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South Tabor residents push for fixes that would ‘Solve Woodward’

Conditions on the SE Woodward Street neighborhood greenway between 60th and 62nd.
(Photo: South Tabor N’hood Association)

Flyer for Tuesday night’s meeting.

The Land Use and Transportation Committee of the South Tabor Neighborhood Association will dedicate their monthly meeting tomorrow night (10/15) to a traffic safety issue on SE Woodward Street just east of Franklin High School.

This section of Woodward is a popular neighborhood greenway between two schools and a key east-west connection in the bicycling network between Clinton Street and Mt. Tabor. At issue is a narrow block between SE 61st and 62nd that’s been a concern of nearby residents for several years. Woodward loses its sidewalks and narrows significantly in that short stretch due to property lines that jut out into and/or are adjacent to the right-of-way. The problems occur during busy times (especially during the morning rush) when people using cars mix with walkers, bike riders, skateboarders, and so on.

“This stretch of Woodward has been a problem for quite some time,” reads the STNA website. “A vehicle count this spring showed that traffic volumes well exceed the targets for a neighborhood greenway, both in the morning and afternoon. Making matters worse, the roadway narrows in this block, and there are no sidewalks, forcing pedestrians into the street.”

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This video posted to the STNA website illustrates the issues:

Neighbors have gotten the attention of the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the agency’s greenway coordinator plans to attend tomorrow night’s meeting. There’s a possibility PBOT will be amenable to some sort of pilot project. Among the ideas being considered are making the block one-way only for car users or installing diverters that would prohibit through auto traffic.

Diverters on a greenway at N Central and Tyler.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

PBOT has taken steps like this to limit driving access in other parts of the city. In 2013 they placed large planters on N Central Ave in order to keep drivers off the greenway (photo at right).

Word from activists close to the issue is that the STNA board is supportive of traffic calming measures. But as we all know, PBOT is highly unlikely to do anything unless they hear support from a strong majority of people who live in the neighborhood.

If you live, ride, work or play on or around this section of Woodward St., please consider showing up to the meeting tomorrow to share your feedback.

South Tabor Neighborhood Association – Land Use & Transportation Committee
When: Tuesday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Trinity Fellowship, 2700 SE 67th Avenue (use the entrance off the parking lot on Clinton)

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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