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Welcome to the La Grande Critical Link Study Online Open House. The study examines the possible routes for an active transportation connection linking La Grande’s downtown business district, Eastern Oregon University, and residential areas to the south. In this virtual open house, you will see the eight route options identified by the study.


Learn about the study’s guiding principles.
Learn more about the evaluation process used to evaluate the different routes.
Learn more about the eight potential routes and their advantages and disadvantages.
Learn about the next steps and review the study’s supporting documents.

Goals and Objectives

This station summarizes the study’s goals and objectives.

Click on the icons below to learn more about the goals and objectives.


  • Promote solutions that encourage walking, bicycling, transit, and other sustainable travel modes to meet the daily needs of residents, students, and visitors.
  • Ensure a comfortable and safe travel environment for everyone, especially for those who walk, bike, access transit, or have disabilities.
  • Improve accessibility for people who have been underserved in the past.
  • Prioritize safety for people using different modes of transportation.


  • Create a low-stress walking and bicycling route connecting EOU with neighborhoods to the north and south and throughout La Grande.
  • Ensure the project meets transportation needs while also encouraging more people to visit EOU's campus.
  • Use existing walking and biking paths whenever possible, including those on EOU's campus.
  • Find ways to overcome obstacles like major street crossings, hills, and other barriers that make it difficult to walk or bike.


  • Incorporate ideas from previous planning efforts, like La Grande's Pedestrian/Bicycle Improvement Plan and EOU Master Plan.
  • Look into using upcoming city-street improvements as part of the Critical Link project.
  • Ensure new developments such as EOU’s Field House and the growing businesses on Adams Avenue are connected to the walking and biking paths.
  • Explore ways to incorporate improvements to the Grand Staircase as part of the Critical Link project.


  • Minimize any changes to the views around EOU and the Grand Staircase.
  • Establish a consistent design for the Critical Link’s route while fitting in with the surrounding landscape.
  • Design the paths to reduce conflicts between people walking and biking.
  • Improve accessibility while protecting the area's natural, cultural, and historical resources.


  • Develop a plan that balances practical solutions with cost-effectiveness.
  • Look into funding opportunities from different levels of government and consider their requirements.
  • Consider ongoing maintenance and associated labor and cost commitments.
  • Use a phased implementation approach with clear responsibilities for participating agencies to keep the project moving forward.

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Evaluation Process

Learn about the considerations that will be used to evaluate the potential routes.

The following 11 alignment considerations are being used to evaluate the eight possible routes:

  1. Level of comfort for people walking.
  2. Level of comfort for people cycling.
  3. Route directness.
  4. Connectivity/proximity to the EOU campus.
  5. Connectivity/proximity to historical/cultural landmarks.
  6. Potential to leverage previously identified or funded improvements.
  7. Grades (climbing or descending).
  8. Ability to serve historically marginalized communities.
  9. Potential impacts to environmental resources.
  10. Potential eligibility for Oregon Community Paths Program construction funding.
  11. The degree of community and Steering Committee support.

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Alignment Options and Evaluation

Review the eight route options and how they rate relative to the 11 alignment considerations mentioned in the previous station.  

Alignment Options 

This section describes the eight route options considered as part of the study. The illustration (below) depicts the various options.

Alignment Evaluation

The scorecard below depicts the eight route options and how they rate against the 11 alignment considerations referenced in the previous station.

Survey and Comment Form

Use the form below to tell us your preferred option(s) within the study and to share any other questions or comments you have. To review the eight options, click here.

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Next Steps

Going forward, this study will help City staff and decision-makers identify a preferred alignment connecting downtown La Grande and neighborhoods south of EOU.