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Tualatin-Sherwood Road improvements meeting to discuss removal of traffic light at Regal Cinemas/Albertsons

by: WASHINGTON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF LAND USE AND TRANSPORTATION - After discussion among property owners, the county and city, plans are to remove a traffic signal along Tualatin-Sherwood Road at the entrance to the Albertson's complex and Regal Cinemas.Washington County’s Department of Land Use and Transportation will hold an open house Oct. 16 to discuss improvements to Tualatin-Sherwood Road. The meeting will run from 5 to 7 p.m. in the community room of the Sherwood Police Department, 20495 S.W. Borchers Drive.

Plans are to widen Tualatin-Sherwood Road from Borchers Drive to Langer Farms Parkway. .

Once completed, Tualatin-Sherwood will have two continuous westbound through lanes from Langer Farms Parkway to Borcher’s Drive. Ultimately, there will be five lanes between Borcher’s Drive and Langer Farms Parkway (including a continuous center turn lane). At Langer Farms Parkway, eastbound Tualatin-Sherwood Road will taper to three lanes once it crosses the intersection.

One of the more controversial aspects of the improvements is expected to be the removal of the traffic signal on Tualatin-Sherwood Road at the entrance of the Regal Cinemas/Albertson’s grocery store.

Officials say removing the signal will relieve some congestion along the crowded roadway.

What that will mean is that traffic exiting Albertson’s, which is part of the Sherwood Market Center, will only be allowed to turn right onto Tualatin-Sherwood Road. In turn, motorists leaving the cinemas also will have to turn right-only onto Tualatin-Sherwood Road. A low-profile center median at that intersection will prevent crossing the road in either direction, said Roberts.

While Albertson’s shoppers can go up to the signal at Baler Way to make a left-hand turn onto Roy Rogers, movie-goers leaving the cinema who want to turn left will have to use what is expected to be the northern extension of Baler Way, which currently dead-ends into the Les Schwab Tires parking lot. Who will pay for the extension, which is expected to run through the cinemas parking lot, is still under discussion, said Roberts. He said it could be a combination of funding from the county along with private developers.

A Save our Signal organization has already been formed on Facebook to protest removal of the signal.

Also, during an Oct. 1 Sherwood City Council meeting, several area residents weighed in on the signal removal.

Chris West, who has lived in Sherwood for 13 years, said he was concerned for the safety of his children if the signal is taken down, saying they will have to “jump a curb or backtrack” to cross Tualatin-Sherwood Road.

Katie Boedigheimer, general manager of the Rose’s restaurant, said removal of the signal would be detrimental to the business of her restaurant; the last Rose’s left in Oregon.

“If the light’s taken out, we may not be in business,” she said.

The county, staff from the city of Sherwood, along with property and business owners, have been working to identify needed traffic signal modifications.

In 2012, traffic consultants projected that daily vehicle use on Tualatin-Sherwood Road (east of Highway 99W) will increase by 50 percent over the next 23 years, going from 20,000 cars to 30,000 in 2035.

Other improvements along Tualatin-Sherwood Road include the addition of bike lanes on both sides of the road within the project limits as well as improvements to help the signal at Highway 99W function more efficiently.

The project will begin in 2014 with completion set for 2015. Funding is through the county’s Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program.




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