CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW EXISTING CONDITIONS
The Task Force reviewed City transportation policies and plans, learned the history of Taylors Ferry Road, and conducted an on-site walking tour of existing conditions.
City planning documents categorize Taylors Ferry Road as a:
- Neighborhood Collector Street
- Community Transit Street
- City Bikeway
- City Walkway
- Local Service Truck Street
- Minor Emergency Response Street
- Community Corridor Design Street
These designations have definitions, standards and objectives. For more information see the Appendix for excerpts from the Comprehensive Plan and TSP.
The TSP includes: “Project #90064 Taylors Ferry, SW (Capitol Hwy - City Limits): Bicycle & Pedestrian Improvements. Provide bicycle lanes, including shoulder widening and drainage, and construct sidewalk for access to transit (40th - 60th). Portland $3,000,000 (Years 6 - 10).”
A site visit was made on April 17, 2004. The Task Force walked the study area, took photographs, noted conditions such as right-of-way variations, transit stop locations, shoulder widths, stormwater drainage ditches, topography and vegetation encroachment into the ROW.
STUDY AREA PHOTOGRAPHS
- Six color aerial photographs show property lines and public right-of-way lines. Note the variations in public ROW dimensions.
- Black & white photographs were taken on the site visit.
Site Visit Photos by Tom Schaper, Task Force member
Looking west on Taylors Ferry Road from Capitol Highway intersection, the only portion with sidewalks. This is where traffic exits Interstate 5 southbound, Capitol Hwy Exit.
Looking west across the “land bridge” over a deep ravine. The existing footpath is wet and muddy. The narrowness of the fill is problematic. Widening the space to make room for bike lanes and sidewalks will require engineering and construction.
Looking east on Taylors Ferry Rd. to the intersection with Capitol Highway. The off-ramp from I-5 is on the right.
Looking west from “land bridge” up the existing path. The guardrail on the north side of the road offers protection from a steep drop off. There is no room on the north side for peds or bikes. The public ROW is 59 ft. from Capitol to 48th Ave.
Looking directly north from the land bridge path at new development. After this photo was taken two new houses have been built similar to those on the left.
Looking east toward the land bridge. The asphalt pedestrian path was installed in 1988 using funds from a grant obtained by the Crestwood NA.
Looking west up the footpath toward 48th and the traffic signal.
View west approaching the crest of the hill and the traffic signal at 48th Ave.
Task Force members inspect a stormwater drain at 48th Avenue intersection. The asphalt pedestrian path ends here.
Looking northwesterly across intersection at 48th Avenue.
Looking west from the edge of the 48th Avenue intersection. The ROW on TFR varies a great deal. See aerial photographs with lot lines and ROW. For example, in this view the ROW is 73 feet for 1/2 block. From that point west it narrows to 58 ft. to 49th Ave. From 49th Ave. it widens to 72.5 ft. for one block to 50th Avenue, and so forth.
View of a culvert at 49th Avenue.
Looking east toward 49th Ave. (on the right) and in the distance, the 48th Ave. intersection beyond (cars). Note the overhanging laurel that crowds the narrow shoulder. Not only is the laurel planted in the public right-of-way, it is not maintained in way that could benefit pedestrians.
Looking northeasterly across Taylors Ferry Road at 50th Ave.
Looking west on Taylors Ferry Road towards 51st Ave. in the distance. This shows the crowding of pedestrians by the laurel hedges planted and growing in public right-of-way. The actual public ROW is 56 ft.
Looking west on TFR towards 52nd Avenue.
Looking west on TFR towards 52nd Avenue.
Looking west on TFR approaching 52nd Avenue.
Looking east on TFR from 52nd Avenue.
Looking east on TFR from 52nd Avenue on the left and right.
Looking west on TFR from 53rd Avenue.
Looking west on TFR toward 54th Avenue on the right. The “Little Store” is ahead in the distance on the right at 55th Avenue.
Looking east on TFR from 55th Avenue.
Looking across Taylors Ferry Road at “The Little Store” at 55th Avenue.
Looking west on TFR from 55th Avenue. Note the deep stormwater ditch on the left.
Looking east on TFR from 56th Ave. toward the little store on 55th.
Looking east on TFR at 56th Avenue (on right). Note the stormwater ditch.
Looking west on TFR from 56th Avenue.
Looking east on TFR from 57th Avenue.
Looking west on TFR towards 59th Avenue (in the distance just before the white picket fence on the right).
Looking east on TFR toward 59th Avenue (just past the white picket fence).
Looking west on TFR from 60th Avenue.
Looking west on TFR going down the hill toward 62nd Avenue.
Inspecting stormwater facility at TFR and 62nd Avenue.
Looking east on TFR up the hill from 62nd Avenue.
Looking west on TFR from 62nd Avenue toward the County line at 65th.
SUMMARY OF EXISTING CONDITONS
Taylors Ferry Road serves cars and trucks almost exclusively. It does not function well for pedestrians, bicyclists or transit riders for a number of reasons. The most important and obvious deficiency is the lack of adequate facilities. Since TFR was built several facilities have been added that have had a detrimental effect such as the I-5 Capitol Highway freeway exit, and the absence of a left turn lane when a stop light at 48/45th was installed.
Taylors Ferry was never built as a place for people to walk. The road was designed for wagons and then automobiles. The result is a lack of places for people to walk safely along the road. There is one pedestrian asphalt path going west from the “land bridge” to 48th which is a safe place to walk, but it goes no further.
Sections of TFR right-of-way has dense, overhanging vegetation encroaching onto the shoulder area making walking difficult. This forces pedestrians to hug the white stripe. These stretches are acutely unsafe and uncomfortable and it discourages walking.
Taylors Ferry Road has no bike lanes, narrow shoulders and fast moving traffic. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance rates Taylors Ferry Road an “F” and does not recommend using the Road. The potential for bicycle facilities to play an important part in Southwest Portland is great.
The Comprehensive Plan’s Transportation Element acknowledges the inadequacy of Southwest Portland’s pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and specifically recommends enhanced access for bicyclists. This Plan will include provisions for improving bicycle accessibility.
Taylors Ferry Road is served by one bus line, TriMet #43, which runs from Washington Square shopping mall, along Taylors Ferry Road to downtown Portland. It runs hourly during off-peak times from 6 AM to 7 PM. There is no night service. Weekend service is hourly (Sat. 8 AM – 5 PM; Sun. 9 AM – 5 PM). There are no bus shelters. TriMet reports that boarding counts do not yet warrant transit shelters.
A hodge-podge of features comprise the stormwater management system on TFR. The dominant feature is several sections of long, grass-covered ditches. Once stretch of TFR is culverted and has no ditches. There are no curbs or gutters.