What’s New on Woodward?

December 9, 2019 Comments Off on What’s New on Woodward?

A lot is happening along SE Woodward to improve the Neighborhood Greenway for all users. Here’s an update on the latest. . .

Speed bumps are in!

Crews installed these quickly during the first week of December, positioned between SE 52nd and SE 75th. There are two channels in each bump for bikes and emergency vehicles to pass through more smoothly.

Newly installed speed bump with channels on SE Woodward St. east of SE 67th Ave.

New “Shared Street” and 15 mph signs for the pinch point

As part of STNA’s efforts to improve pedestrian safety between SE 60th and SE 62nd, we have been in conversation with Scott Cohen, Neighborhood Greenways Coordinator at the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). Scott tasked PBOT’s traffic engineering staff to help with a couple of immediate changes — lowering the speed limit in the sidewalk-less stretch to 15 mph and installing new “shared street” signs. You should see these new signs in the next month or so.

Street sign with the words “shared street” under icons of a bicyclist, pedestrians, and a car. Signs like this will be installed on SE Woodward St. near SE 62nd Ave.

Others at PBOT had told us these changes would not be possible, so many thanks to Scott for helping make them happen. Combined with the speed bumps, these signs should call attention to the pinch point and improve conditions for people walking, bicycling, and living along SE Woodward.

ADA corners coming to SE 58th and SE 62nd

All corners along the repaved section of Woodward got brought up to current ADA standards as part of the recent roadway resurfacing. But the intersections at SE 58th and SE 62nd Aves. required more detailed design work, which took some time (see design files here). Now that the paint markings are down, expect to see these ADA corners installed soon.

Paint markings on the street at the northeast corner of SE Woodward St. and SE 62nd Ave.

Traffic counts

One of the ideas we explored at our October land use committee meeting was a traffic diversion pilot project in the 6100 block of Woodward. At the time, we lacked traffic data for the adjacent streets that would be affected by such a diversion. Scott (PBOT) pulled existing data and had additional counts done. You can see those traffic counts here. (Other traffic counts are attached to our November 2019 land use committee meeting summary.)

As a reminder, the idea behind the pilot project is to test whether removing some or all vehicle traffic from Woodward in the 6100 block (or thereabouts) would lead to safer conditions for pedestrians. A diverter in that block would likely lead to — 1) less cut-through traffic on Woodward, 2) more biking and walking on Woodward, and 3) more local traffic on SE Clinton, SE 61st, and SE 62nd (the shortest path around the diverter).

In November, the land use committee decided to hold off on making any recommendations to the board regarding this pilot project or other safety measures on Woodward. A lot of things are changing already, and we thought it best to wait and see what the results of those changes will be. In any event, the traffic data provides a good baseline to help with future decisions and to compare before/after should a pilot project like this happen.

Stop Controls at SE 58th, 62nd, and 67th

UPDATED 12/11/19: At our November land use committee meeting, we reviewed PBOT’s speed bump project map, which showed removal of the (east-west) stop signs on Woodward at SE 58th and SE 67th — turning those 4-way stops to 2-way stops in light of the enhanced speed controls on Woodward. There was unanimous concern in the room about this, particularly regarding Woodward @ SE 58th, given the proximity to the schools and Clinton Park and given the poor visibility caused by the vegetation in the traffic circle.

The land use committee agreed to respond first by reaching out to PBOT to express our concerns and see how definite those stop sign removal plans were. I did this, and our feedback was well received. I got confirmation today that the stop controls at SE 58th will remain unchanged (will continue to be a 4-way stop). The intersection of SE 62nd will keep its 4-way stop as well (no change was proposed there). PBOT is still reviewing the history of the 4-way stop installation at SE 67th.

There is no STNA land use committee meeting or board/general meeting in December. Both will meet again in January 2020. Enjoy the holidays!

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