June 27 was the date of the Oregonian's most recent story on the saga of arriving at some kind of improved crossing of Hall Blvd for visitors to the Fanno Creek Regional Trail:
Fanno Creek Trail moves forward with mid-block crossing at Hall Boulevard/Fong/Oregonian
Some of bikeportland's regular readers appear to have posted comments to that story, making for a fairly lively review of the situation, which inevitably questions the justification for spending money on a more accessible mid-block safe crossing, rather than the 1000' round trip required from the park, up to the Greenway intersection and back to the park to allow park visitors to resume their travel along this linear park trail.
Contradictory assumptions appear to have accompanied thoughts and decisions about what type of crossing for the park would be adequate or desirable for this particular intersection of park and heavily used road. Money is tight, so obviously, many people would not like money to be unnecessarily spent on infrastructure that isn't needed, or that would effectively be somewhat of a duplication of infrastructure that already exists, i.e., ...the Greenway intersection.
Is it even worth spending any money, even as much as a single dime, to create a mid-block crossing for the Fanno Creek Regional Trail at the obstacle Hall Blvd poses to it
? Answering that should oblige asking just what Fanno Creek Regional Trail Park is, now, and what it will become as years go by. My guess, is that increasingly, many, many more people will be relying on this park's unique linear design for respite from the hustle-bustle of busy city life and dealing with road traffic. They don't need, nor will it be a benefit to the community to expect and oblige them...young and old, strong and frail alike...when visiting the park, to have to bop up along busy Hall Blvd to loop around and back into the park using Greenway.
In the O article, reference is made to concerns about a reduction of motor vehicle traffic flow that the comparatively low-end mid-block crossing consisting of a "... "high-intensity activated crosswalk": Trail users would push a button, causing a signal to flash yellow, then red. ...". Estimated cost? Vague, but from the story and comments to it...perhaps somewhere between $100,000 and $400,000; in other words...a ton of bucks.
Concern about a reduction of motor vehicle traffic flow that an at grade mid-block crossing might result in, is where, so to speak...the rubber hits the road.
Story tells of the park district worrying about spending the 400 thou, only to possibly have ODOT eventually tell them: 'Nah...sorry...it's backing up too much road traffic, got to shut that mid-block signal down.'
In this situation, whose priorities trump whose? It's our road and our park.