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Boones Ferry Road urgently needs a big makeover in Lake Grove, but the 61-page Lake Grove Village Center Plan of Measure 3-406 provides slower traffic and less parking.

A 14-foot wide strip of pavement in the middle of Boones Ferry will be dug up when it could instead provide a sensible left-turn lane between four lanes of traffic, like Boones Ferry from Pilkington to I-5 and A Avenue’s turning lane into Safeway.

A weird goal of the plan is described on page 17, “(I)ncorporation of green streets concepts is a major element of overall roadway design,” and page 29, “Treat stormwater using green streets techniques within the right-of-way to improve water quality, minimize the quantity of water piped directly into streams, lakes and rivers, reduce street temperature and to make stormwater interception an aesthetic part of the street.”

The green median prevents left turns into businesses and parking areas, resulting, as page 16 of the plan notes, in “the potential ‘bottleneck’ during peak travel times at locations where cars queuing for u-turns or left-turns at an intersection may back up for a significant distance, possibly creating difficulty for those traveling in the opposite direction ... who wish to queue and make a u-turn into the travel lanes.” Very long queues are anticipated from the Bryant Road intersection past Quarry Road, which would block one lane of traffic. The planners declined to mention that a three-year member of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee had pleaded in 2006 for a middle turning lane instead of a median.

The plan deliberately slows traffic, of which 47 percent travels through the area. On page 30, the plan describes “a reduction of speed to 25 mph through the village center and the West Lake Grove Design District, between Kruse Way and Washington Court in conjunction with the implementation of a ‘package’ of street/land use design elements and appropriate geometric and visual transitions to influence speed.” Yet traffic can move at 30 mph on A Avenue.

The plan’s widening of Boones Ferry to add the 14-foot green median, two 6-foot bicycle lanes, 8-foot sidewalks, and 4-1/2 foot pedestrian buffers would eliminate essential parking spaces in front of numerous businesses. The plan calls for three new parking facilities, but the planners ignore this because the plan also says: “The design concept features an urban streetscape character including on-street parking within the adjacent one or two blocks from Boones Ferry Road.” Extensive on-street parking now occurs on Bryant and Sunset Drive because the planners denied 35 additional parking spaces in the new shopping center.

Pedestrian and biker safety is not expected soon for most of the narrow access streets on which the planners want to convey the users to the widened sidewalks and new bike lanes on Boones Ferry. Many access streets have no sidewalks or pathways, no bike lanes, and no lighting for traveling in the dark. In the long run, the plan wants bicyclers to share some access roadways with cars, even though Lake Grove has previously had a bicycler run down by a car on one of its streets.The $5 million Measure 3-406 could make Boones Ferry a “Great Street” if the planners would change their ruinous plan to something sensible. If the planners won’t budge, we should vote it down and demand constructive changes.

William Barbat is a Lake Oswego resident.

Contract Publishing

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