Sherwood to accept applications for traffic safety committee
In an increasingly busy world, perhaps the best advice for motorists is "take it easy." In Sherwood, however, officials hear complaints about traffic problems in town that may range from speeding to pedestrians not following road safety rules.
"Traffic calming" is now a priority of the Sherwood City Council, according to Mayor Keith Mays.
"We set as a goal for council to create a program to better address issues when they pop up," Mays said, noting the idea is to form a Sherwood traffic safety committee. The police advisory board asked the city to form the committee.
"We're making good strides," Mays added. "The City Council will have an ordinance to support the forming of this committee in the next 30 to 60 days."
In a letter to the community, Mays wrote, "This committee would be composed of citizen volunteers and would have regular public meetings to review community requests to help address traffic calming (and safety) issues. The committee would get input from city staff and make recommendations to the Police Advisory Board, or city manager, on community requests."
Mays said he would like to find fair-minded citizens to serve on the committee, who can look at both sides of an issue.
"You're in a neighborhood, and one person will be complaining about a certain behavior, while other people think it's just fine," he said. "So then it's a challenge of balancing and figuring out what is right. On cut-through traffic, if we do steps to slow folks down, or maybe deter people from cutting through a neighborhood, they're going to go somewhere else. Maybe you're pushing it from one neighborhood to another neighborhood. How do you be fair and make sure that, traffic-wise, people are behaving well?"
A traffic safety committee can be important in addressing all the road construction facing Sherwood, he said.
"Right now, they're building the roundabout by the new high school, and the new high school is under construction," Mays said, noting that it's important that nearby neighborhoods aren't negatively impacted because of the construction.
"Similarly, Roy Rogers and Tualatin-Sherwood Road is going to be a mess this time next year, so people are going to try to avoid it, divert it," Mays said, referring to Washington County's plans to begin a long-anticipated widening project on those roads in early 2020. That work is expected to take several years to complete.
Applications for the Sherwood traffic safety committee should be available in December.
"Cities are strong because of the volunteerism and the involvement of the citizens," Mays said. "The City Council does not know everything, by any stretch of the imagination. They can't do everything. By having citizen advisory committees, they're able to really dig deep on an issue."
When it comes to traffic problems, Mays said it's important for for drivers to slow down.
"There are lots of ways of addressing that, and it's important that if an intersection or road is not working the way people envisioned it, we need to figure out why," he said.
Mays hopes the Sherwood traffic safety committee will benefit the community.
"When a staff member, a councilor or a member of the community has a concern, has an idea, they'll be able to propose it," Mays said. "It will get the attention of a broad swath of folks and action on that concern or idea will happen, and that's a good thing. We're a community of families, and we want everyone to be safe and get along, be it if you're in a car, on a bike or walking around."
Mays added, "We just have a happier community if we all make little tweaks or adjustments when we need to."
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