After crash kills two girls, Sherwood seeks safer Edy Road
Six months after two girls were struck and killed by an incapacitated driver as they walked along Southwest Edy Road, Sherwood city officials are hoping to secure funding from Washington County to make badly needed improvements along a stretch of the roadway on the outskirts of town.
Officials say that if the grant is approved, they want the process of fixing road safety to happen sooner rather than later — and they're prepared to offer the county a proposal to make that happen.
"It needs sidewalks, bike lanes — the full length — both sides of that road. It needs traffic calming and lower speed and some safe pedestrian crossings along with streetlights, street trees," Sherwood Mayor Keith Mays said about the largely county-owned road.
In July, the Washington County District Attorney's Office determined no charges would be filed against the 51-year-old Beaverton man who was driving the car, who apparently lost consciousness due to an unspecified medical condition before striking the girls.
Parents of the girls who died in the crash have called for safety improvements on Edy Road.
Sherwood is requesting the use of Washington County Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program —
known as MSTIP — funding. That program is paid for by property taxes.
The Edy Road improvements are one of six projects proposed for Commissioner Roy Rogers' district. Rogers also represents neighboring Tualatin, where he previously served as mayor, and Tigard, as well as King City.
"It's very important," Mays said about Sherwood's proposal. "It's been on our radar for a while but it's a county road and it's a hell of a process."
Sherwood City Manager Keith Campbell estimates the project would cost between $9 to $10 million.
Campbell said both the Sherwood City Council and city staff believe improvements to Edy Road are sorely needed.
If approved, county money would be used to pay for preliminary design, final design and construction for improvements along Edy Road from Southwest Borchers Drive to Copper Terrace, where Ridges Elementary School is located.
Mays said that he believes there is a general agreement among other cities in the district that Edy Road should be on the MSTIP list for both lowering the speed of the roadway as well as making other major road improvements there.
The family of Amelia Green has said it wants to see the county reassess pedestrian safety on Edy Road improved as well.
"We feel the posted speed limit of 40 mph is excessive for a residential area with so much activity and direct proximity to an elementary school," Kyle Green, Amelia's father, wrote in an email the day after the DA's decision not to charge the driver in the deaths of his daughter and Elliana Kramer.
He further pointed to the large grade in the road where the accident occurred as "unsafe and unnecessary," writing that the county needs to take action to resolve it or relinquish control of it to the city.
Sherwood police have expressed the same concerns about Edy Road and are willing to monitor any changes made to the roadway, Green added.
If the grant is approved, Sherwood is expected to offer upfront the money the county needs to get going.
"If we get it on the list, I'm also going to ask the county to consider letting the city make the improvements as soon as possible, and then the county (would) repay the city when they would have normally done the project," Mays said.
The last time Sherwood had an MSTIP project approved was in 2012. That's when the Roy Rogers/Tualatin-Sherwood Road improvement project was placed on the list.
"Well, they just started it," Mays noted of the construction on those major roads. "So, it took a decade."
In addition, the mayor said if MSTIP money is approved for the roadway, Sherwood would also propose to the county to turn over future control of the roadway to the city.
Mays said the Oregon Department of Transportation maintains control of a small portion of Edy Road, too, a short distance north of Highway 99W.
Before the end of the year, Washington County commissioners are expected to decide which of the 25 proposed MSTIP projects — valued at more than $160 million — will get the go-ahead.
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