Ballots for a $20 million general bond measure aimed at relieving some city street congestion in Tualatin, along with providing neighborhood safety improvements including safe access to schools, will be mailed out beginning April 25.
At issue is whether to approve the bond, a portion of which would go to making a variety of traffic flow improvements including new traffic signals and travel lanes along Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Sagert Street, Martinazzi Avenue, Tualatin Road and Myslony Street and other streets.
In addition, safety improvements that include new pedestrian crossings with signals, crosswalks and other safety features would be added to locations that residents have deemed priorities such as Boones Ferry Road and the Garden Corner Curves at 105th Avenue and Blake Street. Also on the list are making safety improvements at Sagert Street, Highway 99W and Grahams Ferry Road.
Cost of the measure is 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation or about $150 per year on a Tualatin home assessed at $300,000.
On April 9, the Tualatin City Council received an update on the bond measure efforts.
City Manager Sherilyn Lombos told the council that there were more projects requests than there was available money (by one count, 100 projects have been suggested that would cost $45 million).
"These are the ones we can do for $20 million," she said. She noted however that the city is still accepting road improvement comments or suggestions from the public.
The city recently sent out a mailer to city residents about the transportation bond and a website tualatinmeasure34-282.org is up and running.
During the April 9 meeting, Lombos said city surveys have shown that 91 percent of residents believe traffic in Tualatin is a big issue.
"And congestion just isn't getting any better," she said.
Plans are to have the projects completed within three to five years.
Councilor Frank Bubenik said the biggest issue he's heard from residents is concern over the project list and pointed out that not all the specific improvements are set in stone.
Councilor Paul Morrison echoed similar sentiments, saying he was frustrated because some residents feel the list is a "done deal."
Still, Morrison said the groups he's talked to are impressed with the depth of the list and what $20 million can buy, saying he's heard from residents supportive of fixing the Garden Corner Curves and widening Tualatin-Sherwood Road.
Council President Joelle Davis stressed there were other important aspects to the bond in addition to improving city roadways, noting that the bicycle and pedestrian improvements contained in the bond package are really important as well.
"Please, please, we ask you to take this very seriously," she said. "We are doing something groundbreaking around here."
Among the relief suggestions officials have mulled for making improvements along Tualatin-Sherwood Road have been the possibility of removing median landscaping along Tualatin-Sherwood Road between Martinazzi Avenue and the I-5 interchange eastbound, and replacing it with another traffic lane to help reduce congestion.
Also discussed have been plans to realign the entrances/exits of the Nyberg Rivers shopping complex (containing the Cabela's anchor and other stores) and the Fred Meyer store on Tualatin-Sherwood Road so they line up. That would allow the light to remain on the same cycle, which would reduce the light-change time by as much as 30 seconds, officials have said.