5. Connections

CHAPTER 5: CONNECTIONS

No man is an island, Entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manner of thine own Or of thine friends were. Each mans death diminishes me, For I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know For whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee.

By John Donne

  As this famous poem implies, we are not a neighborhood that is self-contained or self-sufficient. What lies outside our borders affects us and what lies insides our borders affects others. As we dealt with the issues of Taylors Ferry Road, we came to realize that several issues will require coordination with those around us. I-5 Off-Ramp On the east end of the study area, Taylors Ferry has the I-5 South-bound off-ramp. This off-ramp has been the source of many problems. Many attempts have been made to make pedestrian movement through this area safe. Pedestrian trying to gain access to Capitol Highway along the south side of Taylors Ferry Road must cross the off-ramp. There have been many close calls as pedestrians have tried to dodge the cars turning east towards Capitol Highway. Because of the large volume of cars using the off-ramp at rush-hour, the intersection of Taylors Ferry Road is virtual grid-lock. Recent re-striping and re-signing attempted to make the off-ramp more efficient for vehicles. (Photo Omitted) As past attempts have not addressed the issues around this intersection, we have identified three alternatives. First, require a full stop at Taylors Ferry Rd, rather than a free flowing lane. Second, move the sidewalk to the north side of Taylors Ferry Road between S.W. 48th and S.W. Capitol Highway. This would remove the pedestrian traffic from the off-ramp area while still allowing pedestrian and bicycle access to Capitol Highway. But this requires expensive re-engineering of the land bridge that is too narrow for sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides. Plus, this does not address the congestion caused by neighborhood and freeway traffic merging together on Taylors Ferry Road. (Photo Omitted) A third alternative would to close this ramp and build a new I-5 off-ramp eastward off of As past attempts have not addressed the issues around this intersection, we have identified three alternatives. First, require a full stop at Taylors Ferry Rd, rather than a free flowing lane. Second, move the sidewalk to the north side of Taylors Ferry Road between S.W. 48th and S.W. Capitol Highway. This would remove the pedestrian traffic from the off-ramp area while still allowing pedestrian and bicycle access to Capitol Highway. But this requires expensive re-engineering of the land bridge that is too narrow for sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides. Plus, this does not address the congestion caused by neighborhood and freeway traffic merging together on Taylors Ferry Road. Barbur where Taylors Ferry Road used to exist before I-5. See map below. (Photo Omitted) This is already a public road. It would provide access to Barbur Blvd where a lighted intersection could be added that is not too near existing stop lights and would provide a much needed cross walk for pedestrians to cross Barbur Blvd. The freeway could utilize the existing shoulder, possibly with an accompanying retaining wall at the back of the business property adjacent to the I-5 right-a-way. This off-ramp would be as long as the existing Capitol Highway off-ramp. Access to existing businesses along Taylors Ferry Road could be accommodated with a divided street that would separate off-ramp traffic from local traffic. Traffic headed to PCC could turn left onto Barbur Blvd and then turn left again at Babur onto Capitol Highway. Because the I-5 traffic headed for Capitol Highway south of Barbur Blvd would no longer be Capitol Highway, the left turn lane off of Barbur Blvd at Capitol Highway, currently restricted to buses, would be opened up to all traffic. We believe that moving the off-ramp would be the preferable alternative. Having the freeway exit traffic directly exiting onto Taylors Ferry effectively and inappropriately upgrades the nature of Taylors Ferry. Also, this would remove freeway exit traffic from the already overloaded TaylorsFerry/Capitol Hwy/Barbur Blvd. As a result, only neighborhood traffic would be entering the intersection from Taylors Ferry Road. 48th Street Bridge (Photo Omitted) This pedestrian bridge idea was conceived during the planning of the Southwest Community Plan as an idea to connect our neighborhoods, especially for the children who attend Markam Elementary School. This is a project that would help connect the neighborhoods torn apart by the I-5 Freeway and allow good pedestrian access. 80th Outlet to Pacific Highway On the western side, we are connected to Washington County Citizen Participation Organization (CPO) # 3 north of Taylors Ferry Road, and CPO # 4M south of Taylors Ferry Road. These two CPOs share Taylor Ferry Road with Ashcreek and Crestwood as a means for residential traffic accessing downtown Portland. Currently there is only Taylors Ferry Road and 80th, north to Oleson Road, provide access to transit streets that will provide access to downtown Portland. (Photo Omitted) The City of Portland needs to maintain a dialog with Washington County to mitigate resulting traffic issues. For example, the new extension could be made one-way to only allow traffic movement from Taylors Ferry to Oleson Road.