Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 18th, 2006 at 9:37 am
Yesterday I posted some unconfirmed information about safety improvements coming to the intersection of West Union and Helvetia Roads in Washington County.
This intersection recently claimed the life of a cyclist and has been a notorious place for close calls.
Shortly after my post I contacted Washington County transportation planner Gregg Leion. Turns out Gregg is an avid cyclist and regular reader and commenter here on BikePortland.org (that’s always nice to hear).
He confirmed that this intersection has “a very high accident rate,” and that because of this, combined with the recent fatality, Washington County planners have decided to make some safety improvements. According to Gregg,
“The county’s traffic engineer and the director of the land use transportation department has moved it up in the queue as far as doing some emergency improvements to it to make it safer.”
Gregg sent me the official details of their plans to improve this intersection along with a diagram (below)
And here’s the scoop from the press release:
“Washington County engineers have decided to change the traffic pattern at the intersection of West Union and Helvetia, north of Hillsboro, making it a four-way stop…
The traffic pattern changes will be in place as soon as new signs and warning rumble strips are installed. A red solar-powered flashing light will also be installed as soon as it arrives from the manufacturer…
This intersection is slated for a major capital improvement via the county’s Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program by 2013. The planned improvements will accommodate all modes of traffic, including that expected from new urban development to the southeast, an area being master planned by the City of Hillsboro. The county decided not to wait for that eventual solution, but to implement needed safety features immediately due to increased traffic volume and number of accidents.
For more information, please contact Tom Tushner, County Traffic Engineer, 503-846-7950.”
I commend Washington County for addressing this issue so quickly and hopefully these interim improvements make this intersection safer while we wait for major upgrades in 2013.