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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 6, 2007 3:49 PM. The previous post in this blog was You've got nothing better to do. The next post in this blog is Reality bites. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

It's about time

Whatever else you might say about the City of Portland's current rip-up of SE Hawthorne Boulevard, the traffic signal that's being installed at SE 35th Place is a welcome addition, and long overdue.

Comments (27)

Now if they would put a few of these traffic lights up the pedestrian crossings not at an intersection on Powell Blvd. I would really like that. As it is now, some people just walk out into these crossings ASSuming that everyone will just automatically stop for them. It would be nice if they were required to press a button to change a signal. In many cases people can't see these people crossing because of a larger vehicle in front of them. Also, the average speed on Powell is usually 35-40 MPH - which leads to all sorts of "near misses" and screeching of brakes at the last minute.

This intersection lies 2 lots away from my very first abode here in PDX in Dec. '94--couch surfed for 2 mos. at a college pal's house. A nice short stroll to Mark's Hawthorne Pub--sniffle.

First they take away the Arby's, then they put in a traffic signal--what next?

Parking meters. And condos. Lot of condos.

Well, a tram, duh! That would really solve the ped crossing issues. NE Broadway could use one, too...

It certainly wasn't ruled out last week on West Burnside....

i owned a house a block from there up until a few years ago. i was part of the gang fighting the McDonald's.

most neighbors there didn't care a bit about more signals--they wanted the street brought down to one lane, each way, with a bike path and wider sidewalks. *that* never even got considered, because of Hawthorne's role in traffic flow.

There's still plenty more that they could do. Speed bumps that kept everybody down to 25 or 30 miles an hour would have been a nice touch.

most neighbors there didn't care a bit about more signals

I question that.

I hear you, eco.

I'm one of those neighbors who is very dubious about additional traffic control lights along Hawthorne. My experience is that a light on a major thoroughfare at an intersection increases the auto traffic on the neighborhood street. Auto drivers figure out that it's a good place to get access.

Boy, am I glad I don't live closer to Hawthorne.

Oh...McDonald's, huh? Latecomer. I was part of the gang that stopped the Burger King on 39th, just south of Hawthorne. It seems that in both cases, we still got ugly crap....such is 'development'.

Somebody was going to get killed crossing Hawthorne at that spot. The signal is much needed.

They're supposed to be taking steps to stop cut-through traffic through the back streets.

most neighbors there didn't care a bit about more signals,

I question that. - sez Jack

I'd only question the "most". Perhaps "many" would be a better term.

Making is "safer" along Hawthorne means making it more dangerous in the adjoining neighborhoods.

Yeah, Jack...

There's lots of potential for folks getting killed or injured on Hawthorne. But, from my point of view, this project is not going to change that. The problem is people who do stupid things....pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

As for stopping "cut-through" traffic in the neighborhood, I'd like to know how they intend to do that. Then, there's actually doing it, as versus saying they'll do it. Y'know, kinda like that $15 million tram *rimshot*.

I started attending the planning meetings for this "upgrade" and gave up in disgust because it became clear to me, and to several others, that the planners had already made up their mind what "needed to be done". Public process was a joke.

Making is "safer" along Hawthorne means making it more dangerous in the
adjoining neighborhoods.

I question that, too.

people who do stupid things .... pedestrians, bicyclists, and
motorists.

Trying to cross Hawthorne at the corner of 35th Place is not stupid. It's a corner. Pedestrians are told that every corner is a crosswalk. Taking that advice anywhere in Portland has become a life-threatening mistake. But it's not the pedestrians' fault.

the planners had already made up their mind what "needed to be done". Public
process was a joke.

I have no doubt that you're right about that.

my "most" was anecdotal, from neighborhood meetings and the McDonald's project and across the fence. the only group that seemed for it was...the business association (HBBA).

but the curb extensions coming at various locales are a good idea.

Well, I'll tell you, Jack, I've spent a fair amount of time along Hawthorne and what I see is huge numbers of pedestrians who use no crosswalk, no corner and no sense. They walk in and across Hawthorne as their whim decides, even dodging in front of moving vehicles. That light, or any other, ain't gonna solve that.

If you want to make it safe, close it.

eco sez: but the curb extensions coming at various locales are a good idea.

Really? Why? Because it shortens the distance one has to dodge through traffic?

My view is that they constrict the street so that the Tri-Met buses determine the flow of motor traffic. Of course, if traffic backs up behind the slow vehicles, or those making lots of stops at constricted locales, then traffic will slow down, right?

Maybe.

Then again, my experience is that when motorists face a backup on an arterial, they seek alternate routes - that means through the neighborhoods.

Plus, they reduce the number of parking spaces along Hawthorne itself, thereby pushing more parking into the surrounding neighborhood. I'll bet all those folks living within two blocks of Hawthorne will be real thrilled.

That light, or any other, ain't gonna solve that.

If you give people an easy, safe alternative to stupid moves, many will use it. Right now, if you're anywhere 35th Place and need to cross, you're a long walk away from a safe spot to do it. So people just go for it anywhere, rather than walking three or four blocks out of their way. That signal will be much used by pedestrians, many of whom will be giving up their jaywalking ways.

It's about time.

Dream on, Jack.

This morning, I stood at a bus stop that was a half block from a major intersection. That means that there were zebra crosswalks with lighted pedestrian signals, one direction which was pedestrian controlled. In the brief duration I was there, I noted that a doctor, a nurse, an administrator, along with two patients, crossed one of the two major arterials at midblock, directly outside the clinic doors, less than 70 feet from the controlled intersection. The nurse almost got run down by an auto that had turned the corner at the intersection. These are ordinary people, some of them fairly well educated, yet they ignored the controlled pedestrian crosswalks within seconds to barge into traffic and jaywalk.

I think that the new stop light at 35th Place will allow more pedestrians to cross Hawthorne. Some of them will do it right at the crosswalk. Most of them, I expect, will use the additional spacing caused by the stoppage to cross whereever there whim determines.

I stood at a bus stop that was a half block from a major intersection.

On Hawthorne?

Most of them, I expect, will use the additional spacing caused by the stoppage to cross whereever there whim determines.

Doesn't mean that law-abiding folks should have to walk four blocks or risk being killed.

Rave on if you like, but I'm through with this argument.

a welcome addition, and long overdue.

Thanks, Jack. You're absolutely right.

We need MORE traffic signals on Hawthorne, especially down in my neck of the neighborhood down at 23rd.

BTW We've new proposals for a 50+ unit apartment/retail building at 23rd & Hawthorne --where Uncle Paul's Produce is-- and two blocks further east, more codos and retail where the Artisan Dental place is. This in addition to newly proposed condos at 20th & Division and 26th & Division, opposite the new Randy Rappaport condos already going in.

The buzz words in the neighborhood are "under siege," though it's far less that we're anti-development than that we want the infrastruture in place to support all this new development. I've only been waiting 17 years for a light at 23rd & Hawtorne...

Frank, your neck of the woods is toast. Stand by for the wrecking ball; some ugly, ugly cr*p about to be built; and lots of accompanying problems. Wait 'til they start knocking down the single family homes on the side streets. Gotta have more Pearl.

Buckman is, of course, about to be screwed even worse, as it has been for at least four decades. It's just a new crew of creeps about to cash in.

And the hundreds of planners love it. It's their little experiment with your life and your family's future. Enjoy.

Parking meters. And condos. Lot of condos.

Speaking of condos....I read in the Trib that they got a developer for the old Monroe High School. Gonna turn it into 72 condos & retail space. Also says they are going to put rowhouses on the property too.
Its spreading...


i think traffic lights aren't the answer to traffic safety or control.

here's one alternative that's working, though, and for a reason you may not have thought of:

http://www.ecohuman.com/?p=10

Al of this is chaos in the making. Despite the deep and wide propoganda dished out by our various planners, public officials and the newspapers which have played their chorus for decades.

Rave on if you like, but I'm through with this argument.

Okay...How about a light at every intersection? That'd be just about like closing it.

May the residential street upon which your house is located be cursed with a four-way, light controlled, intersection at the nearest arterial thoroughfare.

Praise be to Ecohuman!!! There SE aesthetic needs more trees, low-rise, people happily talking to each other, zero-emission vehicles-aka bikes, 50 more farmers markets, more open space, and onsite power generation for every home and business.


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