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Eyes on the Street: New signal for Fanno Creek path at Hall Blvd

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 16th, 2014 at 9:40 am

This new signal has been installed on SW Hall Blvd in order to make it easier for Fanno Creek Trail users to cross.
(Photo by Bill Anderson).


Reader Bill Anderson has sent in our first look at the new traffic signal on SW Hall Boulevard and the Fanno Creek Trail in Beaverton (map).

This old sign shows the recommended
detour people would have to take.
(Photo by KTesh on Flickr)

The new signal was approved by Beaverton City Council in July of 2012 after 13 years (13 years!) of public process and planning. The Fanno Creek Trail is a popular multi-use path and SW Hall has been a notorious gap for many years. Before this signal was put in, the local parks agency directed path users to walk 1/4 mile out of direction to a nearby intersection (SW Greenway) with a traffic signal in order to continue on the path. Since that was so inconvenient (and very disrespectful to walkers and bikers), many people would simply cross mid-block — which was risky due to the high-speed auto traffic on the seven-lane arterial (four standard lanes, a center turn lane and two bike-only lanes).

The dicey mid-block crossings by path users became such an issue that in 2010 the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District was set to install a fence to prevent it from happening until a more permanent fix could get sorted out. That idea was met with opposition from transportation advocates and it never materialized.

A tour of the West Side-23
Where the path used to end. A tunnel would have been much better than the "beg button" signal.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The new signal is what's known as a "HAWK" signal, which remains green for SW Hall traffic until a button is pushed. Many other ideas were considered for this crossing, including a bridge overpass and a tunnel. Both of those options had a lot of support from neighbors and advocates, but they were deemed too expensive. The bridge was estimated to cost between $4-5 million and the price of a tunnel was estimated at over $9 million (due to the contention that the entire roadway would have to be raised in order to get the tunnel above the 10-year floodplain).

The new signal was the cheapest option, coming in at around $400,000.

So far, Anderson says he's used the new signal several times and it appears to be working well. "I saw 100% compliance from cars," he shared with us, "It will certainly make this more viable for any commuter and much more enjoyable for people recreating."

— Learn more about the history of this project at FannoCrossingHall.org.

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Comments
  • NYCeWheels January 16, 2014 at 9:48 am

    15 years for one light, one step at a time I suppose. Progress is coming a little faster here in NYC in the form of more bike lanes, but the education just still isn't there for cars. Here's a blog we just wrote about safety tips in rough traffic for those interested: http://blog.nycewheels.com/folding-bike-safety/ Thanks again for the great blog, will certainly share - Jack

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  • Lynne January 16, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I sat on the committee, and I suggest your language about why the tunnel did not go forward and why the overpass did not go forward is missing quite a bit of the discussion. That said, I saw it yesterday, and I am delighted.

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    • Carl (BTA) January 16, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. Still: remember when we were told that at-grade just wasn't possible? I'm so glad we kept pushing! The work that you and others did made for a better crossing (and saved Beaverton a lot of money). Thanks Lynne.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks Lynne,
      I don't pretend to be an expert on projects out in WashCo, and I realize there's a lot more than what I wrote above. Thanks for the comment.

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    • q`Tzal January 18, 2014 at 12:38 am

      Lynne
      ... why the tunnel did not go forward and why the overpass did not go forward is missing quite a bit of the discussion.

      Is the rest of this discussion on the record?
      If it is it would prove educational for future advocacy efforts.

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  • wsbob January 16, 2014 at 10:39 am

    In the picture above, visibility of the crossing...the overhead signal arm, lights, pavement markings, look very good.

    For people using the trail and wanting to cross Hall, what kind of a wait is involved after the crosswalk button is pushed?

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    • Alan Love January 16, 2014 at 10:46 am

      I've not used this particular signal, but cross the Barbur signal just before the "Woods" section all the time, and bus stop users seem to get the signal almost immediately after pushing the button. Since there isn't an intersection nearby, it doesn't need to be timed with another light.

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    • Bill January 16, 2014 at 10:56 am

      I used it a couple times after taking the picture used. If the signal hasn't recently been used, it turns almost immediately. I also tried it about a minute after it had been used, and then there was a timeout before it would change. It works pretty well.

      The main trail on the South side still curves to the West, pointing people to the old suggested crossing. It would be nice to have it go straight up to the new crosswalk.

      --Bill

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      • wsbob January 16, 2014 at 11:41 am

        Bill...thanks for the info about the signal wait time. If the timeout period isn't longer than, perhaps 30-40 seconds, that should help to dissuade people from trying to cross Hall without benefit of the light.

        With the Greenway intersection west some 400'-500', it will be interesting to see if and how this 'hawk' signal may affect flow of road traffic through that intersection...for example, during rush hour...on occasions when people crossing the road from the park, are frequent.

        In general terms, the new signaled Fanno Creek Trail crossing at Hall Blvd, seems to be a great improvement, for people visiting the park and for those using the road.

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      • Eight January 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm

        City of Beaverton is going to move the trail back up to the sidewalk where the new mid-black crossing is located.

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        • Brian January 16, 2014 at 10:10 pm

          Actually, that will be the responsibility of the park district at which time I expect that they will also patch up some sections of the trail north and south of Hall Blvd based on the presence of new spray paint marking the trail.

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  • Scott Mizée January 16, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Great to see this. In addition to those instances mentioned above, I also remember this being a major issue at a regional policy makers bike ride a few years back. I'm very pleased to see that progress has been made. Thank you to all who have pushed and worked to make this happen.

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  • Mindful Cyclist January 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Good to see this. When I lived down there and took this path, it was a huge impediment. Finally it has been made better.

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  • K'Tesh January 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    The tunnel was visually, and for a bike/ped/ADA standpoint, the nicest solution, but IIRC it would have cost $6-9 Million USD if implemented. Part of the problem is that it would have needed (by law) to be above the 100 year flood level, and that was the sticking point.

    The "tunnel" under Scholls Ferry was build before the law changed, and that's why it's where it is.

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    • Dave Thomson January 16, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Excellent point, and because of that the tunnel is unusable 4 months of the year because of Fanno Creek flooding. When the tunnel is not useable the alternatives for crossing Scholls are MUCH worse than the 900' detour at Hall. If you are a summer trail user then prioritizing the Hall crossing is great, but for winter trail users I would say the Scholls crossing is a MUCH bigger problem.

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      • Bill January 16, 2014 at 1:21 pm

        I agree. If you need to make use of that tunnel, it is a disaster. Even after the water recedes, a slippery, muddy quagmire is left to be dealt with.

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      • Peter January 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm

        The City of Beaverton and City of Tigard worked together on a project to raise the path at the Scholls Ferry crossing to minimize the number of times that the path floods in the winter. The problem is that once the path was raised, the City of Tigard stopped working as hard to keep the beaver dams downstream of the crossing from backing water up into the crossing. The only way that this is going to change is to contact the City of Tigard and politely remind them that this is a year-round transportation corridor for many users and that they should reconsider the balance between maintaining beaver habitat and the needs of trail users. I am convinced that flooding of the trail can be reduced so that it only occurs two or three times a year rather than every time it rains which is what currently happens. I make this claim based on my observations as a daily commuter over the past ten years. For the first five years before the beavers became very active, the water levels between storms were about a foot lower than they are now and the trail did not flood very often. Over the last 5 years the water level between storms has gradually gotten higher and the flooding of the trail much more frequent. If you do decide to contact the city please be professional and do not be afraid to copy their elected officials.

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        • Brian January 16, 2014 at 10:07 pm

          If you do call the city of Tigard about those beavers, you might also mention the damage to the path by tree roots and encourage them to fix it. I suspect that the high water levels have contributed to the buckling of the path by tree roots.

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        • wsbob January 16, 2014 at 11:45 pm

          "... that they should reconsider the balance between maintaining beaver habitat and the needs of trail users. ..." Peter

          What the guidelines are, for maintaining that balance in this suburban situation and others, is something I wouldn't mind knowing more about. Where I live, just north of Canyon Rd, there's also a sizable creek drainage/wetland in which beavers are active, and build dams. With housing and parks nearby, somebody's got to give.

          Here, as well as over at Scholls Ferry Rd, it looks like it's put upon the beavers to do the giving; according to a park employee I recently talked to, beaver dams there are periodically dismantled to keep the water level from rising all the way up to nearby apartments, as it has done at times in the past.

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  • Adam January 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Sweet! I might go do one of my weekly runs along thus trail to check it out. I've never been on the Fanno Greenway before. Looks great. All hail the mighty HAWK signal!!

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  • Dick Schouten January 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks for the progress report. There has been a lot of lobbying, nagging etc., done by many good people over a long time to make this hawk signal happen. It was a worthwhile effort. The Fanno Creek Regional Trail is a phenomenal regional asset, really close to SW Portland and getting closer (and better) all the time.

    Washington County Commissioner Dick Schouten

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    • Patty January 18, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Hear hear!

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  • Peter January 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    The project was a partnership between Tualatin Parks and Recreation District (THPRD) with THPRD financing material and contractor costs and the City of Beaverton providing the design and project oversight. I believe that THPRD considers this an interim solution until such point that funding for a bridge can be secured. The signal will activate immediately during off peak traffic hours but there will be a short wait during peak hours since it is coordinated with the signal at Greenway during these times. Exact times for peak and off peak operation have not been finalized since the city is taking a trial and error approach to maximize the off peak operation without creating a nightmare for traffic. Once weather and soil conditions allow, the paved path on the south side of Hall Blvd. will be realigned to connect with the sidewalk adjacent to the crossing location.

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    • K'Tesh January 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Sounds like something a Beaverton City employee would know... ;)

      Rubberside Down :)
      Peter

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      • K'Tesh January 16, 2014 at 2:31 pm

        nuts... looks like I signed as Peter, and not "to" Peter...

        Sorry My Bad...

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  • Bill January 16, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Peter
    Once weather and soil conditions allow, the paved path on the south side of Hall Blvd. will be realigned to connect with the sidewalk adjacent to the crossing location.

    That's great news! Thanks.

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  • Brian January 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I live in the Greenway neighborhood of Beaverton and I use the Fanno Creek trail almost every day so I am a member of the frequent crossers' club. I have a couple of corrections.

    First, A HAWK signal does not have a green signal; it is dark when not active. That actually causes a little bit of confusion for motorists because they may see someone waiting to cross at a marked crosswalk and stop at the marked cross walk. In this case, they only need to stop if the signal is red. The cycles on a HAWK signal are dark, yellow, red and flashing red. Motorists are allowed to go on a flashing red if the crosswalk is clear. Many people don't know they can proceed that so they wait until the signal goes dark.

    I have witnessed a couple of automobiles stop at the Fanno crossing while I was waiting for a walk signal. The HAWK was not active so they saw a bicyclists waiting to cross at a cross walk and did the unthinkable, came to a stop. I know I shouldn't be so surprised but I am just so used to traffic barreling through without regard to pedestrians. That also gives me confidence that the crossing will be much safer and automobiles will comply with the new signals.

    Second, the park district once installed posts for a fence, but they did not install the fence before the neighborhood outrage put a stop to that. The story I heard was that the fence posts were installed by a over-eager contractor. After that incident, they rerouted the path to the Albertson's driveway rather than straight up to the sidewalk. They will, once again, reinstall the path to the sidewalk because you know people are going to cut across the grass to get to the crossing. But, first, they have get approval from Clean Water Services because the land on both sides of Hall Blvd is a wetlands area.

    Third, the city traffic engineer did the design for the new signal and he told me that the signal should be timed to the signal at Greenway. I have noticed that the timing is not what I had expected but I am not complaining. One of the concerns for an at-grade crossing is that because the left turn lane fills up during the evening commutes there is a chance that cars will block the crossing. Legally, drivers are required to avoid blocking crosswalks and intersections. The light timing should be set up to minimize that. I have not yet crossed during the evening commute so I have not seen if the crossing is being blocked by automobiles.

    After the spectacular display of sticker shock by the park district board following the first presentation of options for the crossing, the Beaverton traffic engineer got involved and provided the option we now have today. Officially, the at-grade crossing is an interim solution. The official long-term solution is a wooden bridge. The bridge is wooden because wood is cheaper than metal.

    Several members of the stakeholder committee proposed the solution we have today but the consultants were stuck on the concept of a pedestrian island in the middle of the street which meant that there had to be two left turn lanes and the accompanying design, construction and million dollar budget to go along with widening of both Hall Blvd and Greenway Blvd. The current solution is about $200k.

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    • wsbob January 16, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      "First, A HAWK signal does not have a green signal; it is dark when not active. ..." Brian

      Not having a green phase, is one of the quirky things about 'hawk' signals, that I don't like, in addition to their not providing pedestrians with 'walk'/'don't walk' signals to help regulate their crossing of the street.

      After going to all the time and expense to put signal poles and cross-arms in, to not spend a little more for fixtures having an additional socket for the green light, and 'walk'/'don't walk' signals for the crosswalk, seems going a bit too far on the cheap side.

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      • Bill January 16, 2014 at 9:02 pm

        This DOES have the walk/don't walk signal for pedestrians, along with full audible voice cues for the visually impaired. You can see the black walk signal box on the post on the far side of the street in the photo above. The audio cues are built into the button unit.

        --Bill

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        • wsbob January 16, 2014 at 11:26 pm

          Bill...thanks for pointing this out. I think I noticed the black box earlier, but wasn't sure that actually was a 'walk'/'don't walk' signal light. Brian, thanks as well, for the link.

          Any insight you have as to why the 'hawk' signal doesn't display a green light rather than simply going dark at the end of the pedestrian crossing phases, would be appreciated.

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          • JJJ January 17, 2014 at 12:50 am

            wsbob, its supremely dumb.

            Every other traffic signal: Dark = BROKEN = STOP!!!! (treat as stop sign)

            For HAWK, dark= GO....wtf?

            Every train signal: Alternating flashing red lights = FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT GO YOU WILL DIE.

            For HAWK, alternating flashing red lights = stop and go.....wtf?

            It's idiotic and dangerous.

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            • Brian January 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm

              You forgot that flashing red lights are equivalent to a stop sign, so stop, look and proceed when clear. It's the second one installed in Beaverton and people are managing to figure it out.

              It's amazing how many people call "stupid" before they have actually observed a thing. Go try it out.

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          • q`Tzal January 18, 2014 at 12:57 am

            Just a guess but my reading of the MUTCD makes me think that a full red/yellow/green signal would have required a more expensive engineering and approval process as well as being more expensive as a function of more and more complex hardware.
            A pedestrian crossing safety enhancement, like a HAWK signal system, is not considered as affecting traffic flow anywhere other than in its immediate area. A red/yellow/green signal has timed stoppage that on a system level can mess with designed flow patterns

            Functionally a HAWK signal is a conditional stop sign: when blinking it is treated as a stop sign, when off traffic flows as usual.

            As to JJJ's confusion: in your drivers license test and in every state's DMV handbook for drivers is a section explaining that if a traffic light is blinking red it is legally to be regarded as a stop sign.

            If a user triggers this new crossing, crosses quickly leaving the signal blinking red the stopped drivers can proceed as soon as the path is cleared.

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            • Patty January 18, 2014 at 10:44 am

              Guessing it's too close to the next full signal for this to be allowed.

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            • Brian January 18, 2014 at 6:10 pm

              Basically, yes. The crossing did not warrant a full signal but did warrant a HAWK. The HAWK may very we'll have looser warrants for the reasons you mentioned.

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            • wsbob January 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm

              "Just a guess but my reading of the MUTCD makes me think that a full red/yellow/green signal would have required a more expensive engineering and approval process as well as being more expensive as a function of more and more complex hardware. ..." q`Tzal

              On each signal light fixture, just an additional socket for the green light, and maybe an extra chip or slightly different integrated circuit board may be all that's needed to add a green light to indicate the intersection was clear for passage.

              Possible technical problem that occurred to me since I wrote my first comment to this story: heat...unlike a regular traffic signal light that constantly is turning off and on, a traffic signal light enabling people visiting the park to cross the road, only changes if it's activated by a person actually needing to cross the road.

              The green light could be on for very long periods of time, causing the fixture and the light lens to build up heat which could be significant enough that a way to relieve it, would have to be found.

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      • Brian January 16, 2014 at 10:01 pm

        You may be thinking of a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon. A HAWK signal is standard traffic control device which has been approved for midblock pedestrian crossings. As such, it is always installed with a pedestrian signal at a marked crosswalk. See attached link.

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  • Trek 3900 January 16, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    This is typical waste of taxpayer dollars. It is 416 feet from the trail crossing to the crosswalk at Greenway. You can check it yourself on Google Earth - use the ruler tool. Then again, knowing how wimpy we cyclists and pedestrians are, maybe it was necessary - God forbid we might have to walk an extra 900 feet. Isn't part of the idea of the trail to get exercise?

    A whole bunch of people should be fired for this.

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    • wsbob January 17, 2014 at 1:34 am

      Tell us, if you have any, your personal experience in using this park and making that approximately 830' walk along Hall Blvd traffic to go up and wait at the Greenway intersection, wait for the traffic signal there to change, then make a U-turn back along Hall traffic, the asphalt desert and the stinky fast food joint, to finally return to the park.

      I suppose the perspective you present, fairly raises the question of how much the public should invest to sustain or enhance the aesthetic integrity of its natural, recreational resources such as parks...not even to mention the safety aspect, which alone probably justifies spending the money on this crossing.

      This is a beautiful park, a place designated for, and hopefully where people come for the purpose of some respite from the junk and clutter of traffic and business. It's contrary to that purpose for them to have to leave the park mid-visit, to enter into the junk and clutter before they can return to the serenity of the park.

      It's well worth the money to put this signal in. Actually, given what the park is, probably much more of an investment should eventually be made to substantially raise the grade of the road, allowing a magnificent, spacious tunnel to be constructed under it, faced with something like basalt used on the Cornell Rd tunnels.

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    • Brian January 17, 2014 at 9:32 am

      You evidently don't live here so you are hardly in a position to judge this project other than to offer some knee-jerk reaction against spending any money. By your reasoning, it was a waste of taxpayer money to spend money on the trail or maintain the park, let alone provide adequate crossing amenities. The cost of this project was cheap as far as civic projects go and it solves very real safety issues. In fact, given the nature of the traffic on Greenway, this new crossing is actually much safer than crossing at Greenway where drivers are too busy looking over their left shoulders to pay attention to the crosswalk in front of them. Doing nothing was always an option and the citizens of this neighborhood have long felt the need for a crossing. If you lived here, you might recognize the need rather than make some bombastic statements about taxpayer spending, public employees and trail users.

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    • Lynne January 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      I want you to say those very exact words to the woman in the wheelchair in the audience at all the committee meetings, the senior citizens who walk to the grocery, and all the parents with strollers and small children just learning to manage their bicycles with supervision.

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    • Brian January 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Google is a poor substitute for actually being there and experiencing the situation for oneself. People could have walked up to Greenway to cross but most did not. Except for the few people who like to complain about public spending, those who live, work and travel through the area welcome the improvement.

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    • Patty January 18, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Typical selfish ignorance.

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    • Pete January 19, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      You've clearly not navigated this route much. If you're on a bike, you've either got to ride on the sidewalk across a driveway (Albertson's) where drivers are hastily looking the other direction (away from you) for a break in traffic; likewise crossing Hall at Greenway while right-turning drivers rush to take advantage of the stopped downhill traffic on Hall. And heaven forbid you're on a flat-bar MTB trying to pass pedestrians and/or the trees and poles on that narrow sidewalk. Or you could walk your bike that distance, which really sucks wearing Speedplays. Or you could just chance a mid-block crossing across 7 busy lanes... oh wait, we've been over that one.

      Also not sure if you're familiar with government budgets, but $400K is a drop compared to the liability that could be incurred here... and I sure could show you much more 'typical' wastes of taxpayer dollars if you want to go there.

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  • Brian January 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Enjoy the photo of the old detour sign at the top of this article because, as of this morning, it is truely history. I observed a park district employee removing that very sign this morning. Yeah!

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  • Lynne January 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I would also like to recognize the work of all the people on the committees over the 13 years it took to get this completed. Thank you for your time and persistence!

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  • Trek 3900 January 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    The polar bears will appreciate the extra 1/2 degree rise in temperature that results from the extra carbon belched into the air as hundreds of cars per day sit idling as they wait on people to cross. I like warm weather too so this 1/2 degree will add to the 1/2 degree already seen from the hot air belched out during 13 years of meetings on this boondoggle.

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    • wsbob January 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Trek...where you got those numbers, seems rather obvious, but thanks anyway for being sort of a fiscal watchdog.

      Tell you what: I think you have the kind of spirit that could help reduce the number of motor vehicles waiting at the new crossing, by offering an alternative...hook your bike up to a trailer, wait there with your rig at the crossing, and take passengers from the park crossing, up around the Greenway intersection, and back into the park. Any tips you get for the service offered, you could donate to a stop global warming non-profit.

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  • Trek 3900 January 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    And don't forget to visit the 3 motorists each year who will be paralyzed from the neck down when they are rear-ended while stopped for this cross-walk. Please tell them how necessary this was for all the pedestrians who could not bother to walk another 830 feet. OH, but their injuries are OK because they are evil motorists, right?

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    • Pete January 19, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      If they are rear-ended for stopping too fast for lights timed by professional engineers on a 40 MPH road, maybe they should be cited for driving too fast. You might not believe this, but some of us are actually motorists on this road as well.

      And I call BS on all of your numbers...

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  • Trek 3900 January 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    wsbob,

    Thanks. With this type of waste of money, maybe we can become more like Detroit in the future and declare bankruptcy. Last I heard pension funds for the bloated goobermint pensions in Oregon could use all the money they can get. Thousands of "little" wastes like this project will not help. It's easy to spend other people's money until it runs out and that is the direction we are headed.

    IF we could afford this project (we can't) I would not necessarily be against some improvement at the crossing, but I do think this crosswalk is a bad idea - an under or over the street crossing would be safer and would not hinder car traffic.

    BikePortland readers please educate yourselves:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/18/detroit-isnt-alone-the-u-s-cities-that-have-gone-bankrupt-in-one-map/

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    • wsbob January 19, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      "...an under or over the street crossing would be safer and would not hinder car traffic. ..." Trek 3900

      I don't think that under or over Hall Blvd would be safer, was ever a point of contention. The grade level signaled crossing, while not the best choice for a variety of other reasons, was by far, the lowest cost of the three options, a big reason it came to accepted over the others.

      Cutting costs and waste is always a challenge. In terms of impeding traffic and posing a safety risk to the public, not doing anything in this situation, hoping park users would all make the park to Greenway and back to the park loop, wasn't a very good option. It's good to be looking for ways to safe money, but not at least putting in a signaled crossing at this location, probably would not be a cost effective way of saving money.

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      • Brian January 20, 2014 at 3:03 pm

        Hindering car traffic is overrated. The traffic jam caused by the combination of Hwy 217 and Washington Square far exceeds the minor inconvenience of causing motor vehicles to wait for pedestrians. Besides, it does not kill motor vehicle operators to wait for cross traffic of all different sorts. The delay caused by pedestrians and cyclists tapping the button at Fanno Creek is no longer than the extra signal phase introduced by transit riders tapping the button to cross Hall Blvd on the west side of Greenway Blvd.

        The problem on Hall Blvd is not the volume of traffic but it's timing. There are gaps in the traffic in both directions but they did not line up well. The dribbles of traffic in one direction would often hinder crossing until the arrival of the next wave in the opposite direction. A tunnel would have been so sweet, but 20 times more expensive, and an overpass would be a little bit more of a nuisance because time waiting for traffic would be traded for time and effort of ascending and descending ramps meaning that some would still choose to dart across traffic rather than climb up to a bridge.

        The main advantage of an at-grade crossing is that it has now been completed. Any other solution would have required external funding or the approval of a new district construction bond and the often repeated budgetary wrangling as it competed against every other project in the district. In other words, any other solutions would not have have been funding today and would not be built for several more years from now. Having a solution now is, therefore, not a waste of money. Just ask any of the city council members about 125st Ave.

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        • wsbob January 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm

          Some day, I think a tunnel will be designed and built. Depends some upon how high flood levels could be expected to rise. Eventually for a variety of reasons, the road will need to be rebuilt. That will be the time at which to haul in a bunch of fill, to raise the grade of the road, allowing height for the tunnel.

          To every culture, visionaries, along with the entirely practical minded, are important. They help bring about the choice of design with inspiration and brilliance over the that of the mundane.

          I never really did see a very good visualization of the design for a bridge over road, but things like having to ascend quite a height above the road to create sufficient clearance (really lousy if traveling by chair.)...the requisite screens (which block views, and generally create an oppressive experience.) to keep people from throwing stuff off the bridge onto motor vehicles...put me off that idea. The Sunset Transit Center pedestrian bridge is an example: from the road, has some good things, aesthetically, but for bridge users, it's just functional, nothing more. For Fanno Creek Trail Park, the public can do much better, drawing inspiration in part from either local or national existing examples.

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    • Pete January 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Obviously the under- and over-crossings are WAY more expensive (CAPEX), but they also require additional ongoing costs of maintenance for upkeep (OPEX). Budgets in Beaverton and Washington County are a matter of public record, and they are nowhere near the budgets (and shortfalls) of Detroit.

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  • Patty January 18, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Nothing short of a freakin' miracle to get Washington County to agree to a mid-block crossing. It must have required incredibly high user counts on the nearby trail. Congratulations to THPRD for a success!

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    • Brian January 18, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      THPRD has been able to install mid block crossings on the Waterhouse and the Westside trails but it also helps that Hall Blvd is under the jurisdiction of the city of Beaverton. They didn't need permission from the county.

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  • Slow Joe Crow January 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I saw it and heard it on Sunday when I was walking up Hall so I'm planning a test ride soon. My big question is how well car drivers will comply with the signal since my experience with the amber blinking light at the Tigard library is that some drivers ignore it.

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