Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Problem With SW Walker Rd between Hwy 217 and SW 106th Ave

(This is here so I never have to type it in again.)

small pic.  Click to embiggen.
Our previous commissioner wasn’t helpful, as “SW Walker is the only continuous street that can be useful when the Sunset Hwy is backed up or closed”.  Right.  SW Walker Rd east of Hwy 217 is signed No Thru Trucks.  Until you get to SW 106th, walking on either side of the road is chancy; the most recent repave put soft gravel on the sides, making walking even more chancy, especially with a stroller.  The STATUTORY speed limit is 35 mph, the 20 mph is only a caution/recommendation.  Sight lines are nonexistent.  If SW Walker gets filled up because the Sunset is unavailable, the traffic will slow way down anyway.  Maybe we need a 25 mph speed limit and sharrows.  I’d want the ditches filled in, and proper paved shoulders, but that’s an “in my dreams” situation, plus it would only encourage drivers to drive even faster.  SW Walker has at least 6 streets intersecting with it, plus driveways from the houses on SW Walker.  Folks that live on the north side of SW Walker and choose to walk or bicycle out of the neighborhood have to cross it, and safe crossing between SW 107th and Hwy 217 is non-existent.  You can be STANDING at an intersection, which is an unmarked crosswalk, CLEARLY wanting to cross, and even the WashCo Sheriffs cars won’t stop for you to cross. There’s no Vision Zero at all here.  This stretch of SW Walker is on the boundary of CPO 1 and CPO 3.

fyi: SW Sunnyhill is right of way, not county or city property.  I often ride through there to avoid the 3 way intersection at SW 108th/SW Polsky.

A close analogy in terms of traffic, intersections, and driveways is SW 92nd (?) / SW Garden Home.  The posted speed limit is lower.  There is a cheesy attempt at a sidewalk on the north side, not that I’d ride my bike on it.  SW Garden Home DOES have “Bicycles on Roadway” signs - I was at least one person asking for them when the Fanno Creek Trail was closed and we were detoured onto SW Garden Home.

From Washington County's map, they don't intend this stretch of SW Walker to get any wider than 2-3 lanes.  You can see in the picture below that SW Walker between Hwy 217 and SW Canyon is light blue, which the legend clarifies as 2-3 lanes.  This picture is from WashCo's future plan for all the couny's roads.