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Cedar Mill News
Volume 3, Issue 9


September 2005

More traffic problems ahead
by Michael Scheinfein, Cedar Mill resident

Many Cedar Mill residents are inconvenienced by construction along Barnes and Cornell but traffic problems in our community are just beginning. New construction along Cornell between Cedar Hills and 119th, part of Polygon Northwest’s Teufel Nursery project, has commenced. The City of Beaverton approved this project knowing that traffic flow at or above capacity resulting from residents in the new development would strain neighborhood transportation infrastructure to the point of failure.

According to publicly available documents filed with the City, during Phases 1-3, when around 900 units of the 1310 approved units will be constructed, the only access road into the Teufel property will connect to Cornell between Cedar Hills and 119th. Until access via Barnes from the south is provided after Phase 3 Cornell will need to accommodate ~2000 additional vehicles each day.

Developer Polygon Northwest employed Kittelson and Associates to prepare the required Traffic Impact Analysis Report (TIA). According to Kittelson’s April 2004 TIA filing, the existing volume-to-capacity ratios during the morning rush hour at the Saltzman/Cornell and Cedar Hills/Cornell intersections are 85% and 93% respectively. Other intersections along Cornell are presently utilized at ~80% or more, and, the “NW Barnes Road/ NW Cedar Hills Blvd intersection ... currently operates at LOS “E” during both the a.m. and p.m. peak hours.” In a traffic report, a Level Of Service classification “E” (LOS “E”) indicates “unstable flow at or near capacity. Comfort is extremely poor and driver frustration is high.”

The TIA requires a Planned Transportation Improvements plan (detailing associated costs). The Kittelson TIA acknowledged that the Cornell/Cedar Hills interchange will be over capacity at project completion since the proposed transportation improvements can do little to alleviate the congestion. The Washington County traffic engineer responsible for the County component of the road project in the Cornell corridor indicated that the City’s improvements to county roads were inadequate to fund required road improvements. For example, the County determined that ~$2.3 million was required for road improvements to an intersection along Cornell if Teufel was approved; the City only offered ~$500,000 saying that they would only be responsible for 20% of the traffic. Yet that 20% increase in traffic will cause the intersection to be over capacity.

The City requires a Mitigation Identification and Analysis report to, ”identify methods of mitigating on-site and off-site deficiencies for present and proposed phases of the development. The analysis shall make recommendations for the improvements necessary for safe and efficient traffic flow.” The Kittelson report admits that “Like several other intersections in the site vicinity, the projected year 2009 capacity-related deficiencies could be addressed through the widening of NW Cornell Road to a five lane cross section; however, this widening is in conflict with the Cedar Mill Town Center Plan and there is insufficient right-of-way to accomplish this improvement. In lieu of constructing capacity improvements, Polygon Northwest will make a TIF-creditable proportionate share contribution towards the capacity improvements needed at this intersection.” The remedy—”Polygon Northwest will contribute $80,000 towards future improvements at this location,”—was accepted by the City in lieu of a bona fide traffic capacity solution.

The approval process for the Teufel Nursery Project was complicated by jurisdictional issues of annexing this “property island” by the City since responsibility for roads adjacent to the property lies with the county.

Do Beaverton development priorities override County traffic capacity guidelines? Will County Fire and Police be able to access our (county) neighborhoods when Cornell, Cedar Hills and Barnes are clogged beyond capacity? Should the City be allowed to not fully fund projects required to bring road infrastructure up to specification that directly result from the City’s approval of a development plan?



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The Cedar Mill News
Published monthly by the Cedar Mill Business Association, Inc.,
P.O. Box 91177
Portland, OR 97291-0177

Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229