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Amendments to Transportation Systems Plan approved

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JAKE BARTMAN - The conversion of Printer Parkway -- which runs through the Xerox campus from Parkway Avenue to Canyon Creek Road -- from a private to a public road was approved for addition to the Transportation Systems Plan by the Wilsonville City Council June 6.Though some of the projects may be more aspirational than imminent, the Wilsonville City Council voted unanimously June 6 to approve a set of amendments to its Transportation System Plan (TSP) — with the addition of several projects intended to address traffic near the I-5/Boones Ferry Road/Wilsonville Road area.

The TSP, which was adopted by the council in 2013, is the City’s long-term plan for its transportation network, and includes all transportation projects envisioned for the City until 2035. It is an element of the City’s state-mandated Comprehensive Plan, and includes projects that are imminent as well as ones that will require grant funding or the realization of other conditions to complete. Major updates to the plan occur every eight to 10 years, while minor ones happen as needed in between.

Staff recommended the addition or deletion of a number of elements to the plan as a part of the TSP minor update, which the council approved on a first reading May 2. But council members raised a number of concerns about proposed changes.

Among the concerns were the deletion of a proposed extension of Kinsman Road north from Ridder Road to Day Road, with the expansion of Garden Acres Road proposed as a substitute. Conversion of Printer Parkway — which is presently a private road belonging to Xerox — to a public road was also questioned. And the absence of proposed projects to improve traffic at the Boones Ferry Road/Wilsonville Road/I-5 area was also scrutinized.

On May 16, staff presented a memo at a council work session that addressed those concerns. Capital Projects Manager Eric Mende called the I-5-area congestion “a very difficult issue to deal with.”

“We’ve all spent quite a bit of time looking at that,” he said. “Really the bottom line is there’s not a lot that we can do, internal to the city, that’s going to solve the issue. The issue really is the backup on I-5.”

Mende said that there was one step the City could take that might help the issue: removing the widened sidewalk at the northeast corner of the intersection that allows traffic from Boones Ferry Road into the Fred Meyer and Albertson’s parking lots. That would allow cars turning right from the Fred Meyer parking lot to turn directly into the road’s second lane, rather than being forced to turn into the center lane first. The project would cost somewhere between $150,000 and $200,000.

Two other projects were also added to the TSP to address the issue, but neither can be completed by Wilsonville; instead, they must be carried out by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Adding them to the TSP would allow them to eventually be

added to regional government agency Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan, making them more likely to happen, Mende said. SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JAKE BARTMAN - The City of Wilsonville would like to see the I-5 southbound on-ramp widened to three lanes in an effort to ameliorate traffic, a project that would need to be carried out by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

One project would add an additional lane to the I-5 onramp, which would get some traffic off Wilsonville Road and Boones Ferry Road. That project would cost around $1.3 million. A second project — the addition of a lane to the Boone Bridge — would do the most to reduce area congestion, Mende said. However, ODOT has said that the bridge width is insufficient for the project, and has yet to indicate that it would pursue widening it.

“Including them in the TSP doesn’t hurt, by any means. It does provide a little more visibility to those projects,” Mende said.

The council discussed other possible improvements to the intersection, including replacing part of the median that runs along Wilsonville Road from Boones Ferry Road to I-5 with an extended left-turn lane for traffic taking I-5 northbound. It decided to add that project to the amendment, and recommended that more studies be conducted to consider it. The median is within ODOT’s right-of-way, however, and would require the agency’s approval to carry out.

“It’s not a can you want to kick down the road, I don’t think,” Council President Scott Starr said.

Mayor Tim Knapp agreed. “It’s critical to those people on this side of town. It’s every day, every week,” Knapp said.

“This is pretty high-priority stuff.”

Staff retained its recommendation to add Printer Parkway to the TSP. Mende said that Printer Parkway was originally constructed by Xerox in the ‘70s, and that it was not built to City standards. However, he noted that the permitting of possible development by ScanlanKemperBard — which purchased around one-third of the Xerox campus at the end of last year — could require upgrades to at least one-third of Printer Parkway as a condition of approval.

Mende recommended that the council remove the proposed Kinsman Road extension and expand Garden Acres Road, as originally suggested, and noted that the projects could be reconsidered in advance of the next TSP minor amendment in several years.

“The key reason for moving that is because of the space constraints driven by the BPA substation that’s located directly adjacent to Republic (Services)’ property,” Mende said. That would force all of Kinsman onto Republic’s property, affecting the waste management company’s scales and proposed SORT Bioenergy digester site.

The council voted unanimously and with little comment June 6 to approve the TSP amendment with the addition of the I-5-area projects. It also added one additional staff-recommended project to widen the Wilsonville Road/Kinsman Road right turn lane to better serve truck traffic, a project that staff is planning at present.

Contact Jake Bartman at 503-636-1281 ext. 113 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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