Posted May 7, 2020
Wilson High School routes close for social distancing
Gates locked at both entrances to path adjacent to track; chains block entrance to Wilson lot at Vermont St.; tennis courts are locked.
According to the PPS communications department, Portland Public Schools has closed the tennis courts as well as two routes used by drivers and pedestrians to get from Vermont to Capitol Hwy. through Wilson High School to comply with the governor’s executive order of March 23. Chains now block the east entrance to the school parking lot and gates accessing the foot path adjacent to the track have been locked. Signs posted indicate that the facilities are closed until at least April 28, or until the governor’s stay-at-home order is lifted.
Vehicle access between Vermont and Capitol Hwy. through Rieke parking lot closed
Updated May 12, 2020
PPS has moved up planned construction in the Rieke parking lot. Fences have been erected around the parking area in front of the school, but walkways on either side are open for pedestrian use. Childcare facilities currently located at Rieke will be moved to Capitol Hill Elementary School. The north section of the lot will be open for the Hillsdale Farmer's Market.
PPS Project Manager Steven Smith reports that the first phase of construction, to address water drainage from the slope to the east of the parking lot and storm water management on the west side, will close the parking lot and block through access vehicle traffic to Vermont St. through June. There may be interruptions to pedestrian access at times during construction.
Phase 2 will be begin in June to create a concrete block trash enclosure at Rieke. This project involves trenching along Vermont St. but is not expected to impact the sidewalk.
The third and final phase of construction will take place in the northern section of the parking during the summer of 2021.
Hillsdale Farmers Market Manager Eamon Molloy expects the work to be completed by the end of June. Visit their webpage for information on how to access the Farmers Market during construction.
Fencing blocks access to vehicle traffic through the Rieke parking lot from Vermont St. Pedestrian access remains open.
Westwood Dr. Neighborhood Greenway to close to through traffic
On May 7, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) installed temporary barricades and signage closing Hillsdale’s Neighborhood Greenway to through car traffic.
Slow Streets|Safe Streets signage installed by PBOT at SW Dewitt and Sunset
On April 28, Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly unveiled a new PBOT initiative to allow pedestrians and bicycles more space on city streets for social distancing now and as the state begins a gradual re-opening of business activities. The first step in the new Slow Streets|Safe Streets initiative aims to reduce car traffic on 100 segments of Portland’s network of Neighborhood Greenways, residential streets with traffic calming markings and devices to create a more comfortable environment for walkers and cyclists. While there are several Neighborhood Greenways in SW Portland, Hillsdale has just one, beginning at SW Dewitt and Sunset, jogging north on Cheltenham, continuing on SW Westwood Dr and ending at SW Terwilliger Blvd. PBOT has promised digital meetings over the next few weeks to gather public feedback on ways to improve streets to support physical distancing; no details have been released. Submit suggestions for improvements at 503-823-SAFE or by email at active.transportation@Portlandoregon.gov.
“Fixing our Streets” construction projects in progress on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway
Work is underway on Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. between Dosch Rd./30th Ave. and 39th Dr. to install ADA-compliant curb ramps, protected pedestrian/bike lane space, reduced-width car travel lanes, and a pedestrian safety island with pedestrian-activated flashing beacon. The safety beacon on Barbur Blvd, which often seems to activate when there are no pedestrians present, is owned and maintained by the Oregon Department of Transportation. The new beacon on BH Hwy will be operated by PBOT, whose spokesperson assures regular monitoring and maintenance.
Hillsdale streets included in new tax measure on May ballot
The current work on BH Highway is part of “Fixing Our Streets”, a PBOT program funded by the $.10 per gallon gas tax approved by voters in 2016. With that tax set to expire this year, its replacement, Measure 26-2009, is on the May ballot arriving in mailboxes now. The replacement measure extends the same tax rate for another four years.
Projects slated for funding in Hillsdale if the tax renewal passes include:
Creation of a Neighborhood Greenway on Bertha Blvd. from Barbur Blvd. to 35th Ave., which could include a 20-mph speed limit, bike markings, signage, and other tools to make walking and cycling more comfortable.
Repaving SW Bertha Blvd. from Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway to Vermont St.
Funding for Safe Routes to School projects. Projects for completion will be chosen from the list of previously identified locations and include marking or updating crosswalks, constructing walkways or shared use pathways. Several candidates for improvement are located in Hillsdale, although no commitments have been made to specific projects.
Southwest in Motion Plan. This “action plan for walking and biking plan in Southwest Portland,” adopted by the Portland City Council in December of 2019, provides a framework of projects and priorities for PBOT to tackle over the next few years. Hillsdale projects identified in the plan: SW Bertha Shared Street and Neighborhood Greenway; a walkway connecting Vermont St. and BH Hwy. via 30th Ave; safer bicycle crossings at Capitol Hwy. and Bertha Blvd. and BH Hwy.; Dosch sidewalk infill segment.