Mayor’s Corner: December 2022

Jason Snider, Mayor's Corner

Safe Streets for Tigard

Road safety has become a public health crisis nationwide. We have experienced this on Hall Boulevard with close calls, crashes, and fatalities, including two in the past year. As mayor, I have heard from walkers, bikers, and drivers about near-accidents on roads throughout the city. I understand the concerns, and I want you to know that we are acting.

We have launched the Hall Boulevard Visioning Project with the goal of improving Hall Boulevard and ultimately taking over ownership of it from the Oregon Department of Transportation. Under ODOT ownership, Hall Boulevard has suffered from insufficient crossing opportunities, incomplete sidewalks, inadequate bike facilities, deficient public transit stops, and poor road conditions. Our vision for the future is a more walkable, connected, and equitable Hall Boulevard. You can learn about the future of Hall Boulevard and share your thoughts by visiting the Hall Boulevard Visioning Project page on the city website.

Addressing Hall Boulevard is an important part of improving road safety, but it is not the only part. We are taking other actions to make streets safer and more reliable throughout the city, including:

Reducing speed limits from 25 mph to 20 mph on residential streets, which make up 79% of our street network. The small reduction in speed has the potential to have a big impact. Data shows a significant improvement in pedestrian survivability in the event of a crash when drivers are traveling at 20 mph compared to 25 mph – and this is why school zones have historically been 20 mph all over the country.

Creating safer routes near schools and parks. Improvements are coming to Locust Street and Murdock Street. On Locust Street, we are leveraging state funding to add a new sidewalk, ADA-compliant ramps, and an enhanced pedestrian crossing with the goal of providing safer access to Metzger Elementary School. Similarly, we are designing a safe route along Murdock Street for both pedestrians and cyclists. The changes will include a new 13-ft wide multi-use path and a safer pedestrian crossing to improve access to Twality Middle School, Templeton Elementary School, and East Butte Heritage Park.

Installing a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB) on Durham Road. Last May, our first PHB was installed in front of Tigard High School. These beacons have been shown to reduce pedestrian crashes by 55% and cost less than traditional traffic signals.

Seeking funding to develop a Complete Greenburg. We’ve requested $21 million from Washington County to build a new Greenburg Road between Hall Boulevard and Highway 217. If funded, the project will transform Greenburg Road into a complete street by eliminating sidewalk and bike lane gaps, adding pedestrian lighting and crossing safety improvements, providing protected bike lanes, and creating space for non-motorized transportation modes while maintaining auto travel capacity.

These are a few of our immediate actions. Our work will not be done until we have roads that work for everyone and all uses, not just auto-centric uses. I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on our roads at my last in-person Fireside Chat on Thursday, December 1 at 6:30 p.m. The location can be found on the city’s website. You can also add your voice to the conversation by contacting me at jason@tigard-or.gov or 503-810-0269.