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Powell repaving project will include two new crossings

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 22nd, 2009 at 10:48 am

An Oregon Department of Transportation repaving project will bring two new mid-block crossings to SE Powell Boulevard.

The $4 million (estimated) Powell Boulevard Pavement Preservation project will begin in Spring 2010 and will include repaving Powell from SE 51st Avenue to Interstate 205. In addition, ODOT will build new sidewalks (in compliance with ADA), and two new mid-block crossings.

The new crossings (see photo rendering below) will be near SE 57th Ave and SE 75th Avenues.

ODOT spokesperson Michael Mason says the project will go to bid in December and work is scheduled for completion by the end of 2010. To learn more about this project, attend an open house tonight in Southeast Portland:

    Powell Boulevard Pavement Preservation Project Open House:
    Franklin High School Library (5405 SE Woodward St.)
    Thursday, 10/22 - 5:00 to 7:00pm

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  • Vivian Loar October 22, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Long overdue. Powell has become a dangerous street as there is little deterrence for drivers to treat it as an extension of I-205.

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  • Aaron October 22, 2009 at 11:34 am

    I look forward to seeing some improvement to Powell. The outer section is one of the two most dangerous in the city. But what's been happening to the sidewalk bike paths that April of PBOT was discussing a year ago?

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  • Amy October 22, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I cross Powell at the crosswalk on 54th every day and cars almost never stop. Hopefully when there are two other nearby crossings, drivers will become more aware of these walkways.

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  • bikieboy October 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    this is great, as these are badly needed - Powell is a big barrier to pedestrians & cyclists. One complaint about mid-block crosswalks is they often don't work well --or really at all -- for cyclists. Perhaps some thought can be given on how to design these with some sort of access/egress for cyclists.

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  • Dan Faulkner October 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    I live very near to the new crossing at 57th, and I'm happy it's part of the repaving plan. I'm a little concerned, though, about conflicts with traffic entering Powell (westbound) from the gas station that's immediately to the right of the camera in the photo rendering. Vehicles often have to wait there a while to find an opening in traffic, and when a gap opens up, they often accelerate quite rapidly onto Powell. With the new arrangement, they'll be accelerating right into the crossing, which will be located just a few feet from the gas station driveway. I'm going to try to make it to the open house tonight to raise this concern.

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  • TTse October 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I recently moved to SE, and was stunned to see how much westbound car traffic Powell gets in the morning. Two lanes, packed, pretty much as far as you can see.

    The ineffectual sensors at 42nd make it pretty frustrating to cross by bike. Perhaps some work/alterations could happen there.

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  • Drew October 22, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    The sensors work great at 42nd and Powell!

    However, you do have to have a little patience. The traffic flow on Powell kind of trumps our preference for a faster light change.

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  • P Finn October 22, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    My daily crossing at SE 36th & Powell has become the moment of dread in my commute. I'm southbound, but the crosswalk is on the east side of the intersection, which creates havoc no matter which approach I choose. Lately, I've been taking a right, then merging across traffic to take a left at 35th, which is as scary as it sounds. Plus, the Starbucks drive-thru folk are the worst drivers in the world. I was cut off by one driver pulling out of there while the car behind me was already getting ready to pass me in the last 100 ft. of the approach to the intersection. Daily clusterf'kage extraordinaire.

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  • Scott E October 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    @#3 -- Amy

    Huh, I've always found cars are generally pretty good about stopping for me at the crosswalk at 54th. And once I'm in the island, they pretty much always stop withing 10 seconds.

    Though sometimes you have to be careful about the person in the curb-side lane not stopping when you're leaving from the island. Those are the ones I have issue with.

    They're not putting 2 and 2 together that there is a crosswalk ahead of them and the cars next to them are stopped. They don't see me (I'm behind the stopped cars) so they keep going.

    -Scott E

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  • TTse October 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    No Drew, the sensors do not work great.

    Sometimes they work surprisingly well, and other times, they'll sense you, the cross-traffic "don't walk" lights will start flashing as if the light will soon change, and then the "don't walk" lights stop and the "walk" sign comes back on. And there you are, waiting. And sometimes they just won't trip at all.

    And it's not just a matter of patience and waiting for my turn. On more than one occasion I've been on one side of Powell while a car is on the other and the light will change for them but not for me.

    I know all the tricks for getting sensors to work; laying your bike down on them etc. I've got 20 years of bike commuting experience and I've ridden all over this city. The sensors at 42nd blow.

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  • Kt October 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    TTse, it sounds like you need to call the City of Portland and report the sensor as not working.

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  • Steve B. October 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    @ TTse - I'll be the second to recommend that you call this in! From PBOT site:

    Handy numbers:

    -stoplight sensor doesn't seem to detect bicycles 503.823.2925, press 1 (also, read this article)

    -pavement and pothole repair needed on bike lane/route 503-823-BUMP

    -bike lane stripes that have faded/disappeared 503-823-1700

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  • Steve B. October 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Also:

    " Also keep in mind that some traffic
    signals have very long cycle lengths and it may take a while to get served on a side street. Cycle
    lengths may be as long as one hundred and twenty seconds and although two minutes may not sound
    like a long time, it may seem like an eternity when waiting for a green, especially if you are
    impatient like me. "

    http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=145110

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  • Matt October 22, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Powell & 42nd: Southbound, the sensor works pretty well for me, where the bike symbol is painted. Northbound, I hit the walk button, which is just off the bike lane. The north and southbound green here are separated. Northbound green used to not be long enough to get through the s-curve uphill intersection comfortably. I called it in and they lengthened it that day.

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  • IanO October 23, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Re: #10, #12

    Y'know what would really help? Some feedback that you have actually activated the sensor. How hard would it be to have an LED on the relay box visible from the sensors, letting you know that you have triggered the sensor? Routing the signal to an LED on the pedestrian walk sign might also work.

    (That 42nd & Powell crossing just sucks rocks anyway. The streets are offset by 10 yards on a big hill, there is no pedestrian button reachable from the bike, the traffic is heavy, and the default signal timing is very long. I long for a dedicated bike signal, like on Burnside and 42nd. Or, given the offset, a left turn bike refuge like the one on Stark at 41st.)

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