Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Long trucks now restricted on Jackson Quarry Road in Washington County

Posted by on October 29th, 2013 at 9:30 am

Great for bikes — but not great for long trucks.
(Photo: Washington County)

A road in rural Washington County that’s a popular cycling route should become a bit nicer to ride on thanks to a new ruling by the county’s Board of Commissioners. The ruling prohibits vehicles longer than 30 feet from using Jackson Quarry Road (map), a narrow and winding road that connects to West Union, which is a key connector for many cycling routes in the Helvetia area.

Here’s more from Washington County’s Dept of Land Use & Transportation:

Washington County’s Board of Commissioners has authorized a 30-foot vehicle length limit on Jackson Quarry Road between Mason Hill and Helvetia roads. Signs identifying this restriction will be installed soon. Trucks exceeding 30 feet in length must use an alternate route or apply for an oversize truck permit.

Jackson Quarry Road is classified as a rural local road and is popular with bicyclists. The non-restricted portion of Jackson Quarry Road between Helvetia and West Union roads is on the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. North of Helvetia Road, Jackson Quarry Road is narrow with some very sharp curves. According to 2011 traffic counts, about 600 vehicles use Jackson Quarry Road each day; about 12 percent of the traffic is trucks.

At least two times this year large trucks got entangled in the guardrail in the curves. An engineering study found that trucks longer than 30 feet over-track into the oncoming lane, onto the shoulder, or into the guardrail. The length restriction should improve safety for all travelers along the road.

It’s interesting to note the reference to the road being “popular with bicyclists.” Makes us wonder whether there are other narrow roads in the area that could be made safer and more comfortable to ride on with stronger motor vehicle regulations.

Learn more on Washington County’s website.

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  • wsbob October 29, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Interesting that the county has decided to limit the length of trucks using this narrow, curvy road, I wonder if the decision had anything whatsoever to do with people that bike using the road.

    Nothing in the press release particularly suggests that. The more apparent reason, is that some truck drivers for whatever reason…maybe they weren’t aware the road was so twisty, or maybe they weren’t such hot truck drivers…got stuck in a sticky wicket, causing delays and damaging the county’s guardrail.

    Twelve percent of 300…about 36 trucks a day, are using this road. I wonder why, instead of a lower, flatter route.

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    • q`Tzal October 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Truck driving “hotness” or not there are roads that are simply geometrically impossible to drive a 53′ trailer and truck in to; this doesn’t stop businesses from operating there or truck drivers from trying to go there. Just look for the mowed down signs, plants and destroyed sidewalk corners.
      In such situations I’ve settled on calling up the shipper or consignee and asking the other drivers what the trick is there. In the above picture the trick is probably lock your differentials and ride the dirt as far outside on the turn without taking out trees.

      PS: Expect this to not stop soon. Most of the length restriction signs we truckers see reference kingpin to rear tandem length which on a 53′ trailer can be as low as 39′. Expect to see combo trucks stuck up there that have trailers 30′ or shorter but longer all together.

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  • Jeff October 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I’ve ridden that road 100 times, no joke. Never seen a truck.

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  • JL October 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Instead of banning large trucks downtown Portland has anyone looked into requiring permits for vehicles over a certain length?

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    • q`Tzal October 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Trucking interests treat this as a defacto ban.

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  • esther c October 30, 2013 at 6:39 am

    A couple of days ago I saw a full sized tractor trailer in the left turn lane on Rosa Parks heading west at Interstate Ave where it is clearly posted “Trucks longer than 50ft, no left turn”. Thankfully he thought the better of it before attempting to make the turn as he would have had to plow down the max railing to make it.

    I am so disgusted watching all the trucks driving up on the sidewalks to make the tight turns all over the city. Why are they not required to off load their cargo onto smaller trucks to maneuver our city streets.

    And now during rush hour they are leaving the freeway to drive up Williams and North MLK.

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  • Dave October 31, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I’ve ridden and driven that road–makes a Subaru Outback feel like a tractor-trailer. Can’t believe where some truck drivers can get their rigs.

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  • Trek 3900 October 31, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    I like to ride up from Helvetia Rd to Mason Hill, turn around and go as fast as I can back down. There is very little traffic on the road including bikes. But the turns are tight so a long truck would have problems.

    A good ride is to go up Logie Trail to the top and turn left I think just before you get to the volunteer fire station. Go downhill, it turns to dirt, then finally back to paved. The paved part is Mason Hill Road – not sure of the name of the dirt part.

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