Stoplight at SW 39th and BvHwy

Ever wish you had more time to turn left from Beaverton Hillsdale Highway (BvHwy) onto SW 39th?

Car waiting to turn left onto SW 39th on otherwise empty Beaverton Hillsdale Highway. Photo by Victor von Salza
Car waiting to turn left onto SW 39th from an otherwise empty BvHwy . Photo by Victor von Salza

It was determined that for about $15 per household ($2,500 total) the yellow light can be changed to a longer yellow flashing arrow during which you are allowed to turn left as long as it is safe to do so…and some of your neighbors have teamed up with the Bridlemile Neighborhood Association and Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. (SWNI) to help you improve this situation and collected $1000... and now:

8/26/2008 - The flashing yellow light at SW 39th Drive and BHH has been approved! It will take a couple more months, but our and City funding is in place for that project. - Greg Schifsky

Previous Updates:
8/5/2008 - With the Safe/Sound/Green Streets projects being tabled (removed from the November ballot) for now, I had a lengthy talk with Dan Anderson the PDOT liaison advocate person about the signal, the funding, feasibility. It is still alive. Bill Kloos is still active on this one and safety concerns are still being looked at, along with funding. If this does pass all the requirements for a flashing yellow, we might be able to get a neighborhood grant to cover the remaining dollars and make it happen that way. - Greg Schifsky
4/30/2008 - The last I heard from Bill Kloos, was that we need to wait all the way till November when transportation budgets are final from City to get any possible matching funds. - Greg Schifsky
1/24/2008 - Regarding our safety study, we have most of the field data, except information on the time to make the left turn maneuver. We will get that data next week, and then we need to prepare a summary report. I am shooting for Feb. 11th for completing all that work and report. Regarding the Safe, Sound, and Green Streets program, my intent was to include covering some costs to convert locations to flashing yellow arrow to improve efficiency. I will propose that we include this location under that program and consider your $1,000 as all that is needed from the neighborhood. - Bill Kloos, PDOT Traffic Engineer Note as of February 6th, 2008, Safe, Sound, and Green Streets has been referred to the November 2008 ballot.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How much money has been collected so far?
A: As of December 27th, 2007 - 46 people have contributed $1000 of the $2500 needed. This page was first posted on July 5th, door to door flyers were distributed to about 300 homes and apartments along SW38th, SW39th, and the streets that feed into them July 10th-12th, and this project was also featured in the August, September, and October 2007 SWNI News. Totals updated as checks come in.

Q: Will the left turn from SW 39th onto BvHwy also have a flashing yellow arrow?
A: Unfortunately the left turn from SW 39th onto BvHwy does not meet visibility requirements and cannot be included in this change; only the left turn from BvHwy onto SW 39th meets the requirements.

Q: What is the longest time that you have to wait before you can make a left turn?
A: Currently there are two timing cycles, the longest period you should have to wait between one green arrow and the next is either 60 or 75 seconds. If there are periods longer than 75 seconds then there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
10/31/2007 Bill Kloos reported that he is going to double check that the above times are indeed what the current programming is. Also he has "asked our data group to get 48 hours of speed data for westbound B-H and 24 hours of time lapse video showing the left turn bay. From the latter tape we can see how long left turning people are waiting, see how long they take to make the turn, and look for any unusual driver behavior."

Q:What concerns have people had regarding this proposed change?
A: A couple of people have asked if this change would result in more thru traffic on SW38th and SW39th. One person has asked PDOT about the safety of allowing people to judge for themselves whether turning left on a yellow flashing arrow here was safe, he is concerned for a number of reasons: the on coming traffic often exceeds the posted speed limit, the turn is not just a simple 90º left turn but a tad more than a 180º (causing people to perhaps make a slower turn than at other locations), there is a bus stop on the east side of the turn but no sidewalks along 39th (making it more likely that pedestrians might be on the street), factors which taken together (especially when combined with winter night time conditions) could make this a more dangerous turn - not only for the person turning, but for oncoming traffic and pedestrians too, and therefore warrants some additional study and consideration. PDOT Traffic Engineer Bill Kloos is collecting more data on traffic speeds at this site, accident information at existing flashing yellow arrow sites, and more.

Q: Was my donation tax deductible?
A: Yes. Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. (SWNI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.