In the News

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PortlandTribune | July 12, 2021

Tualatin weighs 'urban renewal' in commercial core

A decision may be years off, as city officials want to gather input and determine the area's needs.

They're not what most people would likely consider "blighted areas."

Bridgeport Village, which is shared with Tigard and tiny neighboring Durham, opened in 2005. Nyberg Woods followed in 2007. Nyberg Rivers, home of Cabela's, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, New Seasons Market and more, was just developed and built out last decade.

But while officials have yet to make a final decision — and they aren't expected to for a while yet — Tualatin is eyeing a process in state law that is typically used to revitalize aging downtowns, sagging industrial districts and other struggling neighborhoods as a way to improve its core commercial areas.

What is blight?

Oregon law states that a local government can designate a blighted area as an "urban renewal area," allowing it to effectively bottle up tax revenues above a certain level and use those proceeds to pay for improvement projects. The idea is straightforward: Without raising taxes on property owners in a woebegone part of town that needs some TLC, their tax dollars can be spent over a period of years or decades toward fixing up the area and ultimately improving property values.

But "blight" is in the eye of the beholder.

"Layman's terms, you would think dilapidated, abandoned, unsafe," acknowledged Jonathan Taylor, Tualatin's economic development manager.

But he pointed out that the legal definition of what constitutes a blighted area is a lot more expansive than that. An area can be considered blighted because it doesn't have enough road capacity, for instance, or because there is a growing "lack of proper utilization" of land, however officials want to define that.

Even the provision of law that specifically mentions "dilapidation" also mentions "obsolescence" or "shifting of uses" as a reason that an area can be described as blighted. That's a consideration for Tualatin's city government in these parts of town, as retail shopping has given way to online ordering.

As an economic development official, Taylor is especially concerned about traffic. Tualatin has been plagued by bad traffic for years — a consequence of both hosting regional shopping destinations like Cabela's and being at the junction of major travel routes, including Interstates 5 and 205, Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Southwest Boones Ferry Road, and Southwest 65th Avenue (which forms part of the boundary between Washington and Clackamas counties).

"Our businesses survive on our transportation nodes," Taylor observed. He said city officials want to know, as properties are developed or redeveloped — with more apartment housing, for instance — how much additional strain that will place on roads and highways that are already congested for hours on a typical weekday.

A broader ecosystem

Taylor himself is a rarity in Tualatin: He both lives and works in the city of about 27,500. More than nine in 10 people in Tualatin's workforce commute from out of town.

"Our long-term vision is to maximize efficiency," Taylor said. "I personally want people to get to work and to home, to their family, as quickly as possible, because that goes to our council's goals of connected community as well as (being) environmentally conscious."

Personally, Taylor said, he'd like to see Tualatin's tangled web of streets get straightened out somehow.

Part of the perennial traffic problem just west of the Nyberg Rivers shopping center stems from the awkward, inefficient way that Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Nyberg Street and Martinazzi Avenue come together, forming a bent triangle. The string of signalized intersections on Boones Ferry Road just west of there is also prone to traffic backups.

But for Tualatin, fixing those design flaws isn't easy, as Taylor pointed out. Tualatin-Sherwood Road is a Washington County road. Boones Ferry Road is actually a state route, Highway 141, although the Oregon Department of Transportation hasn't put up signage. Privately owned railroad tracks — which are also used by TriMet for its underutilized WES commuter rail service — run right by the intersection of Tualatin-Sherwood and Boones Ferry roads.

Taylor said that as a city government, Tualatin has worked hard over the years to build and maintain good working relationships with other jurisdictions — Washington and Clackamas counties, each of which contains a portion of the city; neighbors like Tigard, Sherwood and Wilsonville, which have conducted joint planning projects with Tualatin over the years; and the state of Oregon, which largely oversees the freeways and state highway that run through downtown.

"We've always taken a very collaborative approach," Taylor said, adding that when Tualatin holds public meetings about topics that affect a county, another city, or the state or federal governments, "We always bring in our affected overlapping jurisdictions to these meetings, so the citizens can see, and the other entities can hear from not only us, but our citizens as well."

Complexities like who has say over what rights-of-way or property access are bound to drag out any major planning or "visioning" effort in Tualatin.

What to do?

Officials haven't settled on urban renewal as the best way to fix traffic problems and make other improvements in Tualatin's commercial areas, Taylor said.

Urban renewal is currently driving the revitalization of downtown Tigard and Beaverton, among other places. Tualatin itself used urban renewal decades ago to redevelop what used to be a pet food factory into the Tualatin Commons, which now hosts popular events like the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Starry Nights & Holiday Lights.

It's a powerful and popular tool for economic development because it doesn't levy new taxes. Instead, for a set period of time, it caps the amount of tax revenue that the city and other taxing districts — Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Portland Community College, for instance — collect from properties within a blighted area, and any tax collections above that "frozen base" are earmarked for a list of specific projects to improve the blighted area.

But urban renewal is not the only option. Taylor noted that Tualatin has also used "opportunity zones," which encourage investment with tax breaks and similar incentives, along the I-5 corridor and elsewhere. There are more conventional approaches, too, like the $20 million Tualatin Moving Forward bond measure that voters approved for transportation improvements in May 2018.

The Tualatin City Council isn't expected to vote on forming an urban renewal area in its core commercial areas for some time to come, if it does at all. Right now, it is focused on setting up an urban renewal area that will encompass some of its western industrial areas, as well as parts of the mostly rural Basalt Creek area that Tualatin anticipates annexing into city limits in the near future. A vote on that urban renewal plan is expected next month.

"We are finishing up with the urban renewal district in the Basalt Creek area, to do infrastructure there, because obviously, it needs it," Taylor said.

While the City Council held a work session late last month to discuss proceeding toward urban renewal in the commercial core, Taylor said there's still a lot of legwork that needs to be done before the council takes action. While he has mapped out a "study area" that would include Bridgeport Village, Nyberg Woods, Nyberg Rivers, the Fred Meyer shopping center, the Tualatin Commons and some adjoining properties, he said he knows, and councilors know, that boundary is likely to change as city officials get a better sense of Tualatin's needs and how they expect the city to change and grow in decades to come.

Taylor points to some of the community feedback the city received during its "Tualatin 2040" visioning effort as another reason to include relatively new developments in the study area.

"We want a town center. We want a downtown," Taylor said, summarizing the feedback.

Referring to the Tualatin Commons, he added, "Even though there is a downtown, there are no connecting streets through that area. … We understand that that's inadequate planning if we want that area to develop even further."

Over the next year-plus, Taylor expects the City Council will conduct more public outreach, talk to property owners, and try to figure out what can or should change in the core commercial areas.

"Urban renewal, I would say tentatively … is several years off," Taylor said.

He added, "We're not rushing this. That has been a directive. It's slow and methodical, 'get it right,' 'we'll take our time.' And part of that is to ensure that our residents … don't miss the opportunity to hear about it."

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TheTimes | June 29, 2021

Garden Corner Curves improvements begin

The roadway, which includes 105th Avenue, Blake Street and 108th Avenue, officially shut down Monday.

After years of planning, major construction and roadwork on Tualatin's $4 million Garden Corner Curves project kicked off Monday, June 28.

That's when the corridor — which includes Southwest 105th Avenue, Southwest Blake Street and Southwest 108th Avenue — officially shut down. It will likely reopen in October.

"We'll be closing the road from Industrial Way to Ibach Street," said Mike McCarthy, the city's principal transportation engineer. "Local traffic will be able to get through it from Industrial Way down to Polina Street and then also from Ibach up to the (Garden Corner Nursery)."

Detour streets include Avery Street, Boones Ferry Road and Ibach Street. Garden Corner Nursery will stay open throughout the entire construction project accessed via 108th Avenue from Ibach Street, said McCarthy.

The narrow roadway, which has sight-distance safety issues and limited room for bicyclists and pedestrians, sees more than 3,000 cars pass along it daily.

After they close the road, McCarthy said workesr will remove most of the existing asphalt — including some of the road area down by Hedges Creek. In mid-July, a 15-foot-wide and 5-foot-high concrete box culvert will be installed, to help the creek flow through.

"It's quite a bit bigger than the existing culvert to prevent the creek from flowing over the road," McCarthy said.

Plans are to reuse as much asphalt from the roadway as possible.

The new road will contain 10-foot-wide vehicle lanes, similar to the current width of the roadway.

"It's intentionally fairly narrow to try to keep vehicle speeds down," said McCarthy.

Also included will be a 12-foot-wide multi-use path designed for pedestrians and cyclists on the east side of the roadway.

A new sewer line is planned for installation on top of the culvert and will run along the length of the road. Also, McCarthy said PGE will be placing new under groundpower lines along the road and also on top of the culvert, which will replace overhead lines. New communication lines will be added as well.

A new stormwater treatment pond will be built next to Hedges Creek to collect stormwater, which will use pond plants to clean it before being released back into Hedges Creek and then draining into the Tualatin River. Some retaining walls along the road also are planned as are driver speed feedback signs.

"I think for the fall, we're looking for this to be a wonderful project for the community," McCarthy said, about one of the bigger project included in the bond.

Funding for the project comes from come from a $20 million bond passed by Tualatin voters in 2018 and administered through Tualatin Moving Forward, a local transportation improvement program.

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TualatinLife.com | April 1, 2021

Tualatin Council Outlines 2021 Policy Priorities

The $20 million Tualatin Moving Forward transportation bond will continue improving roads across the city in 2021, including the Garden Corner Curves shown here, and is one of the City Council’s main priorities for this year. (COURTESY/BARNEY AND WORTH)

The Tualatin City Council’s priorities for 2021 not surprisingly read like they are dealing with all of the issues that faced the city, state and country over the past year.

The City Council, with two new members, held a virtual retreat at the end of January and came away with a renewed list of issues and topics that will continue to form the city’s 2030 vision, as well as its 2021 policy priorities. Among them are housing, social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, economic development and crisis preparedness – all areas that were at the forefront of the minds of Americans during the last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, protests over police brutality, massive wildfires and other crises.

“We spent a little over eight hours together and we covered a lot of good things,” Tualatin City Manager Sherilyn Lombos said at the Council’s March 8 meeting.

In addition to those priorities, councilors also identified transportation, the environment and community assets such as parks as a focus for the rest of 2021.

“I thought it was hugely beneficial for the City Council and City staff to come together and share conversation,” said Christen Sacco, one of two new council members. “I’m so glad we share in this forum.”

Many of these topics were featured prominently in 2020, and work in those areas will represent a continuation of what is already happening, Lombos said. This includes transportation, where the popular Tualatin Moving Forward bond measure is scheduled to continue throughout the city. The City is also considering whether or not to support the tolling of Interstate 205, as well as a proposed shuttle service along Borland Road.

In addition, the Council will soon be considering a list of police policy recommendations. This grew out of a series of Community Conversation meetings held late last year on the use of force in the wake of the protests last summer that followed the police killing of George Floyd.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast a long shadow over the economy in Tualatin and other Oregon cities. Unemployment figures remain high and businesses continue to struggle, even after the City distributed several million dollars last year in state and federal COVID relief money. Meanwhile, the latest relief package was passed by Congress on March 10, and another $350 billion is earmarked for state and local governments across the country.

Tualatin Moving Forward is a $20 million transportation and pedestrian safety program being conducted by the City of Tualatin. Ten separate projects were completed in 2020, including this pedestrian crossing at SW 90th and Sweek Drive. (COURTESY/BARNEY AND WORTH)

TualatinLife.com | March 1, 2021

Tualatin Moving Forward Continues Rapid Pace

Tualatin Moving Forward is a $20 million transportation and pedestrian safety program being conducted by the City of Tualatin. Ten separate projects were completed in 2020, including this pedestrian crossing at SW 90th and Sweek Drive. (COURTESY/BARNEY AND WORTH)

2020 was a year of construction in Tualatin when it comes to transportation and pedestrian safety.

City of Tualatin Public Works Director Jeff Fuchs briefed the city council on Dec. 14 about the year’s accomplishments, which included no fewer than 10 separate projects completed and eight more starting the construction process. All of them were built as a part of the $20 million Tualatin Moving Forward bond measure, which was approved by voters in 2018. Since then, it has resulted in 14 completed projects, but 2020 was really when the program gained momentum.

Of the 10 projects completed in 2020, the most prominent is probably the improvements made on Southwest Boones Ferry Road at Tualatin High School. There, a mid-block crossing with a pedestrian refuge now allows students and pedestrians to safely cross a busy stretch of road, while sidewalk improvements line both sides of the road. New pavement along that stretch of the road was also laid during construction, even though it was paid for under the City’s pavement maintenance program.

“That’s going to be really awesome when the high school is back in session,” Fuchs said. “With this location, with the higher speed traffic, it makes a lot of sense.”

Deputy City Manager Megan George said the City would be trying different forms of public outreach in the coming year when it comes to informing residents about ongoing and future projects. The City’s Community Involvement Organizations will play a bigger role, as will online and other virtual forms of communication.

“A lot of the techniques we’ve leaned on in the early stages of the program, like kitchen table meetings and door hangers, aren’t things we want to do right now given how the world has changed,” George said. “We’ve spent a lot of time curating this list and figuring out which items are the most impactful depending on the project.”

This effort is already in motion with the Garden Corner Curves project at Southwest 108th Avenue, the single largest project of the entire initiative in terms of scope of work and cost. There, crews began construction in August and prepared a road shut down during parts of January and February after PGE finishes installing underground power lines. For road closures, the City is trying to keep residents in the loop as much as possible.

It’s a wintertime dry run for our summertime closure next July through October,” Fuchs said.

The work is paying off, as councilors praised the ongoing public engagement efforts.

“I think this has always been the gold standard for community projects,” said Councilor Nancy Grimes. “I think it’s one of the best things we’ve done as a council in a number of years, from the thoughtfulness to the way the community can be involved continuously.”

Mayor Frank Bubenik also noted that Tualatin Moving Forward has been well received by officials in other communities.

“What I particularly get from feedback from mayors in other cities is they are pretty envious with how it’s going,” Bubenik said. “They look at it as a model to emulate in how well it has been run and the community feedback involved.”

For a complete look at the 2020 Tualatin Moving Forward Annual Report visit: www.tualatinmovingforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TMF-Annual-Report-2020.pdf.

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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.

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF TUALATIN - Safety improvements to 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.

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.

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF TUALATIN - Safety improvements to 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.

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.

Rendering of the Garden Corner Curves improvements in progress at 108th at Blake, looking northeast. CITY OF TUALATIN/COURTESY

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.

Rendering of the Garden Corner Curves improvements in progress at 108th at Blake, looking northeast. CITY OF TUALATIN/COURTESY

"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.
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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.

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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.

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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...

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Press Release | May 6, 2020

New Flashing Beacons Improve Pedestrian Safety on Tualatin Streets

Rectangular rapid-flashing beacons (RRFBs) help pedestrians cross busy Tualatin streets more safely.

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.

TMF - PGE Customer Service Manager Sarah Sims uses new crosswalk with Uma-crop

Press Release | January 17, 2020

Local Businesses Partner with Tualatin on Traffic Safety Improvements

PGE Customer Service Manager Sarah Sims uses new crosswalk with Uma

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.

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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.

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TheTimes | November 25, 2019

Tualatin spending to improve seven dangerous roadways

City Council recently signed off on 7 traffic/pedestrian safety projects as part of Tualatin Moving Forward, which passed in 2018.

Seven intersections and stretches of road in Tualatin are set to receive significant safety upgrades next year.

The Tualatin City Council approved the community-nominated Tualatin Neighborhood Traffic Safety projects last month. They're the first round of improvements in what city officials plan to be an ongoing, bond-funded program to add more signalized pedestrian crossings and solar-powered driver speed limit feedback signs throughout Tualatin.

The upgrades will be installed at:

  • Southwest 90th Avenue and Sweek Drive.
  • Southwest Borland Road between Bridgeport Elementary School and 60th Avenue.
  • Southwest Martinazzi Avenue, between Avery Street and Dakota Drive.
  • Southwest Mohawk Street, east of Martinazzi Avenue.
  • Southwest Nasoma Lane, between Boones Ferry Road and 90th Avenue.
  • Southwest Nyberg Lane at Boones Ferry Park, between 50th and 65th avenues.
  • Southwest Tualatin Road, between 105th and 115th avenues.

The projects are all part of Tualatin Moving Forward, the city's $20 million bond measure passed by voters...

PMG PHOTO -- JAIME VALDEZ - One of four designs permanently imprinted on Sagert Street in Tualatin

BeavertonValleyTimes | November 20, 2019

Community art in Tualatin

The city permanently imprinted art on a sidewalk near Atfalati Park on Sagert Street.

Southwest Sagert Street in Tualatin may look a little different when taking a stroll near Atfalati Park.

In late September, the city of Tualatin permanently imprinted four different designs on the sidewalk past the park on Sagert Street west of Southwest Wampanoag Drive. The artwork includes mammoths, doves, a sugar skull and a sun and moon design.

"Essentially, (we) just started soliciting calls for art to try and see if we could get the community interested in participating," said Tualatin Public Works Director Jeff Fuchs. "Then (we) went through a selection process with the diversity task force and the parks committee, and the four pieces of art that we picked are the ones that everybody liked the most."

Once the art was selected...

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Press Release | November 17, 2019

City of Tualatin Names New Traffic Safety Projects

In late October, Tualatin City Council approved the first round of community-nominated Neighborhood Traffic Safety projects to be constructed in 2020. The seven priority projects include signalized pedestrian crossings and driver feedback signs at these locations:

  • Mohawk St east of Martinazzi Ave
  • 90th Ave and Sweek Dr
  • Borland Rd between Bridgeport Elementary School and 60th Ave
  • Nyberg Ln at Boones Ferry Park (between 50th Ave and 65th Ave)
  • Martinazzi Ave between Avery St and Dakota Dr
  • Tualatin Rd between 105th Ave and 115th Ave
  • Nasoma Ln between Boones Ferry Rd and 90th Ave

All seven projects will be completed next year as part of Tualatin Moving Forward, the City’s bond-funded transportation program.

Most of the new pedestrian crossings will include state-of-the-art reflective signage plus rapid flashing beacons with push-button controls. Research shows these attention-grabbing signals are the safest option for protecting drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The high intensity LED beacons command drivers’ attention whenever pedestrians want to cross, in all weather conditions, with day and night time visibility.

"These new rapid flashing beacons have been very effective wherever we have installed them at pedestrian crossings and in school zones," said Jeff Fuchs, P.E., Tualatin Public Works Director. Along with driver feedback signs, the new pedestrian crossings with flashing signals are the safety improvements requested most often by Tualatin neighborhoods.

The driver feedback signs represent another emerging technology. These solar-powered LED screens (Tualatin already has several in place) use radar to display speeds and slow drivers and are also highly effective.

The recently announced neighborhood safety improvements were selected through a community-wide process that sought nominations from Tualatin residents and community groups. Around 145 project ideas were submitted by community members. The selected projects met the criteria of spreading improvements citywide, solving specific safety problems, and fitting within the program’s budget.

Another round of safety projects will be selected in October 2020. Residents who want to suggest a project in their neighborhood can go to the website TualatinMovingForward.com and visit the Suggest a Project page.

Uma poses with another Sagert Street sidewalk artwork “Mammoths” by David Damian Jaimes.

TheTimes | November 12, 2019

Students create Sagert Street sidewalk artwork

The Sagert Street artwork includes the sun and moon, mammoths, a sugar skull and doves.

Those walking past Atfalati Park on Sagert Street, west of Wampanoag Drive, will now walk by some impressive community artwork permanently imprinted in the sidewalk.

The artwork is part of the traffic safety project tied to the city's bond-funded program, Tualatin Moving Forward, which included a new pedestrian-activated crossing at Sagert Street and Atfalati Park, as well as new sidewalks on the south side of Sagert Street.

"We wanted to find a way to involve the community in the project," Jeff Fuchs, Tualatin's public works director, said in a news release.

The artwork was selected through a contest involving dozens of community members over several months after entry forms were distributed to local public schools and at...

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SherwoodGazette | September 1, 2019

Our Opinion: Get ready, because there's construction ahead

Work on Tualatin-Sherwood Road is sure to be a nuisance. But the payoff will last longer.

There's an old saying: Short-term pain for long-term gain.

Well, Washington County commuters, at long last, the county is closing in on a three-stage project to expand traffic capacity and improve safety on Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood and Roy Rogers roads.

Bringing what was a rural road connecting two backwater towns into the 21st century, in which it is very much a major commuter and freight route — a highway in all but name — has been a high priority for Washington County and the cities of Tualatin and Sherwood for years. But challenges and delays have put the work on hold until now.Read our story from Aug. 9, 2019, previewing an open house for Tualatin-Sherwood and Roy Rogers road improvements...

...There's plenty of smaller projects, too, including upcoming roadwork in neighboring Tualatin that's funded through the transportation bond city voters approved last year. That includes improvements to Tualatin-Sherwood Road out toward Interstate 5...

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TheTimes | August 13, 2019

Tualatin traffic bond projects move forward

Council members get tour of planned bond projects including adding a third lane to Tualatin-Sherwood Road.

Members of the Tualatin City Council got a glimpse of how the city's $20 million traffic improvement bond projects are progressing during a tour of upcoming/completed projects Monday evening.

Packing into a small tour bus at the Juanita Pohl Senior Center, councilors took a 1 ½ hour tour of various projects tied to the successful passage of the 2018 bond, which are part of what's known as the Tualatin Moving Forward program.

The first stop was the Nyberg Rivers shopping complex parking lot to view a project that will add an eastbound lane along...

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TheTimes | June 17, 2019

Got a traffic safety project costing under $100,000? Tualatin is all ears

Residents can submit projects online (the city has set aside a little more than $2 million) until June 30.

Have an idea for a street you would like see improved or a traffic safety issue you'd like addressed?

The City of Tualatin is looking for your suggestions as part of its citywide Neighborhood Traffic Safety Program.

The program is all part of Tualatin Moving Forward, the city's ambitious traffic and safety program designed to address traffic safety and roadway concerns. Funding the projects is the result of approval...

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WEA News & Notes | May 24, 2019

Westside mayors talk priorities at Breakfast Forum

It was the most mayors WEA has ever had on a forum stage - 11 Westside mayors showed the audience a lot of camaraderie yesterday.

Each mayor on the panel talked about his or her city's priorities.

A common theme among the panel was the need to have an inclusive city where everyone feels welcome.

Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax expressed concern over the 2020 Census and the possibility of it including a question regarding citizenship.

He stressed the importance of everyone being counted in the upcoming Census.

Mayor Jason Snider said Tigard has four vital signs, and the first one is Tigard is a city for everyone - Tigard recently appointed a youth representative to its City Council.

The other three vital signs include robust citizen involvement, transparency and accountability, and public safety.

In Tualatin, Mayor Frank Bubenik talked about his city's passage of a $20 million bond measure, Tualatin Moving Forward, which is now being used to provide traffic congestion relief, neighborhood safety, and infrastructure projects to help students get to school safely.

He also mentioned the Tualatin 2040 visioning, which takes into account housing and economic development data.

PamplinMedia - FILE PHOTO-- JAIME VALDEZ - A car negotiates one of the curves in the Garden Corner S Curves late last summer - 00003626142345-0651

TheTimes | November 27, 2018

Council approve contract to improve Garden Corner Curves

The Tualatin City Council has given the nod to hire an engineering firm for the project.

The Tualatin City Council is moving forward with plans to improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities and safety as part of the Garden Corner Curves Project.

On Monday, the council approved a $611,000 resolution to award an engineering contract to Wallis Engineering to provide design, engineering, permitting and other services to connect the Ibach and Midwest neighborhoods.

Garden Corner Curves – generally considered to include 105th Avenue, Blake Street and 108th Avenue – is a narrow portion of roadway that has sight-distance safety issues and limited room for...

Jaime Valdez - Pamplin Media - 00003620275366-0651

TheTimes | September 20, 2018

Tualatin: Slow traffic = Fast track

Five projects, most containing pedestrian-activated signals, crosswalks and curbs, kick into high gear.

The city of Tualatin is moving ahead with several so-called "fast track" transportation projects, the result of a $20 million traffic improvement bond approved by voters last May.

While the total timeline of the bond project is three to five years, the fast track program doesn't involve major road projects. Rather, the focus is on addressing neighborhood safety, safe access to schools and congestion relief with projects that can be more quickly completed.

The first of what is known as the Tualatin Moving Forward program recently was completed and includes...

tualatinmovingforward-Fast-Track Projects - Siletz and Boones Ferry Rd

Tualatin Life | September, 2018

Tualatin Transportation Fixes Get a Green Light

In May 2018, Tualatin voters approved a $20 million General Obligation bond measure to provide transportation improvements citywide. Thank you Tualatin voters for giving us this chance to take on our community's top issue - and make lasting improvements.

Tualatin Moving Forward will fund and construct more than 30 projects over the next 3 to 5 years, to relieve congestion and improve neighborhood traffic safety.

Five Fast-Track project are already...

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TheTimes | August 21, 2018

Bond sale means fast-track for some Tualatin road projects

Last spring, Tualatin voters approved the sale of $20 million in bonds to fund transportation improvements.

After Tualatin voters approved the sale of $20 million in general obligation bonds to fund transportation improvements citywide to relieve traffic congestion and improve neighborhood traffic safety and access to schools in May, those bonds have sold.

"Now, we can get started building these projects approved by voters," said Tualatin Public Works Director Jeff Fuchs. The first of those projects is expected to be completed before the end of 2019.

This year's fast-track project locations and...

The Regional Context:

What Tualatin Residents May Notice About Traffic Congestion

 
Traffic
Scorecard*

#
Most Congested Metro Area

Portland is the nation’s 40th largest – but #12 most congested metro area (of 297 metro cities)

#
Most Congested in North America

#13 in North America (319 cities) – more congested than any city in Mexico and every Canadian city except Montreal.

#
Most Congested in the World

#40 most congested in world (1,360 cities)

%

Portland area congestion is worst at peak commute hours, but now present at all times of day/week

Most Congested U.S. Cities**

  • 1 Honolulu
  • 2 Jacksonville
  • 3 San Diego
  • 4 Los Angeles
  • 5 Portland

* Source: INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, February 2018
** Source: WAZE Driver Satisfaction Index, December 2017