New mid-block crossing on Walker Road increases safety, saves time for trail users
Users of the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District’s Waterhouse Trail in northwest Beaverton now have a safer, quicker way to cross busy Walker Road.
A signalized mid-block crossing is now open to the public between Schendel Avenue and 167th Avenue. It enables walkers, runners and bicyclists on the north-south trail to cross SW Walker Road safely and efficiently while having minimal impact on vehicular traffic.
“We believe this significantly improves the user’s experience on our Waterhouse Trail,” said THPRD General Manager Doug Menke. “Improvements like this encourage more people to take advantage of our expanding trail system in the greater Beaverton area.”
At the crossing, users push a button that turns the overhead traffic signal from green to yellow to red. Motorists stop briefly to let the trail users cross, then continue after the signal turns green again.
Primary funding for the mid-block crossing was provided by a $243,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.
THPRD, which added $27,000, applied for the grant in 2010 with the support of Washington County.
Design work began in summer 2011 and construction started in September 2012. Following a five-month installation process, the facility opened to the public on Feb. 4.
Used for both recreation and bicycle commuting, the 5.5-mile Waterhouse Trail is one of the district’s most popular trails. It connects residential neighborhoods, employment and commercial centers, schools, and THPRD facilities to bus and light-rail transit and to the regional trail network. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people use it each year.
“We expect those numbers to increase now that this new crossing at Walker Road is open,” Menke said.
In conjunction with the mid-block crossing, THPRD realigned about 150 feet of the trail on the south side of Walker Road to improve accessibility for users. Funding was provided through the district’s system development charges.
Formed in 1955, THPRD is the largest special park district in Oregon, spanning about 50 square miles and serving more than 220,000 residents in the greater Beaverton area. The district provides year-round recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Offerings include thousands of widely diverse classes, 90 park sites with active recreational amenities, 60 miles of trails, eight swim centers, six recreation centers, and 1,400 acres of natural areas. For more information, visit www.thprd.org or call 503/645-6433.
Director – Communications
|Date: February 11, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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