Existing Condition and Need
Cully Boulevard in Northeast Portland is an existing center strip paved roadway that is shared between automobiles, trucks, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Due to the existing roadway configuration, safety for all modes is compromised. Pedestrians and cyclists must travel dangerously close to vehicular traffic, often with only a narrow shoulder to travel upon. The existing travel lanes are 11 feet wide. A one-foot shoulder exists on the west side of the road and a four- to six-foot wide shoulder exists on the east side of the road. The availability of on-street parking is inconsistent. Cully Boulevard intersects the street grid at an angle, creating skewed intersections with wide openings because many are unimproved local streets. The roadway is classified as a Neighborhood Collector and carries approximately 4,600 vehicles per day of residential, commercial and industrial traffic. The posted speed is 35 MPH.
Safety is also compromised at one terminus of the proposed project. The existing five-way intersection at NE Cully / NE Prescott / NE 60th is stop controlled with flashing red lights. Because of this situation, yielding right-of-way and maneuvering through the intersection can be confusing for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. In addition, the intersection serves Fire Station 40, located just two blocks away from the intersection, and Cully Boulevard and Prescott Street are emergency response routes. Weekday traffic volume counts indicate that approximately 18,800 vehicles enter the intersection. A review of crash data collected since 1996 shows that 18 crashes occurred within the intersection and a majority of those crashes occurred between vehicles making through or turning movements in the intersection. Two of the collisions reported involved pedestrians or cyclists.
The need for safe pedestrian, cyclist, and vehicle access through this intersection is heightened due to key neighborhood destinations that are located here. An Albertson's shopping center and Rite Aid pharmacy are located on the south side of the intersection. TriMet's line 71 stops at the intersection and connects the neighborhood to the Parkrose Transit Center, Lents, and Clackamas Town Center. Pedestrian crossings are particularly difficult. Pedestrian crossings across Cully Boulevard are 80 to 90 feet long and the north leg of the intersection crosses both Cully and NE 60th Ave. Pedestrian crossings across Prescott Street are approximately 60 feet long.
The new sidewalks connect to existing sidewalks on Cully Boulevard south of Prescott Street. On-street parking is provided where needed. These improvements separate pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles from each other and greatly increase safety. New street corners and ADA ramps tie into the side streets, narrowing the existing wide intersections and improving visibility and safety.
Traffic signals were installed at the intersection of NE Cully / NE Prescott / NE 60th to reduce the difficulties with driving through and crossing this 5-way intersection.
The City of Portland and the Oregon Department of Transportation awarded the NE Cully Blvd project to the lowest bidder Westech Construction Inc. Project construction began in June 2010 and was completed in mid May -- six weeks ahead of schedule. New street trees and landscaping will be maintained until 2013. Planning for the Cully Boulevard project began in 2001 and garnered much support from the Cully community.
$5.4 million including design, right of way acquisition, and construction.
The project received $773,000 as an MTIP allocation in 2007 and $1.6 million in an MTIP allocation in 2009. In addition, the City of Portland contributed $1.2 million of System Development Charges and $275,000 of general fund money. The project has received the additional $1.6 million from the City's general fund money in fiscal year 2008-09. (Dollar figures have been rounded.)