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Lake Oswego staff say traffic signal is safer, better alternative than mini-roundabout.

It's clear that a change needs to happen at the intersection of Jean Road and Pilkington Road in Lake Oswego to increase safety and efficiency. And Tuesday evening, the Lake Oswego City Council approved an action that would do just that.

During the Oct. 6 meeting, the council approved the addition of a traffic signal for the intersection, directing staff to begin the design process.

About a year ago, the council awarded a personal services contract to Century West Engineering Corporation in the amount of $367,203.26 for the design of the Jean and Pilkington roads intersection improvements.

The two designs that were presented to the council at that time were the implementation of a traffic signal or a roundabout to address vehicular queuing and to help make the intersection safer.

Stefan Broadus, assistant city engineer, said the intersection was identified in the 2014 Transportation System Plans as failing from a "level of service perspective." It was included in a 2017 study that found it met justifications for a traffic signal.

"In 2019, we decided to begin the design of this project, but we took a step back and instead of prescribing a traffic signal, we wanted to take a look at a couple of different options," Broadus said. "We've established here by the level of service that the traffic signal (or) the roundabout is going to outperform the no-build."

Broadus said by implementing a traffic signal, it is much safer for pedestrians to cross and has less significant impacts.

If a roundabout were to be built, Broadus said it could infringe on the surrounding properties, including a private residence and the area's shopping center.

Broadus said there are areas where the roundabout would extend beyond the right-of-way at the northeast corner and intrude into several parking spaces at the shopping retail center's property, "really impacting the basic function of that property all together," he said.

In order to have ADA-compliant sidewalks, the signal would need to extend into the adjacent properties a small amount but would be drastically less than the roundabout option.

Construction cost of the signal would be fairly comparable to the roundabout, along with efficiency.

The traffic signal is estimated to cost $1.3 million, compared to just above $1.2 million for the roundabout.

Construction of the intersection would likely start late next year.

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New City Hall furniture

Also during the Tuesday evening meeting, the council approved a $842,645.81 purchase with Herman Miller furnishings for the new City Hall building.

Facilities Manager Rachael Petersen said staff took into account comfort, cost, safety and sustainability when designing spaces and choosing fabrics and furniture.

Councilor John Wendland asked if the configuration would be COVID-19 sensitive.

Petersen said they are planning for that and have reduced the amount of lobby furniture that would be needed and said it would be spaced out. The plexiglass in the current City Hall building will be used and modified for the new building without causing damage to the new furniture, Petersen said.

Mayor Kent Studebaker asked what would happen to the old furniture and Petersen said they will use what they can and either resell or give the existing furniture to nonprofit organizations.

More news on Woodmont Natural Park

The council approved a motion that would widen Atwater Road — the road that runs along the front of Woodmont Natural Park — by 4.5 feet, which is "required by conditions for development of pathway and parking improvements at Woodmont Natural Park," the staff report read.

Atwater Road is currently owned by Clackamas County, though the park property is owned by the city. The county requires a 4.5-foot right-of-way dedication to meet street improvement requirements for on-street parking at Woodmont.

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