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PBOT at Work in Hillsdale

[Posted October 22, 2021]

Crews from Portland Bureau of Transportation have been busy in Hillsdale.

If you've been out Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy towards Beaverton lately, you may have noticed construction on the north side of the street. Crews are replacing the white posts that separate the bike lane from car traffic with concrete curbs.

An example of the type of left-turn calming device that was previously installed at the intersection of Sunset Blvd and Capitol Hwy.
Left-turn calming device

In other road-surface news: Remember the raised black and yellow rubber bumps protecting the crosswalks at the corner of Sunset and Capitol Hwy? They were removed after receiving damage following last year's snow and ice storm. Expect these left-turn calming devices back in the near future.

The Hillsdale News consulted PBOT spokesperson Hannah Schafer, who gave us the lowdown on these PBOT projects and more.

New curbs to separate the bike line from traffic on BH Hwy and the white poles that are being replaced.
On the left, new curbs to separate the bike line from traffic on BH Hwy; on the right, the white poles that are being replaced.

Regarding the installation of the new concrete traffic delineators on BH Highway: Similar curbs are already in place from SW 39th to SW 65th Avenues. More durable than the white posts which are more vulnerable to damage and require more maintenance, the new curbs are being installed as part of PBOT's protected bike lane project development. The budget for the project is approximately $215,000 and is funded through PBOT’s Quick Build Program.

New striping and curbs at the intersection of Bertha Blvd and BH Hwy.
New striping and curbs at the intersection of Bertha Blvd and BH Hwy.

You may also have noticed new striping and curbs at the corner of BH Hwy and Bertha Blvd. That new installation is part of the recently completed microsurfacing project on SW Bertha between Vermont and BH Hwy. The project was funded with $522,000 from Fixing Our Streets (the city’s 10-cent gas tax) and $175,000 of ADA ramp funding.

The improvements on Bertha, Schafer says, are designed to increase safety for people biking. But slowing traffic and creating clearer separation between travel modes has the benefit of making the road safer for everyone, she adds.

Finally, back to the intersection of Sunset and Capitol: The left-turn calming devices installed last year were damaged by snow plows following winter storms. The design will be improved to avoid future snow plow damage and the bumps will be reinstalled once pandemic-related delays are resolved.

In case you were wondering about the reasoning behind those installations, PBOT's website says that left-turn calming slows turning speeds and improves left-turning drivers’ view of the crosswalk at intersections and that 20% of pedestrian crashes in Portland result from left-turning drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk at signalized intersections. Guidance from PBOT also says that it's ok to drive over them if you have to.

--Valeurie Friedman


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