The installation of the first artificial turf field eight years ago at Lakeridge High School provided both the school and the community with a surface that could be played on year round. Keeping the field lit until 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sundays gave many youth, club and high school teams a location for practices and games.
With the expanded usage and extended hours, homeowners bordering the new turf field on Cloverleaf saw a decline in street safety. The increased traffic brought into our neighborhood caused problems. The drivers, who would speed down Cloverleaf, in a hurry to pick up, drop off or get to a game, put pedestrians at risk.
The front of Lakeridge High School is regulated with flashing lights, crosswalks, sidewalks and parking lots. Cloverleaf Road has none of these controls for the safety of the people who live here. Spectators who left their cars parked in the fire lanes faced no consequences.
Cars parked on both sides of Cloverleaf and Marjorie narrowed these streets to the point that if two cars came from opposite directions someone would have to back up. This would be difficult to do when additional cars would line up behind the first row, resulting in Marjorie and Cloverleaf becoming completely impassable at times. It would be impossible for a fire truck to get through to the school or our homes in case of an emergency. This was not happening once a month, or once a week, but almost nightly. Those of us witnessing the chaos worried about the kids getting hit by a car while running through this mess to get to the field, especially during the fall and winter months when its rainy and gets dark earlier.
Walkers, joggers and mothers with babies in strollers, kids on their bikes and skateboards, dog walkers, and the elderly use these streets. All will be at risk if changes are made to the conditional use permit.
We now have a conditional use permit that is being enforced and has solved most of these problems. However, with the proposed new stadium, the problems will be multiplied even more than they were in the past.
To undo the conditional use permit will result in all of the problems from the past arising again. When new issues concerning Cloverleaf are made, we hope and pray that the past experiences will be considered.
Joan Hollabaugh is a resident of Lake Oswego who lives near Lakeridge High School.