County museum opens its doors, Brookwood Avenue closed, Planning Commission seeks members, Buses won't alert pedestrians

County museum opens its doors to military families

Members of the military and their families can visit the Washington County Museum for free this summer. The museum, located on Portland Community College's Rock Creek Campus, is one of 1,300 museums nationwide to participate in the annual program, which is conducted in partnership with Blue Star Families, a non-profit founded in 2008 by a group of military spouses hoping to highlight the challenges of military family life.

'We are proud to be an active partner in the Blue Star Museums program,' said Sam Shogren, the museum's executive director. 'It's a small way for us to show appreciation and thank our military families for their service, while sharing the stories of a rich and vibrant heritage here at home.'

Part of the area's World War II history will be on display starting June 27, when the museum hosts a exhibit, 'Taken: FBI,' chronicling the experiences of 118 Portland-area Japanese Americans who were imprisoned after the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their immediate family members (including Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserve members) through Labor Day.

The Washington County Museum is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit

Brookwood Avenue in Hillsboro closed for five months

Brookwood Avenue between Golden Road and Baseline in Hillsboro closed for five months starting May 23. The road will reopen in October.

According to Washington County's Department of Land Use and Transportation, the closure is necessary to widen Brookwood Avenue and to upgrade the sanitary sewer system. Roadway users are asked to use 32nd Avenue to the west or Cornelius Pass Road to the east during the five-month closure.

The project, funded by Washington County Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP), will widen Brookwood Avenue to three lanes (one lane in each direction and a center lane), make intersection improvements at Brookwood and Baseline, and add bike lanes, sidewalks and streetlights.

Planning Commission seeks members

Ever want to get involved in the nitty-gritty of county land use? Now's your chance.

The Washington County Planning Commission is looking for someone to serve from District 4, which extends over all of western Washington County.

Membership includes nine volunteers who are residents of the county. Generally, each commissioner appoints two members, and the board chair appoints one as an At-Large member. No more than two members can be engaged principally in the buying, selling, or development of real estate. The application deadline is June 7. Positions remain open until filled, and applications for unfilled positions may be submitted after June 7. The commission meets the first Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and third Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Terms are four years, with a five to 10 hour monthly time commitment.

Interested citizens may contact the Planning Division of the Land Use and Transportation Department at 503-846-3875, or contact Paul Schaefer at 503-846-8817 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Buses won't alert pedestrians

TriMet has ended its three-month test of an audible pedestrian warning system on buses, saying the system didn't work the way it was intended.

The transit agency reported Friday that a test of the system on 10 buses was stopped because the announcement didn't activate at the appropriate time - either too soon or too late in the turn - but did activate at other times, such as when the bus was making a lane change.

The announcement, 'Pedestrians, bus is turning,' was in both English and Spanish and was triggered by a full rotation of the steering wheel, which caused the announcement to be too late into the turn. TriMet also tested the announcement trigger at a half-rotation of the steering wheel to see if it provided earlier warning.

That activated the announcement too early, as well as during lane changes.

The test cost $46,000, or $4,600 per bus. TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said it was a reasonable amount of money to determine whether the system should be purchased and installed on the entire fleet.

The agency began testing the audible warning device as part of a safety review after the April 2010 fatal bus crash in Old Town that killed two people. TriMet began the test on March 1.

After working with drivers, riders and TriMet safety and training staff, the agency determined that the technology wasn't working properly to help alert pedestrians and people riding bicycles that a bus was turning.

TriMet officials said the agency might consider similar technology in the future as the technology advances.

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