The mission of the SWHRL transportation committee is to strengthen our active transportation and bus connections to downtown Portland and Hillsdale and to seize opportunities to improve safety for all modes of transportation on our Collector streets.
Read about the State of Transportation in Southwest Hills.
Do you have concerns about traffic, road, bike, pedestrian, or trails issues? Please email SWHRL Transportation committee at email@example.com.
Southwest in Motion: The Talbot/Greenway/Patton Intersection Design
On August 31, 2020, PBOT's Scott Cohen released the Final Draft of the intersection design. It is clear from the new design that PBOT took the neighborhood comments to heart and has made substantive changes to its original design. Thank you to all who participated in this process with your comments and ideas.
Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project
The Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project is a proposed expansion of the MAX light rail system into Southwest Portland, Tigard and Tualatin and is part of the "Get Moving 2020" bond measure that Metro has referred to the November ballot.
More information about the project can be found at https://trimet.org/swcorridor/ or please find a short video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbPFaWX6b8M&feature=youtu.be
Portland economist Joe Cortright published a scathing and informative critique of the measure, The Case against Metro's $5 billion transportation bond, in the CityObservatory.
And GB Arrington, a former TriMet Director of Strategic and Long Range Planning, also thinks that "TriMet and Metro lost sight of their job to deliver livability to the region's citizens" and is voting against Measure 26-128. https://cityobservatory.org/why-this-portland-transit-veteran-is-voting-no-on-metros-bond/
SW Broadway Survey
Recently, the Land Use and Transportation Committees sent out a survey to every resident of SW Broadway Drive we could find, from downtown to SW Vista. Primarily a questionnaire about traffic and pedestrian concerns, we also asked what other issues were important to residents along this street. If you did not get one, or misplaced yours, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org "attn: Broadway” and we will get another one out to you. We will put the results up later this summer; information from this survey will be presented to various Portland bureaus for (hopefully) future action.
SWHRL is in the process of developing a few other surveys, which will be on this web page or emailed to those who have provided us an address; to better represent you, we need to know your concerns, ideas and view of what SWHRL can do for you.
What is "Street Equity"
Check out the New York Times article that looks at the concept of “street equity” and the opportunity to change how we view our streets and right of ways to make them more friendly to other forms of transport. While it focuses on what is possible for Manhattan, there could certainly be opportunities in Portland to re-imagine our streets. It is an idea that does not eliminate cars in the city, or deny one to anyone who needs one. This street equity approach aims at reducing the prevalence of cars, the amount of space they occupy, and demand for their services. The Transportation Committee is focused on improving pedestrian and bike safety in our neighborhood, but thinking beyond that to a bold new future that is less car-centric and more climate friendly should not be overlooked.
In response to the Covid-19 public health crisis, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is rolling out a new initiative to make our streets more accessible and safer for everyone. PBOT will be converting Portland's extensive Neighborhood Greenway network to "local access only." They will also be evaluating other streets in order to see what changes could help Portland travel safely during the pandemic. Please call 503-823-7233 (SAFE) or email email@example.com if you have a street you’d like to suggest.
As you can see from the map, Portland has many designated streets Greenways--just not in the southwest! That means it is important for us to make our voice heard. SWHRL transportation advocates have already written to PBOT requesting that they consider safety improvements to our popular local greenways--SW Fairmount and SW Montgomery--both of which lack formal city "Greenway" designations. Read up about Safe Streets and add your voice. What street do you think qualifies? firstname.lastname@example.org
SW Patton Rd Traffic Study
March 1, 2020-- Recently, SWHRL requested that the city perform a traffic count/speed study on SW Patton Road, near SW Old Orchard--perhaps you saw the cables in the road. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) emailed the results to us last week. To summarize them, Patton at Old Orchard sees about 8,764 cars a day, east- and west-bound combined. There are significantly more east-bound cars (5,028) than west-bound cars (3,736). Also, yes, cars are speeding. Most cars seem to be going between 26 and 37 mph, with a few hot shots hitting the cables at faster than 40 mph. 86.2% of east-bound cars exceed the posted speed of 25 mph.
City Council votes to approve Southwest in Motion (SWIM)
The December 5th council hearing was well-attended by SW transportation activists. The SWIM plan, similar to Portland's other "in Motion" plans, was a long time in the making. Work began in 2013 and the project cycled through several PBOT project leads before Nick Falbo took charge and ably sheparded a committee of committed southwest stakeholders. The result is an excellent project list of strategically targeted low-cost improvements to pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure which will have outsized impacts, and which can realistically be implemented in the next five years.
Our neighborhood participated fully in this effort. Thank you to those who attended an open house, sent in comments and lobbied for our projects. A special thanks to Rob Wilcox who represented SWHRL on the Stakeholders committee.
The plan includes:
- Identification of priority short term walking and biking projects, such as bike lanes, sidewalks, shoulders, and neighborhood greenways.
- List of short-term crossing enhancements, including enhanced and new crosswalk designs.
- Discussion of other potential road safety enhancements, including walkable shoulders and traffic calming.
- Promotion of key programs to support community-initiated projects, such as block parties, community plazas, and urban trails.
- Policy recommendations to advance walking and biking in Southwest Portland.
Neighborhood improvements in the SWHRL area which have been given a high priority are:
1) Crossing enhancement to the intersection of Greenway, Talbot and Patton.
2) Bike signage improvements to Montgomery Drive (uphill from the crossing with Vista) This would include way-finding signs and possibly sharrows or Bikeway signs.
We hope that this new attention will help to give more weight to neighbors’ requests for speed cushions on Montgomery Drive.
About all that shrubbery:
Remember, it is the adjacent property owner’s responsibility to keep trees and other plants from occluding street signs and blocking visibility near intersections.
In zones marked 25 mph, stop, yield, and crosswalk signs must be visible from 150 feet. This means that a low hanging lateral branch can be at some distance from a sign, yet still block visibility. Portland Bureau of Transportation has prepared a two-page guide to clearing vegetation obstructions. The guide includes city phone numbers for questions and complaints.
For more useful information see the PBOT page on Tree and Shrub Trimming.
You can report obstruction of signs and signals 24/7 at 503 823 1700.
Everyone is endangered when overgrown foliage blocks our view of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
SW Broadway Drive Speeding:
This past May, the Portland Bureau of Transportaion (PBOT) conducted a traffic speed count on lower SW Broadway Drive, at SWHRL's request. SWHRL has been receiving numerous complaints from neighbors who live on or near Broadway about the dangerous situations speeding cars create.
PBOT has posted the study results. As you can see—and as we already know—everyone is driving way too fast. This confirms it. Eastbound at 9th Ave, 92.1% of cars drive over the speed limit; 26.9% exceed it by 10 mph.
The way to use the traffic speed count site is to find SW Broadway Drive on the map, then zoom in until you see the blue-dot locations. Click on one of the Broadway dots on the map. That will select the appropriate rows of data in the report, like you see below.
The bottom two rows are the dot uphill from 9th Ave. East bound traffic is the blue row, west bound the row below it. The two top rows are the dot just uphill of Hoffman, Eastbound first, then west.
These numbers underscore the importance of SWHRL’s advocacy of traffic calming measures, and our current request that PBOT design a corridor-length plan for the street for pedestrian and bicycle use. Making Broadway a safer street for all travelers is a multi-year project which requires firm and continuous lobbying of PBOT.
If you come across a maintenance problem with one our neighborhood trails, staircases, or shortcuts, call PBOT at 503 823-1700. This number will respond to broken steps and untrimmed hedges. By the way, neighbors are responsible for keeping hedges pruned and clear of the public Right-of-Way. The PBOT line 823-SAFE can also direct you to the appropriate office.
Recently, a broken step on the Montgomery-Talbot staircase was reported, and PBOT repaired it within days.
For more information on hikes and trails, visit SWTrails.