Frequently Asked Questions
In May 2018, Tualatin voters approved a $20 million General Obligation bond measure – a new property tax – to pay for improvements to the City’s transportation system over the next 3 to 5 years. This new program is already underway.
Bond funds will be used citywide for projects for traffic congestion relief, neighborhood safety and safe access to schools.
Yes. The INRIX, Inc. Global Traffic Scorecard (February 2018) ranks Portland as the #12 most congested city of the 297 largest cities in the U.S. The WAZE Driver Satisfaction Index (December 2017) lists Portland as the #5 most congested U.S. city. Tualatin residents report that congestion on major highways encourages motorists to detour through neighborhood streets. As more people drive on city streets, they become less safe for people walking and biking. Projects that encourage drivers to obey the speed limit and yield for people crossing the street – especially near schools and parks – will make streets safer for everyone.
The planned projects will be constructed over the next 3 to 5 years. The first five “Fast-Track” projects will be completed by early 2019.
Citizen Involvement Organizations (CIOs), the Aging Task Force, local residents and businesses provided input to City staff. Initially more than 100 projects were listed citywide. From this, three types of projects were chosen for bond funding:
- Traffic congestion relief
- Neighborhood traffic safety
- Safe access to schools
Yes. Tualatin City Council reserved funding to be allocated later citywide for installing neighborhood safety projects and driver feedback signs. These project locations will be determined with input from the community. If you have an idea for a project or a comment on any of the proposed projects please fill out the project suggestion form.
Projects “Next Up” include:
- Garden Corner Curves: Moratoc Dr. to Willow St. (pedestrian, bike and roadway improvements)
- Hwy 99W: Pony Ridge neighborhood to 124th Ave. (new sidewalks)
- Boones Ferry Rd near Tualatin High School (crosswalk with pedestrian activated signal; new sidewalks along Boones Ferry)
- Martinazzi Ave. and Sagert St. (new traffic signal)
- Tualatin-Sherwood Rd.: Martinazzi to I-5 (add a third eastbound lane from Martinazzi to I-5; other improvements)
The portfolio of priority projects is estimated to use all of the voter-approved bond proceeds – $20 million.
The projects will improve traffic flow at key locations throughout the city. Changes that will allow the street system to work better include new traffic signals, reconfiguring intersections, strategically adding travel and turn lanes, and improving signage.
Tualatin-Sherwood Road is owned by Washington County; the City is a partner on the project to widen it to 5 lanes between Sherwood and Tualatin. The City’s bond-funded project will reconfigure the segment between Martinazzi and I-5 to make this section of the road more efficient and intuitive for drivers. Other non-bond-funded projects, including the 224th Ave Extension, will improve the roadway network and provide alternatives to Tualatin-Sherwood Road.
ODOT recently completed a project to add auxiliary lanes to I-5 in Tualatin, adding some capacity to the highway at the interchanges. Washington County is nearing completion of the first phase of the 124h Ave Extension, and beginning design of the future phase of the project. TriMet is improving bus service between Tualatin and Portland by expanding service on Line 96 and also planning for light rail service to Bridgeport Village. Find more information about projects underway by regional agencies here.
Upon approval of the Moving Forward bond, the City moved quickly to identify projects that were clearly defined and could be designed and constructed with relative speed. These “Fast-Track” projects are smaller and simpler than some other roadway projects. Work is now underway on bigger projects that will improve both safety and traffic flow. The first major project is Tualatin-Sherwood Rd., from Martinazzi Ave. to I-5, which will involve redesigning the intersection at SW Nyberg Rd. and Fred Meyer, adding a travel lane, and changing signal timing).
Neighborhood safety projects will include new pedestrian crossings with signals, crosswalks, sidewalks, driver feedback signs that display speed, and other projects.
Safety improvements will be installed in areas including downtown, Boones Ferry, the Garden Corner Curves at 105th/Blake, 65th, Highway 99W, Grahams Ferry and other areas.
The City currently has one pedestrian-activated signal located on Leveton Drive, just west of 108th.
The City has driver feedback signs on westbound 106th near Ibach and in school zones on Boones Ferry Road, Borland Road and Avery Street.
If it is an urgent problem – for example an injury accident – please call 911 immediately! Other traffic safety problems can be noted on the “Suggest a Project” page of the website
School safety projects will include new mid-block crosswalks with pedestrian-activated signals, sidewalks, speed controls, and driver feedback signs that display speed.
Tualatin High School, Tualatin Elementary, Byrom Elementary and Hazelbrook Middle School will all receive school safety projects.
The property tax rate increased by $0.39 per $1,000 of assessed property value, or $117 per year for a Tualatin home assessed at $300,000.
Future rounds of funding are not proposed at this time. The City’s focus is successful and timely construction of the current priority projects to keep Tualatin Moving Forward.
The City considered other funding sources. Some sources are limited and/or restricted for other uses. State highway funds received by Tualatin cover only certain road projects each year, which affects Tualatin’s ability to construct other projects. The proceeds from Tualatin’s road maintenance fund are dedicated to street maintenance and are not available to support traffic congestion and safety improvement projects.
Tualatin’s bond rating (Aa1 by Moody’s) allowed the City to obtain a lower borrowing cost when the measure passed. Tualatin has one of the lowest tax rates among Washington County cities (see box), and a level of debt that is just 3.46% of the City’s legal limit.
Washington County Cities Property Tax RatesTax Year 2018/19
* Rates per $1,000 assessed property value. Tax Rates include bond rate and local option levies.
Pedestrian Activated Signals
Pedestrian activated signals are used at intersections that don’t have a traffic signal, or at locations along a road where people walking and biking frequently need to cross. Users press a button, triggering a flashing light. This gets drivers’ attention and communicates that a person is preparing to cross and that vehicle traffic should yield. While there are different types of pedestrian activated signals, the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) is a common assembly, and will be installed at several locations in the Tualatin Moving Forward project area.
Vehicles are required to stop at all crosswalks, whether they are marked or not. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers do not stop despite the presence of a crosswalk and warning signs. Pedestrian activated signals increase driver awareness, and yielding compliance.
Traffic signals must meet requirements defined by national standards, which are
based on the number of cars and pedestrians on the main road and side streets. Many intersections do not meet the standards required to install a traffic signal. They also require a traffic study to install, involving substantial time and money.
These specialized signals have additional benefits. Unlike a traffic signal, a pedestrian
activated signal prioritizes pedestrians over cars. Shortly after a pedestrian pushes
the button, the yellow flashing light turns on, signaling drivers to stop for pedestrians
crossing the street. As soon as the pedestrians clear the roadway, the drivers may
proceed even if the light is still flashing yellow. Traditional traffic signals with red,
yellow, and green lights do not allow pedestrians to cross as soon as they push the “walk” button. At a typical traffic signal, pedestrians may have to wait several minutes before they can cross.
In locations where pedestrian activated signals have been installed, drivers often slow down before the crosswalk in anticipation that the flashing lights may be activated by someone wanting to cross the street. Flashing lights can be installed in advance of the crossing, in addition to the flashing lights at the crossing, to alert vehicles that someone is in the crosswalk. Pedestrian activated signals increase driver awareness even when no one is crossing the street.
Tualatin currently has one pedestrian activated signal, which is located on Leviton Drive just west of SW 108th Avenue where approximately 500 Lam Research employees cross Leviton Drive as they walk between buildings during the workday. That signal was paid for by the adjacent business, Lam Research.
You can submit a request/recommendation at our Suggest a Project page.
Driver Feedback Signs
A driver feedback sign tells the driver of an approaching vehicle how fast they are going. The sign uses radar to determine the vehicle’s speed. A speed radar measures the speed of each approaching vehicle and displays it in real time below a posted speed sign. By raising awareness of actual speed, it improves compliance with the posted speed. This device is particularly useful at locations where the posted speed has recently been reduced. Speed reader signs are most effective on streets with one lane in each direction.
Driver Feedback Signs are for education and information and do not enforce the speed limit.
The feedback sign flashing the driver’s actual speed gets the attention of the driver, alerting them that they are exceeding the speed limit. They may also include a “slow down” message or a strobe effect. While the signs do not have a camera, the feedback often provdes an impetus for drivers to self-correct. The driver feedback signs include monitors that collect information about traffic volume, speeds, time and date. The City can use this information to determine the effectiveness of the signs and consider whether enforcement measures are needed.
Driver feedback signs provide people with information about their actions in real time, then gives them an opportunity to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors. Action, information, reaction.
There are several driver feedback signs installed throughout the City in areas that have high pedestrian activity such as schools and parks. Some locations with driver feedback signs include Tualatin Elementary School on Avery Street, Edward Byrom Elementary on Boones Ferry Road, Ibach Park on Ibach Street and Little Woodrose Natural Area
on Boones Ferry Road. The driver feedback signs in school zones are usually only on when school is in session. We have a driver feedback sign on Leviton Drive near SW 108 Ave, Sagert Street near Altfaliti Park, and Ibach Street near Ibach Park.
You can submit a request/recommendation at our Suggest a Project page.