New Beaverton-Hillsdale / Scholls Ferry Intersection
Washington County and CH2M Hill plan to redesign "six corners" AKA "Dysfunction Junction".
Here is an older plan
The worst aspect of the existing alignment is that the intersection angle is so acute that BH Highway drivers must turn almost 180 degrees to see traffic from the left. For pedestrians and cyclists like myself, the very long crosswalks (interrupted by steep traffic islands) are a car-dodging death trap.
Ideally, Scholls Ferry should cross Beaverton Hillsdale at a 90 degree intersection, but the diagonal kink in BH makes that impossible.
However, the older plan can be improved greatly, changing a 30 degree intersection into a 70 degree intersection, by rerouting Scholls Ferry EASTWARD through the current location of the abandoned Safeway and, moving the main crossing two blocks to the east, rather than an added slalom through the lumberyard. With the new plan, Oleson no longer terminates directly at BH highway, but to the re-aligned Scholls Ferry, four hundred feet to the south.
Besides the new crossing light and the new Oleson/Scholls light, this shows three more lights near the main crossing:
- Dogwood Lane to the west, crossing Beaverton Hillsdale Highway
- Hamilton to the north, a tee at Scholls Ferry road
- 62th street to the east, a tee at at Beaverton Hillsdale Highway
These lights, plus the light at 78th to the west and Oleson/Scholls to the south, will all be synchronized with traffic cams and a smart controller - the purpose is to modify traffic flows on the major streets so that the east-west and north-south platoons synchronize at the crossing. This can greatly reduce "interference" and increase the flow through that intersection; most drivers will not even need to stop.
Why a light at Dogwood? Besides synchronization, that light can be the only entrance and exit point for the new retail areas north and south. Eliminating commercial driveways will increase safety after traffic moves faster. Neigborhood residents north on Dogwood can exit safely, rather than illegally as they do now.
Why a light at Hamilton? Besides synchronization, that will help Trimet 55-Hamilton buses turn at that corner. Smoother bus service, more riders, fewer cars.
Why a light at 62nd? Besides synchronization, the 62nd intersection connects to the recently expanded Robison Health Center, and a lot of new senior housing to the south. Those seniors will use transit (hopefully) and drive cars unsafely (probably). Faster Beaverton-Hillsdale traffic (hopefully) will lead to more turn-related accidents (probably). Some cynics may hope that this will reduce the senior population, but it will probably just put more seniors in rehab, attracting more elderly visitors and even more turn accidents. Let's not go there.
There is an unfortunate downslope south of BH highway and west of the junction. With infinite funds, I would resculpt the slopes, build frontage roads on the north and south, add yet another light just east of Fred Meyer, and use that for west-end frontage road access. That road would also serve as a pretty decent bicycle path. Sadly, my funds (and county and state funds) are finite.
With smoother flow east of 78th, the choke points shift towards Beaverton. Hopefully the Western Avenue rebuild will improve traffic flow at that intersection.
A remaining issue is that Google Maps shows a bicycle and pedestrian crossing at 99th, an issue I have tried to correct myself with Google (which pretends that artificial intelligence compensates for natural stupidity). Since Google does have infinite funds, this bad information won't be corrected.
However, if BH traffic can be synchronized along the long stretch between 66th and Western (approximately 103rd), a pedestrian/cyclist light can be added at 99th to save some lives, without slowing the synchronized traffic platoons.
I hope, I wish ... as a pedestrian, cyclist, and transit user living on 99th. Consider the recent addition of a new daycare at the corner, the future addition of 15 new homes in the new Amaya Place housing development off 99th, and the increased pedestrian traffic to those new developments. Younger citizens drive less.
Dwight Eisenhower wrote "Whenever I run into a problem I can't solve, I always make it bigger." I hope that by enlarging the boundaries of Dysfunction Junction, the overall solution can be cheaper, better, and faster.