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Lair Hill Neighborhood Traffic Access Management Project

Transportation
Engineering And Design
This nine-month pilot project reduced cut-through traffic in the Lair Hill area south of downtown, keeping regional car traffic heading east on the Ross Island Bridge on safer routes. The project limited through-traffic on narrow residential streets from Dec. 16, 2019 through Sept. 1, 2020.
Implementation Test Winter 2019 to Summer 2020
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What’s happening now? 

March 2021 Update:

Post-project data has been collected and can be viewed here: 

Data collection measured a 42% reduction in traffic on the Ross Island Bridge as a result of the pandemic and is considered the background reduction for traffic for comparison.  Traffic volumes in the Lair Hill neighborhood decreased most where barricades were installed:

  • Whitaker east of the barricade reduced 65%. 
  • Kelly north of the barricade at Curry reduced 67%. 
  • Gibbs east of the barricade at Naito reduced 92%.
  • Corbett south of Whitaker reduced 45%
  • Gibbs east of Corbett reduced 11%
  • Corbett north of Hamilton reduced 35%
  • Kelly north of Abernethy reduced 65%

PBOT and ODOT consider this a successful test and PBOT was granted a 6-month extension to the ODOT closure permit to explore how to make the restrictions more permanent.  At a meeting on March 162021 ODOT identified general parameters and conditions for moving forward and PBOT will work with ODOT over the next few months to develop a plan for discussion with the neighborhood.

Project Background

Ross Island Bridge preferred routes
  • In 2016, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) received a request from residents along the affected streets, as well as the South Portland Neighborhood Association (SPNA), to evaluate possible traffic management changes to address safety concerns.
  • In 2018, residents from the neighborhood, with input from the Lair Hill Neighborhood Association and PBOT, drafted a proposal. This short-term solution will discourage the use of SW Kelly and SW Corbett from the south and SW Grover from the north as alternatives to the desired routes, SW Barbur Blvd and SW Naito Pkwy from the south and SW Hood from the north. Representatives from the Lair Hill neighborhood circulated a petition that indicated strong support from residents within the affected area. In September of 2018 PBOT agreed to move forward with a test of the proposal.
  • The longer-term strategy for better managing traffic access to the Ross Island Bridge will be addressed through major street network changes proposed as a standalone project.

Test Elements and Process

The test primarily required changes to the street network’s signage at several locations. This includes changes of the street operations for two one-block street segments within the neighborhood, SW Kelly and SW Whitaker, and prohibiting left turns at the SW Gibbs intersection with Naito Pkwy. Temporary in-street barricades will be used as well to support the access restrictions.

Testing of the proposed changes is planned to last for approximately six months before evaluation of the changes begins. Before and after traffic counts will be taken in support of the evaluation, along with traffic engineering observations of traffic operations and an opinion survey of the local residents and businesses within the test area.

If the evaluation process indicates the changes are acceptable to both the neighborhood and PBOT, PBOT will make the changes permanent. Certain physical elements of the test may be reconstructed as a result. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will also play a role in the review and approval of the test because portions of SW Whitaker, SW Curry and SW Kelly that connect to the Ross Island Bridge are within their jurisdiction.                               

Project Components

The following cut-through routes will be closed by the project:

SW Kelly Ave, between SW Whitaker and SW Curry

SW Kelly closure south of Curry

Closing northbound access prevents commuter traffic from using SW Kelly to access the eastbound bridge ramp on SW Kelly.

SW Whitaker St, between SW Kelly and SW Corbett

SW Whitaker closure west of Corbett

Closing eastbound access prevents commuter traffic from using SW Corbett to access the eastbound bridge ramp on SW Kelly.

SW Gibbs/ SW Naito Pkwy intersection

SW Gibbs/ SW Naito Pkwy intersection

Closing access to SW Naito Parkway prevents commuter traffic from using either SW Kelly or SW Corbett to access the eastbound bridge ramp via SW Gibbs at SW Naito Parkway.

Project Funding

$10,000

Planning Documents

Map