Posted: Jul 26, 2019 / 02:54 PM PDT / Updated: Jul 26, 2019 / 04:35 PM PDT
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Roadwork on a stretch of Northeast 102nd Avenue is about to wrap up — and some neighbors say the new traffic pattern is already causing problems.
PBOT is restriping about a mile and a half of road from Northeast Sandy to Weidler, adding a turn median, and taking out a lane of traffic in either direction. They’re also adding more crosswalks, islands, and a bike lane along with on-street parking.
City planners say the move is to make things safer for pedestrians — but some in the community are frustrated, saying it’s already adding more congestion to the area.
“102nd Ave is one of our most dangerous streets in the city, and we want to create some safer conditions for folks out there,” said Hannah Schafer, PBOT spokesperson. “Generally speaking, it is making the road feel different and safer.”
Community members disagree.
“Taking the lanes from 4 lanes to 2 — you don’t have to be a mathematician to realize that if congestion is going to increase, the accidents are going to increase, and injuries are going to increase,” said Lee Cowles, who works on 102nd. “And on the side streets, too.”
What frustrates the community most, Cowles said, is PBOT’s lack of response to feedback.
“I can understand making a plan,” he said. “The thing that’s been very discouraging for the community is that once the plan was made and they’ve taken it to several groups — people said ‘this is not going to work!’ and there’s been no response.”
Neighbors said that because their concerns haven’t been taken into account, they’re not holding their breath for any kind of reversal.
PBOT said work will wrap up this week and then they’ll be studying the effects of the new pattern for the next several years.