrian walkways, controls drainage, assists in access control, and inhibits mid-block left turns.

Residents Right of way

Those whose primary residence is within the API. Right of way is the land set aside for use as a highway. Rights of way are purchased (acquired) prior to the construction of a new road. Usually enough extra land is purchased for the purpose of providing safety clearances, building retaining walls, and implementing other mitigation features.

Unity

The degree to which the visual resources of the landscape join together to form a coherent, harmonious visual pattern. Unity refers to the compositional harmony or compatibility between landscape elements. Unity considers the overall unity of a view as well as the unity between manmade and natural resources.

Vividness

Memorability of the visual impression received from contrasting landscape elements as they combine to form a striking and distinctive visual pattern. Four components constitute vividness: landform, vegetation, water, and manmade development.

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

65

APPENDIX A.

Photos of All Views Analyzed in this Report LANDSCAPE UNIT A View 1 Existing Visual Quality = 1 (very low) View 2 Existing Visual Quality = 3 (moderately low)

Highway 199 at Tussey Lane

Redwood Avenue looking east from west of Allen Creek Road View 4 Existing Visual Quality = 3 (moderately low)

View 3 Existing Visual Quality = 2 (low)

Highway 199 between Allen Creek Road and Dowell Road

Redwood Avenue looking west between Allen Creek Road and Dowell Road

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Appendix A

View 5 Existing Visual Quality = 1 (very low)

View 6 Existing Visual Quality = 1 (very low)

Highway 199 looking toward intersection with Fairgrounds Road View 15 Existing Visual Quality = 1 (very low)

Highway 199 intersection with Allen Creek Road View 16 Existing Visual Quality = 3 (moderately low)

Highway 199 looking west between Tussey Lane and Ringuette Street

Ringuette Street looking south toward Highway 199

Appendix A

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

View 17 Existing Visual Quality = 1 (very low)

View 18 Existing Visual Quality = 3 (moderately low)

Looking east from south border of the Fairgrounds, west of Fairgrounds Road View 19 Existing Visual Quality = 1 (very low)

Looking east from northeast corner of BMX track

Looking south toward Redwood Avenue from Daisy Lane

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Appendix A

LANDSCAPE UNIT B View 7 Existing Visual Quality = 4 (average) View 8 Existing Visual Quality = 6 (high)

Highway 199 looking east toward Willow Lane Highway 199 looking west between Hubbard Lane and Midway Avenue View 10 Existing Visual Quality = 5 (moderately high) View 11 Existing Visual Quality = 6 (high)

Looking northeast from Rogue Community College toward Highway 199

Looking west along Highway 199 from just west of Midway Avenue

Appendix A

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

LANDSCAPE UNIT D View 20 Existing Visual Quality = 5 (moderately high) View 21 Existing Visual Quality = 5 (moderately high)

Looking southwest from Demaray Drive toward future intersection with Hubbard Lane View 22 Existing Visual Quality = 5 (moderately high)

Looking south from Hubbard Lane toward future intersection with Demaray Drive

Looking northeast from Demaray Drive toward future intersection with Hubbard Lane

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Appendix A

APPENDIX B.

Existing Visual Quality Scores
Between Manmade & Natural OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE 1 3 2 3 1 1 1 3 1 3 1 4 6 5 6 5 5 5 VIVIDNESS Integrity of Visual Pattern From or Toward Road INTACTNESS UNITY

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

A A A A A A A A A A A B B B B D D D

1 2 3 4 5 6 15 16 17 18 19 7 8 10 11 20 21 22

F F F F T T F F T T T F F T T F F F

1 5 5 5 1 1 1 4 2 4 1 6 5 6 5 2 2 2

n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a

1 3 2 2 1 1 1 3 1 4 1 5 7 6 7 7 6 7

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 4 4 4 4 4

1 3 3 3 1 1 1 3 1 3 1 4 5 4 5 4 4 4

1 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 6 5 6 6 5 6

1 4 3 4 1 2 1 4 1 3 1 4 6 5 6 6 5 6

1 3 3 3 1 2 1 3 1 3 1 4 6 5 6 6 5 6

1 2 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 5 5 5 5 5 5

1 2 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 7 5 7 7 5 7

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Average 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 6 5 6 6 5 6
Appendix B

Overall

Water

Alternatives A and C: Midway Avenue to Dowell Road
Between Manmade & Natural OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE 4 4 6 6 5 5 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 VIVIDNESS E = Existing, P = Proposed Integrity of Visual Pattern From or Toward Road INTACTNESS UNITY

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

E P E P E P E P E P E P E P

B B B B B B B B D D D D D D

7 7 8 8 10 10 11 11 20 20 21 21 22 22

F F F F T T T T F F F F F F

6 6 5 5 6 6 5 5 2 2 2 2 2 2

n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

5 4 7 6 6 6 7 5 7 6 6 5 7 6

1 1 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

4 4 5 5 4 4 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4

4 4 6 6 5 5 6 6 6 5 5 4 6 5

4 4 6 5 5 5 6 5 6 5 5 5 6 5

4 4 6 6 5 5 6 6 6 5 5 5 6 5

4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 5 4 5 4

4 4 7 6 5 5 7 6 7 6 5 5 7 6

Appendix B

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Average 4 4 6 6 5 5 6 6 6 5 5 5 6 5

Overall

Water

Alternative A: Dowell Road to Fairgrounds Road
Between Manmade & Natural OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE 3 3 2 2 3 3 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1 VIVIDNESS E = Existing, P = Proposed Integrity of Visual Pattern From or Toward Road INTACTNESS UNITY

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

E P E P E P E P E P E P E P

A A A A A A A A A A A A A A

2 2 3 3 4 4 6 6 17 17 18 18 19 19

F F F F F F T T T T T T T T

5 5 5 5 5 5 1 1 2 2 4 4 1 1

n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1

3 3 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1

2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 3 1 1

4 3 3 3 4 4 2 1 1 1 3 2 1 1

3 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 3 3 1 1

2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1

2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Appendix B

Average 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1

Overall

Water

Alternative C: Dowell Road to Fairgrounds Road
Between Manmade & Natural OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE 3 2 2 2 3 3 1 1 1 1 3 3 1 1 VIVIDNESS E = Existing, P = Proposed Integrity of Visual Pattern From or Toward Road INTACTNESS UNITY

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

E P E P E P E P E P E P E P

A A A A A A A A A A A A A A

2 2 3 3 4 4 6 6 17 17 18 18 19 19

F F F F F F T T T T T T T T

5 5 5 5 5 5 1 1 2 2 4 4 1 1

n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

3 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1

3 3 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1

2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 3 1 1

4 2 3 3 4 4 2 1 1 1 3 3 1 1

3 2 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 3 3 1 1

2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 3 1 1

2 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 3 1 1

Appendix B

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Average 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 3 1 1

Overall

Water

Alternatives A and C: Fairgrounds Road to Tussey Lane
Between Manmade & Natural OVERALL VIEW AVERAGE 1 1 1 2 1 2 VIVIDNESS E = Existing, P = Proposed Integrity of Visual Pattern From or Toward Road INTACTNESS UNITY

Landscape Unit

Encroachments

View Number

Vegetation

Manmade

Landform

Average

Average

E P E P E P

A A A A A A

1 1 5 5 15 15

F F T T F F

1 1 1 1 1 1

n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

1 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1

1 2 1 2 1 2

1 2 1 2 1 2

1 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 2 1 2

Highway 199 Expressway Upgrade Project – Final Visual Quality Technical Report

Appendix B

Average 1 1 1 2 1 2

Overall

Water


				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:11
posted:6/16/2009
language:English
pages:91