The City of Sisters is a popular western-themed community in Central Oregon. Cascade Avenue (US 20) is the town’s “main street,” but is also a designated state freight route that sees an average of 12,000 vehicles per day. Despite its walkable downtown district and charming pedestrian-scale buildings, Cascade Avenue itself is not pedestrian-friendly. It suffers from narrow, pitted sidewalks, worn crosswalks, poor and non-functional stormwater drainage, dilapidated pavement conditions, and deteriorating curbs.
SERA and GreenWorks worked with the Oregon TGM Program, ODOT, the City of Sisters, and local residents, business owners, and property owners on a plan to improve a six-block section of Cascade Avenue. The Streetscape Plan (adopted in 2011) seeks to enhance the livability, walkability, attractiveness, and safety of downtown Sisters while also spurring local economic development.
The Cascade Avenue streetscape has been designed to be as distinctive as Sisters itself, complementing the community’s 1880s western architectural theme and its unique geographic setting. The design evokes the town’s modern western character by sourcing natural soft woods and forged metal. Groves of attractive white-bark columnar trees are clustered in wildflower-strewn landscape planters along the street to provide pockets of shade and protection from traffic on Cascade. Specific improvements will include new concrete paver sidewalks and ADA-accessible curb ramps, curb extensions, bio-retention stormwater facilities, pedestrian-scale street lighting, street trees, benches, drinking fountains, bicycle parking, wayfinding signage, and waste containers. SERA and GreenWorks are currently working with ODOT on the project’s construction documents; groundbreaking on the new streetscape is expected to take place in 2013.