In the News Archive: 2020
Press Release | December 29, 2020
Tualatin's New Traffic Safety Projects Announced
Tualatin residents may be noticing new traffic safety improvements springing up all over town. That progress is expected to continue in 2021.
In late October, Tualatin City Council approved the latest round of community-nominated Neighborhood Traffic Safety projects to be constructed in 2021. The priority projects include signalized pedestrian crossings and driver feedback signs at six locations:
- 50th Ave and Wilke Rd
- Nyberg Ln and 57th Ave
- Sagert St and 72nd Ave
- Boones Ferry Rd and Tualatin Commons
- Hazelbrook Rd at Jurgens Park
- Boones Ferry Rd and Arapaho Rd
These six projects will be completed next year as part of Tualatin Moving Forward, the City’s bond-funded transportation program. The total cost of the projects is estimated at $524,000.
Most of the new pedestrian crossings will include state-of-art reflective signage plus rapid flashing beacons with push-button controls. Tualatin’s experience, backed by national research, shows these signals are the safest option for protecting drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The high intensity LED beacons capture drivers’ attention when pedestrians want to cross, in all weather conditions, with day and night time visibility.
The driver feedback signs represent another emerging technology. These solar-powered LED screens use radar to display speeds and slow drivers. Tualatin has found these signs are also highly effective in improving pedestrian safety.
At a recent City Council meeting, Councilor Valerie Pratt expressed her appreciation: “I walk everywhere in Tualatin and these are all great crossings. The one I want to really thank you for is Boones Ferry and Arapaho Rd because I probably cross there twice a week.”
The recently announced neighborhood safety improvements were selected through a community-wide process that sought nominations from residents and community groups, with 11,000 postcards mailed to Tualatin addresses. This year, 243 project ideas were submitted by community members. The six selected projects met the criteria of spreading improvements citywide, solving specific safety problems, and fitting within the program’s budget. “I love how successful the outreach was. I think it’s a really great foundation for management of bond resources,” said Councilor Bridget Brooks.
Another round of safety projects will be selected in October 2021. Residents who want to suggest a project in their neighborhood can go to the website TualatinMovingForward.com and click on the Suggest a Project button.
Meanwhile, the City of Tualatin also announced an upcoming online community survey that will ask residents how to make walking and biking safer along Boones Ferry Road, where two of the projects are located.
TheTimes | December 18, 2020
Tualatin moves forward on safety improvements
The safety improvements were made on Tualatin's Nasoma Lane and Tualatin Road at 112th Avenue.
Tualatin continues to move forward with creating safer city streets with the recent completion of two projects.
One is a pedestrian safety project on Southwest Nasoma Lane that included pedestrian-activated flashing beacons, a high-visibility crosswalk and new curb ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. That project between The Community at Marquis Tualatin and Marquis
"The Nasoma Lane project cost $97,000 and took about three months to construct," said Kelsey Lewis, deputy program manager for the Tualatin Public Works Department. "This crosswalk and updated curb ramps provide a safer place for Marquis residents and others to cross, and provides more visibility for drivers to see them. We are pleased to improve walkability for seniors and others in Tualatin."
The second completed project was roadwork on Southwest Tualatin Road between 105th and 115th avenues, where speed feedback signs, a pedestrian-activated flashing beacons, a high visibility crosswalk and ADA-compliant curb ramps were added as well.
The cost of that project, which took about four months to complete, was $140,500, according to Lewis, who noted that a new crosswalk at Southwest 112th Avenue is more easily seen than before, especially with the addition of a driver feedback sign that is designed to make motorists slow down and gives them more time to see pedestrians crossing the roadway.
"These projects improve safety and hep our streets feel more connected," Lewis said. "It's pretty exciting to hear these ideas come from community members and bring them to life as completed projects."
Funding for the projects comes from the $20 million Tualatin Moving Forward bond measure passed by voters in 2018. Of the more than 35 projects the bond pays for, 14 have been completed, according to a staff report.
A major project currently underway focuses on improvements to the Garden Corner Curves. Work on the $3 million project began in August to upgrade the roadway that follows Southwest 105th Avenue/Blake Street/108 Avenue between Avery and Willow streets. Completion is expected sometime in 2021.
The project includes widening the road as well as adding a new off-road shared use path. Safety features include pedestrian-activated flashing beacons at Southwest Moratoc Drive and Blake Street/108th Avenue.
TualatinLife.com | October 15, 2020
Transportation Bond Projects Continue to Advance
Tualatin's 2018 transportation safety bond program continues to make progress toward safer pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, with a recent string of project completions now in the books.
The $20 million bond program is funding 25 separate small projects ranging from simple new crosswalks to those that include roadway, pedestrian and bicycle lane improvements or additions. On Sept. 28, the Tualatin City Council was given a progress report showing the work done on seven different projects that are in various stages of completion.
A year ago, City officials provided the Council with a bus tour that took Councilors to a variety of projects in person. This year, however, COVID-19 took that option off the plate.
"Last year about the same time, we were on a bus and it was pretty darn fun," Tualatin Public Works Director Jeff Fuchs told the Council. "The world has changed a teeny bit this year."
The highlight of this year's virtual tour was the single largest project of the bond program, both in terms of the size of the project area, as well as the price tag. The $3.57 million Garden Corner Curves project stretches from SW 105th Avenue at Morotoc Drive to SW 108th Avenue at Willow Street, passing its namesake Garden Corner nursery along the way at a sharp S-shaped curve in the road.
"We're very excited that construction has now begun," said City program analyst Kelsey Lewis. "Some work will get done this fall, we'll have a pause for this winter, and it will start up again and be completed next year."
Construction at the Garden Corner curves will include new roadway improvements, new sidewalks, new pedestrian crossings and new bicycle lanes on a dangerous stretch of road that has seen numerous automobile crashes in recent years.
"There is no room for bypass and pedestrians have a very dangerous time coming through this corner," Fuchs said.
Crews from Brothers Concrete Cutting out of Albany recently began breaking up old pavement to make way for stormwater drainage improvements, with other work set to follow shortly.
Lewis said traffic would be restricted through this stretch of road into next year as crews tackle various phases of work. This is partly due to high traffic counts in the area, which include as many as 15,000 vehicles per week passing through the area.
"It's a really tight corridor," she said. "There's a lot of traffic control, a lot of flagging trying to maintain orderly calmness during construction."
One of the other high-profile projects currently reaching the finishing stages is in front of Tualatin High School on Boones Ferry Road. At the south end of the school campus crews are wrapping up a new pedestrian crossing with flashing signals and new sidewalks decorated with custom art created for the bond program.
Other projects reviewed at the Sept. 28 meeting include:
- Tualatin-Sherwood Road improvements between Martinazzi Avenue and Interstate 5. This project is still in the design phase.
- A new pedestrian crossing across SW Nasoma Lane at the Marquis assisted living facility off Boones Ferry Road. Work has been completed there.
- The new pedestrian crossing across SW 90th Avenue at the Kaiser Permanente hospital. Work is just about finished on this project.
- A new signalized pedestrian crossing across SW 90th Avenue at Sweek Drive. Work recently wrapped up on this project.
- The new pedestrian crossing on SW Tualatin Road at SW 112th Avenue. This project also just finished up.
Tualatin Today | July 2020
City Seeks Ideas for Tualatin Traffic Safety Improvements
The City of Tualatin has opened the annual application process for Neighborhood Traffic Safety projects – and the deadline is fast approaching. Tualatin residents and businesses are invited to recommend locations for safety improvements including new mid-block crosswalks with pedestrian-activated signals, driver speed feedback signs, or new bike lanes. Priority projects will be chosen from all parts of the city, and must solve a specific safety problem and fit within the program’s budget. The projects selected by Tualatin City Council will be funded by the Tualatin Moving Forward bond funds approved by voters in May 2018.
Residents who want to suggest a traffic safety project for 2021 in their neighborhood (or elsewhere around town) can go to TualatinMovingForward.com.
Tualatin Today | July 2020
Word On the Street
2020 is Shaping Up as Tualatin's Big "Year of Construction"
Construction in Tualatin is showing few signs of slowing down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Work is continuing on construction projects across all parts of the community.
One bright spot is the transportation improvements sponsored by Tualatin Moving Forward, the bond-funded program approved by Tualatin voters in 2018. Just two years later, five transportation projects are completed and another nine more will be constructed in 2020.
Private development has also continued without interruption. Amazon recently opened a new distribution center located on an 11-acre site on 115th Avenue.
Meanwhile, construction has begun on Portland General Electric’s Integrated Operations Center on 124th Avenue.
Tualatin Life | June 2, 2020
Several Traffic Projects Slated to Begin in Summer
Even as the coronavirus pandemic has put so many things on hold, traffic improvement and neighborhood safety projects are continuing throughout Tualatin.
“There’s a ton of activity,” Public Works Director Jeff Fuchs told the City Council during a May 11 quarterly update on Tualatin Moving Forward, a local transportation improvement program that is being funded by a $20 million bond passed by Tualatin voters in 2018.
Construction is set to begin on several projects this summer.
One of them – which will include roadway, pedestrian and bike improvements at the Garden Corner Curves – moved forward during May 11 when the council authorized the city to spend $177,402 to purchase right-of-way and easements on 108th Avenue, Blake Street and 105th Avenue needed to build the nearly $3.6 million project. Work on the Garden Corner Curves is slated to begin in July and take about a year.
Other projects slated to begin in the coming months include:
- Midblock crosswalk and flashing beacons on Boones Ferry Road at Tualatin High School ($310,000)
- High visibility crosswalk, flashing beacons and other improvements on Grahams Ferry Road at Dogwood Street ($226,000)
- Flashing beacons at an existing crosswalk on Mohawk Street at the PGE campus ($40,000)
- High visibility crosswalks, flashing beacons and curb ramps on Borland Road near Bridgeport Elementary School ($80,000)
- Speed feedback signs on Martinazzi between Avery Street and Dakota Drive ($30,000)
- Midblock crosswalk on Nasoma Lane at Marquis Assisted Living ($80,000)
Councilor Bridget Brooks said Tualatin Moving Forward’s progress during the pandemic is “encouraging.”
“Of all the silver linings in this COVID situation...
Press Release | May 6, 2020
New Flashing Beacons Improve Pedestrian Safety on Tualatin Streets
Tualatin residents may be wondering about those strange flashing sign posts starting to appear on local streets.
City of Tualatin Principal Transportation Engineer Mike McCarthy, P.E. solves the mystery. “Those are known as RRFBs – short for rectangular rapid-flashing beacons. They help pedestrians cross busy streets more safely.”
RRFB signs are being installed at intersections with observed safety issues, near schools, and at mid-block crossings where drivers find it difficult to spot pedestrians.
Tualatin’s first new pedestrian crossing with flashing beacons was installed near Lam Research on Leveton Drive in 2017. A second beacon was added on Sagert Street at Atfalati Park in 2018, with two more installed last year at Boones Ferry Road and Siletz Drive, and on Ibach Street near Ibach Park. By the end of 2020, six more flashing signals will be placed in various Tualatin neighborhoods.
Here’s how the new pedestrian activated flashing beacons work. Pedestrians or bicyclists arrive at the crossing and push a button that activates the flashing lights. A fast “on-demand” response minimizes the wait time for crossing. The wait time for drivers is also short because the beacons flash only while the pedestrian or bicyclist is crossing.
Press Release | January 17, 2020
Local Businesses Partner with Tualatin on Traffic Safety Improvements
The City of Tualatin is partnering with local employers to install transportation projects that improve worker safety on streets near employment centers. “We love to partner with interested local businesses – and we can often help with the cost,” says Public Works Director, Jeff Fuchs, P.E.
Leveraging funds from the $20 million transportation bond program approved by Tualatin voters in 2018, the City is working to make traffic safety and congestion improvements citywide. More than 30 projects are planned, and five are already built.
An upcoming project will enhance the mid-block pedestrian crossing installed in 2017 at Portland General Electric’s facility on Mohawk Drive near Martinazzi. Before, with the PGE campus situated on both sides of Mohawk, up to 400 workers per day crossed the street without a marked crossing. Many had expressed concern about the unsafe crossing.
Initial crossing improvements were designed by City staff with PGE paying for installation. Now, rapid flashing beacons will be added to further improve pedestrian safety for PGE employees at an estimated cost of $40,000. “These new rapid flashing beacons have been very effective wherever we have installed them at pedestrian crossings and in school zones,” says Fuchs, who also served as project manager for the initial crossing installation on Mohawk.
Press Release | January 17, 2020
Annual Progress Report on Tualatin Bond Measure Now Available Online
The Second Annual Report for the City of Tualatin’s transportation bond is now available online at TualatinMovingForward.com. Copies are also available in City offices and at various City locations.
In 2018, Tualatin voters approved a $20 million bond program that will pay for more than 30 projects that improve congestion and neighborhood traffic safety. Mayor Frank Bubenik reports to voters: “The $20 million you approved is hard at work making roadways safer, less congested, and creating connections to schools and parks around town.”
The feature story in the report covers a major project at the Tualatin-Sherwood Road and I-5 junction – Tualatin’s busiest intersection. There, computer modeling using the latest technology pointed to an unanticipated solution. Simply restriping the existing lanes and adjusting the signage would yield significant time savings: nearly 5 minutes per day for the typical commuter. Commuters, commerce and local connections will all benefit. While the design is effective at managing traffic, it will also take less time to construct, saving up to $1 million.
The long-awaited Garden Corner Curves project is also getting underway, with construction starting on upgrading SW 105th Avenue/Blake Street and 108th Avenue between Avery Street and Willow Street.
The Second Annual Report also charts progress on almost 20 bond-funded projects. Five projects are already built, and seven more are underway. “Over the next two years, Tualatin residents will see projects completed on streets in the downtown and almost every neighborhood”, says Tualatin’s Public Works Director Jeff Fuchs, P.E.