Five months in, City reviews truck ordinance
Since November 2016, "no thru semi-trucks" signs have been posted at a portion of Wilsonville Road between Town Center Loop W and the Wilsonville/Boeckman/Stafford/Advance road intersection.
The temporary City of Wilsonville ordinance behind these signs, passed October 2016, was the result of long-term residents concern over the safety of large trucks traversing the school-dense section.
At the Wilsonville City Council work session held April 17, Community Development Director and City Engineer Nancy Kraushaar presented a traffic study done on the area detailing the trackable impacts of the ordinance. The study was conducted over a three-day period in February, tracking the traffic volume, vehicle classification and speed data, collected by Quality Counts, LLC. But after analysis, Kraushaar said that the report didn't conclusively indicate how effective the signs are.
Kraushaar did, however, say that the report indicated that there was a slight reduction in average daily trips between Landover Drive and Wagner Street from 2016 to 2017 — from 7,224 trips to 7,188 trips — and a significant increase in truck traffic — from 383 trip to 574 trips. Kraushaar noted that there was some conflicting data collected between Meadows Parkway and Meadows Loop that showed an increase in average daily trips but a slight decrease in truck traffic. These illogical discrepancies called the reliability of the study's data — particularly concerning vehicle types — into question, she said.
"It could be that they aren't through-trips," Kraushaar said of the discrepancies, "but we don't know."
The report also indicated that speeds on the section have remained consistent.
The council wondered if the construction of Meridian Creek Middle School may be impacting the volume of trucks traversing the corridor, but City Manager Bryan Cosgrove said that although it's possible, the City can't quantify or substantiate the possibility.
As for the effectiveness of the ordinance, the data didn't provide any concrete results indicating one way or another. Wilsonville Chief of Police Adam Phillips also offered his take on the ordnance thus far.
"There were two times that my deputies spent on two different days... deliberately looking for truck violators," Phillips said. "Despite the efforts, we've not discovered violators."
The council and staff decided that leaving the signs in place and monitoring the situation over a longer period of time would be most advantageous.
At the City Council meeting following the work session, longtime Wilsonville residents Jon Mohatt and Jan Johnson expressed their disappointment with the City truck ordinance and Wilsonville Police Department.
"Now I don't sit out in front of my house in a rocking chair watching traffic 24 hours a day, but I do walk every day, I'm out in my yard everyday, and I've yet to see a (patrol car)," Mohatt said. "The other situation we have going on there is with all of the construction... Our neighborhood is just getting trashed. I know that you guys need to expand the city and move ahead with getting additional housing, but you shouldn't be wrecking a long-term residential neighborhood (in the process)."
Johnson, who frequently attends council meetings to testify about her concerns, said that she felt that semi-truck traffic has worsened rather than improved, that cars are going well above the speed limit and that the ordinance is not being enforced. She also went on to accuse the council of considering taking the signs down.
"The council has had no discussion on proposing to remove the truck signs," Knapp said.