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View Full Version : U.S. 26: Brookwood Pkwy Interchange project


Simple Nature
10-25-2010, 06:56 PM
This is a call to arms... or at least a chance to make a difference.

Many of you probably got a notice in the mail regarding an upgrade to the U.S. 26 and Brookwood Pkwy interchange. This is a $45M project w/ ODOT that should have cyclists represented... this means you good people.

If you don't know this intersection, there is probably good reason... it is an absolute nightmare! You can reach this interchange if you come off of Meek Rd from the west or Huffman from the east [from the stadium]. It is a 4 lane section of road with 55 mph speed limits. The -only- way to get to the US26 interchange is to take the lane among some very rushed ... well... absolute idiots that really feel you don't belong there on a bike.

I have sent my 1st request for information regarding specific cycling considerations in this project but I suggest if you have an interest in this option to cross US26 in the near future, please consider putting Nov 10th on your calendar and pre-empt some dialog with Elizabeth Craig at ODOT regarding this project.

There is more on the project:
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION1/US26_brookwoodpkwy/

503-731-8237

Elizabeth.Craig@odot.state.or.us

[Brookwood/US26 interchange is between Cornelius Pass Rd and Jackson School Rd just north of the Hillsboro airport; a very nice gateway to the northwest country-side rides]

Thank you for your voice

tom

lynnef
10-26-2010, 08:49 AM
Pg 2 Line 33 of the Memorandum of Understanding:
Base Project Interchange Improvements
4. Design and construct improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities and an additional travel lane southbound across the Brookwood/Helvetia overcrossing of US 26

Other points of interest:
Additional Projects (those that are cut when funding runs short)
Pg 3 Line 18 Effectively serve bicycles and pedestrians
Pg 3 Line 19 something about connecting Schaaf Rd to NE Jacobsen; different access to NE Jacobsen
Pg 3 Line 21 Realign Meek Rd

Andrew Singelakis is, I believe, going to be the speaker at the Washington County Active Transportation Forum (http://www.bta4bikes.org/btablog/2010/10/18/october-27-washington-county-active-transportation-forum/)tomorrow (Oct 27) night. He is one of the signers of the Memorandum of Understanding.

DaveT
10-28-2010, 10:22 AM
Thanks for calling this out Tom. I put the open house in my calendar.

Brookwood Pkwy from US 26 south to Evergreen must be one of the least bike-friendly roads in Washington County. Four lanes, 50+ MPH traffic, and the outside lanes are both narrow and have a concrete curb.

Unfortunately south of Evergreen the road is the same, but they built a MUP alongside. The MUP is good if you are going <10 MPH, have kids in tow, and don't mind stopping at every cross street, but is definitely not a good place to ride if you are going 15 MPH+ commuting to work. So one thing to watch out for here is any indication the bicycle "facilities" will be oriented to extending the MUP along Brookwood to US 26 instead of adding some well-designed bike lanes.

Dave

Simple Nature
10-28-2010, 04:46 PM
You pretty much nailed it, Dave. Even the brand new construction of SolarWorld allowed for MUP [wide sidewalks] instead of proper bike lanes on Brookwood. Somehow I thought there were federal requirements for real bike lanes.

On that same note; I got a reply back from Elizabeth at ODOT. ODOT is primarily concerned with interchange itself but the moneys do go for the connecting facilities:
quote:
"We do have a separate process called the Interchange Area Management Plan (IAMP) that will run concurrently with the interchange project and will look at issues of local circulation and access. I understand that bicyclist/pedestrian issues will be addressed in the IAMP."

This part of the project is appearantly a City effort [County maybe?] and therefore I would expect a much higher level of resistance to change. Hillsboro has done their best to ignore cycling connectivity and safety at every turn.

But!... as the never tiring optimist [yea right!], Elizabeth did go on to say that the county and city would be at the Nov 10th meeting. I plan to be there to get a greater understanding of the plans. I really like this part of my cycling routes and would definitely like connectivity to this particular intersection.

lynnef
10-29-2010, 07:21 PM
you want to get the ear of Andrew Singelakis of ODOT. He's all about Active Transportation.

DarkStar
11-01-2010, 09:16 AM
It should be noted that Brookwood is a county street, not a city street.

Simple Nature
11-01-2010, 05:45 PM
It should be noted that Brookwood is a county street, not a city street.

That is probably a good thing. Washington Co. has always been flexible than the City of Hillsboro.

Simple Nature
11-10-2010, 06:51 PM
Tonight was the open house for the 26/Brookwood project. I was a bit taken aback by one of the parts of the ODOT proposal where the access road leading up to the Rice Rock and Mineral Museum would be cut off just N. of the project. People are now expected to find this cultural resource off of West Union Road... which for cyclist is simply a hazard in itself. Seeing how difficult it would be to have both the project as envisioned and keeping NW Groveland Dr [parallel to 26 westbound] connected, ODOT is willing to consider a trail connection for alternative travel access to Groveland Dr. I put in a suggestion card as such. I spoke with the architect to impress on him that cultural resource access must be considered for everyone.

Next, we discussed interchange access for cyclist, and even runner/joggers. Not a whole lot of thought had been put into this. They are still doing a traffic study and looking for antcipated access. One thing was quite clear, traffic through this interchange will definitely increase due to the industry moving into this region. Access from Meek Rd might fall under ODOT and will be considered for safe access. Nothing firm is on paper, however (they don't know what they -can- do). In reality, the crayon sketch of the proposal on the ODOT end was quite simplistic achieving only one objective; a loopback exit ramp from westbound US26 like Cornelius Pass. Even poorer attention to detail was evident when you realize the maps used to map out the project were seriously out of date.

I did have an open and non-committed conversation with Washington Co. folk. They are all for cycling access and getting Brookwood up to date but they do not know how they want to do this. They are getting the idea that people will not accept a standard bike lane next to the influx of 18-wheelers buzzing them just feet away. It was considered that there is a 20' easement next to the main roadway and some options are -in the wind- so to speak. If we push, with a common voice on options, there is hope that this will be considered for the project. Looks like we need some community involvement to make this happened. This was the 1st of several open houses on the subject so more prompting is needed.

I did bring up specifically the trade-off that happened at Genentech... Just NW. of Evergreen and Brookwood. That is suppose to be a 10 ft wide MUP. I do not believe this is 10', more like 6' and it has a blind corner due to vegetation. Code enforcement will probably be looking into this but in short, Genentech was allowed to follow the example from the rest of Brookwood what is an MUP from Cornell to Evergreen. I made it very clear that cyclist like to move at higher speeds and MUPs are a poor substitude for real commuter bike lanes. Washington Co. needs some coaxing from the community. What do you think; what would be a good alternaive to conventional bike lanes that would maintain right-of-way for cyclists along this route?

Overall I learned a lot of insights on several long pondered baffling issues regarding local byways. One thing I learned, and wish to give credit for is that the bike connection of 231st Ave. was the work of the Co., not the city. Many kudo's to the Co. for this long overdue effort.

I collected one name that would love input from cyclist and local alternative transportation users. This -is- his role at ODOT:

Basil Christopher
Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, ODOT Region 1
123 NW Flanders Street
Portland, OR 97209-4012
503-731-3261 (office)
503-731-8531 (fax)
basil.r.christopher@odot.state.or.us

wsbob
11-11-2010, 12:34 AM
Thanks for the report on the meeting. I'm not really familiar with the area...have driven past...took a look at the location on the Country Cycling map, but that's about it. From your report, the following sounds good:

"... It was considered that there is a 20' easement next to the main roadway and some options are -in the wind- so to speak. ..."

20' for a bike lane would be way more than enough room. I think of Hwy 47 between Forest Grove and Gaston as an example of a roadway shoulder or bike lane that's adequate for travel alongside high speed motor vehicles. Don't know specifically how wide it is...at least 6', maybe 8' or 10'.