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Designs call for Foster Road roundabout, expansions to Giese and 172nd Ave. in preparation of upcoming development

Gresham City Council approved a transportation plan that will significantly change the roadways and intersections in Pleasant Valley in anticipation of future growth.

The first reading of the Pleasant Valley Transportation System Plan was unanimously approved Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 18. The plan includes ignoring a Metro Regional Government suggested extension of 172nd Avenue; changing the classification of 172nd from a standard arterial to minor arterial; increasing the capacity of Foster Road; and constructing a roundabout at the Foster and 172nd intersection.

"We've been looking at this for close to 10 years," said Councilor David Widmark. "Looking at how we are connected to Happy Valley and Clackamas County — this creates more stable north-south connections."

Pleasant Valley is a developing area that eventually will have about 12,000 residents and 5,000 jobs. The plan met council's desire for the least cost, property and environmental impacts, while serving those future residents.

The second reading and enactment of the bill are scheduled for March 17 and April 17, respectively.

The implementation of the Pleasant Valley Transportation Plan will roll out in several phases, following one of five proposed alternatives that were crafted by city staff with input from community members.

The first phase will be to fix the Foster and 172nd intersection, which city staff said is failing.

"Roundabouts are much safer," said Councilor Jerry Hinton.

Gresham also will coordinate with the city of Portland to implement safety improvements along Jenne Road north of Foster, including widening stretches and creating a pedestrian/bike path on the east side of the roadway.

Phase two of the plan will construct a western portion of Southeast Giese Road, expanding it all the way to a newly realigned Foster/Giese intersection. That road eventually will serve as the northern connection to the future Pleasant Valley Town Center.

The final phase of the transportation plan will expand 172nd north to connect into the new portion of Giese, with the intersection being right at the future town center. That new roadway will transition Foster into more of a local road, removing much of the traffic strain.

The eventual vision is to create a better transportation system in an area that is expected to be a popular destination in the region.

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