Letters to the Editor: Oct. 30, 2019
A way to fix Jackson School Road project
Lately there has been some significant dialogue about the Jackson School Road Development Project. With the many citizen inquiries, the city of Hillsboro has been forced to engage in conversation about this project. It may be the first time the city has ever truly listened to the citizen concerns about the project. Let's keep the conversation going.
The proposed three-lane Jackson School roadway is huge. It will be 34 feet wide, consisting of three lanes. So imagine standing in middle of Evergreen Road. That is similar in perspective to standing in the middle of the new Jackson School Road. Scary.
Let me be clear. Everyone wants to see improvements made to Jackson School Road. I have never advocated not to improve the road. It needs to be redone; there are areas of the road that are very unsafe. However, I am concerned about the scope and size of the project.
The solution? Scale this project down to a two-lane road that includes sidewalks and bikeways on both sides of the roadway. Citizens have asked for this repeatedly, but the city is forcing an overbuilt, expensive and expansive roadway that is not wanted.
This change to a two-lane road will significantly decrease the footprint of this project and still allow us to have sidewalks and bike paths along the whole road. These changes will also lessen the need to remove so many trees along the canopy of the road.
Please reach out and contact our mayor and City Council and ask them to make this change. It is not too late and it is time to speak up and be heard.
The next City Council Meeting is Tuesday, Nov 5. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and anyone can speak for three minutes during the public comment portion of the meeting. I will be there, and I hope you will be as well.
Scott Harrington, Hillsboro
Hillsboro's development plans are a mistake
Upon reading the News-Times' Oct. 23, 2019, account of the Jackson School Road project, we feel that the mayor and City Council are making a grave mistake on several accounts:
• Removing so many trees that are venerable seems to be in opposition to being "Tree City USA."
• The charge of lack of transparency in council discussion/decisions seems to be in opposition to your quest for citywide inclusiveness.
• The cost of said project is not finite, which implies that the taxpayer is going to be further burdened with a grandiose scheme.
• Utilizing the concept of "eminent domain" smacks of a totalitarian mindset, which is in contrast to the sanctuary city designation.
• With the proposed environmental destruction, have you considered the cost to the flora and fauna, which seems to be in direct violation of the goals of "Bee City USA?"
In short, we are very disappointed with the mayor and City Council.
Laurie Neumann-Grable, Hillsboro
Hillsboro doesn't need to widen Jackson School Road
No environmental impacts were mentioned in the
Jackson School Road improvement article.
Removing over 300 trees from a 1.5-mile stretch of road is paramount to deforestation. Those trees not only provide a natural ambience, they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere leading to healthier air quality.
In essence, the carbon dioxide-eating trees are being removed to allow more carbon dioxide-spewing vehicles access.
Read our story about residents' reactions to the Jackson School Road project in Hillsboro, which was first published online Oct. 22, 2019.
Hillsboro has prided itself on recycling programs and recently enacted a ban on plastic bags to reduce their flow into the landfill. Protecting our air quality is a natural inclusion of environmental protection policy. In recent years, trees have been cleared along Baseline Road, 185th Avenue and Tualatin Valley Highway to allow road expansion. We plow ahead heedless of the effect on our air quality. There are four other roads that connect Hillsboro to Highway 26 — 185th Avenue, Cornelius Pass Road, Brookwood Parkway and Glencoe Road. Glencoe Road is an extension of First Street directly from the Hillsboro downtown area.
Widening Jackson School Road is not necessary. Our need for clean air outweighs the convenience of the traffic.
The City Council needs to consider all the long term effects of this project. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to be responsible stewards of the planet.
Ellen Bloch, Hillsboro
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)