The Historic Columbia River Highway continues to grow in popularity as does the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in general. The Historic Highway and supporting infrastructure, including parking areas on the Historic Highway and on I-84 at Multnomah Falls, have a limited capacity which is often reached. This Oregon Solutions project was designated by Governor Brown to identify solutions to some of the most immediate short term congestion and safety issues and a means to accomplish such improvements.
Using the Oregon Solutions approach the project team was able to identify issues of priority, obtainable goals and measurable outcomes with many of the aims underway. The Historic Highway is now served by both public and private shuttle services aimed at reducing the number of vehicles on the road. A host of parking and pedestrian circulation efforts to improve pedestrian safety and enhance the visitor experience are currently under review for implementation this summer and next. The involved agencies are working to create common messaging to encourage safe and respectful recreation throughout the Historic Highway. Finally, project team members have committed to ongoing communication and collaboration to ensure successful implementation of project solutions and continue to coordinate their efforts to address common issues in the future.
May 2017 Update: With support from ODOT the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee continues a coordinated effort to improve safety and reduce congestion on the popular Historic Columbia River Highway. They anticipate proceeding with a consultant team for the Congestion Mitigation Project beginning June 1.