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Sorrento Road traffic signal gets, well, a green light

Folks traveling on Southwest Brockman Street can expect to see a new traffic signal later this year at the Sorrento Road intersection.

In a split decision Monday night, the City Council upheld the Traffic Commission's recommendation to install a signal that would provide a protected pedestrian crossing, reduce excessive traffic delays on Sorrento and help ensure predictable movement of vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians through the area.

Doug Heatherington, a longtime South Beaverton resident, filed an appeal of the commission's Jan. 4 decision, asking the council instead to consider alternate solutions to tackle traffic congestion and safety concerns along the busy roadway.

Councilors Bruce Dalrymple, Betty Bode and Dennis Doyle supported the motion to deny Heatherington's appeal, calling the signal a step in the right direction for the problematic area.

'There has been a need for this for well over 10 years,' Doyle said. 'This signal is long overdue.'

Dalrymple agreed and said its installation would support the city's goals to continue to plan for, improve and maintain Beaverton's infrastructure while also assuring safety.

Councilors Cathy Stanton and Catherine Arnold remained unconvinced that a new traffic signal would serve as anything more than a $225,000 Band-Aid for the greater need of extending nearby 125th Avenue north to Hall Boulevard.

'I don't believe in crisis management,' Stanton said. 'I don't believe in Band-Aids when you need to go to the hospital.'

She said putting in the additional light would only make it easier for other people to cut through the neighborhood.

Arnold agreed. She said the new signal would not be needed at all if the city found a way to come up with the $11 million needed to fund the 125th extension, a project that has been on the city's drawing board for 34 years.

Dalrymple and Bode called the 125th extension a moot point when considering the proposed Sorrento traffic signal, in part because of its hefty price tag.

'I don't see any action in the near future with 125th,' Bode said. 'I also don't see traffic backing off.

'Installing this signal is proactive for safety.'