Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Stop lights on Evergreen Road

It has been my fate to commute between Hillsboro and Beaverton for the last ten years or so. First I lived in Beaverton and worked at Intel in Hillsboro. I eventually moved to Hillsboro, close enough to Intel that I was able to walk to work. That lasted a year or two. Now I have a job in Beaverton, about a mile from where I used to live, but I still live in Hillsboro, about a mile from where I used to work.

So I have driven up and down Evergreen Parkway a few times.

I would like to see the timing of the traffic lights on this stretch of road improved. (Evergreen Parkway between Shute Road and Glencoe.)

The light at the corner of Evergreen Parkway and Dawson Creek Drive is particularly annoying. A horde of cars can be descending on that light on Evergreen from both directions and one car will appear at the cross street. Two dozen cars will have to stop to let this one car out. Anyone who pulls up to that light and wants to turn left onto Evergreen should be forced to wait for at least a minute, just to balance the waiting time they will cause all the people who have to stop for them.

Even worse is when the light changes when there are NO cars at the cross street. This has happened at least twice in the last six months. Almost as bad is when the light changes to stop Westbound traffic when someone wants to turn right from Dawson Creek.

Next is the light at 25th street. I pulled up behind 4 or 5 cars in the left lane (Eastbound on Evergreen) at this light this afternoon. The light turned green. By the time the third car had gotten into the intersection, the light had already turned yellow! This was to let TWO cars from 25th street turn onto Evergreen. Talk about aggravating. This happens to me on regular basis, at least once a week.

Last is the left turn light that allows Westbound traffic on Evergreen Parkway to turn South onto Jackson School Road. I was glad to see a traffic light installed at this intersection, it certainly needed it. But I am not sure we need a separate left turn control light. I have never seen the need for it. Perhaps there are times of the day when it is needed, or maybe it will be needed in the future. But mostly it's just an annoyance.

Enough about traffic lights. I have a couple of suggestions about other problems.

The stop lines at some intersections are too close to the light. The stop line in the left turn lane on Northbound Jackson School Road at Evergreen Parkway is too close to the light. Many drivers turning left from Evergreen Parkway cut across this line if there are no cars there. To avoid crossing the line, a driver would have to drive straight into the intersection for a distance and then turn sharply to make the turn. Moving the stop line back could improve this situation.

The same problem exists at the intersection of Shute Road and Highway 26. Westbound traffic from 26 turning South onto Shute face the same problem.

Another bad spot is the intersection of Northbound exit from Highway 217 to Allen boulevard. Turning East onto Allen is handicapped by the visibility. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I've noticed that when I am trying to turn right on red (after a complete stop), I will creep up until I can see well enough to see that there is no traffic coming before I turn. Problem is that by the time I can see well enough, I almost completely across the first Eastbound lane of Allen. And I drive a pickup truck so I am sitting up high. I suspect the problem is amplified for people in cars.

Speed Limits

Shute Road (between Evergreen Parkway and Highway 26) concerns me a little bit. The speed limit is 55 mph (as high as it is on Highway 26!), and there is no shoulder on either side of the road, in fact there are large obstacles lining the road on both sides. Telephone poles on one side and trees on the other. If the trees are not be large enough to stop a car now, they will be soon. I suspect that one of these days some yo-yo will jump the curb and collide with one of these immovable objects. I don't know what you would do about this one either.

I think the speed limit on Harewood Drive between the apartment complex and Glencoe Road could be raised. I realize this is a very short stretch of road, but I can see no reason for the speed to be limited to 25 there. Speed trap is the word that comes to mind. Or maybe I'm just scared of driving through the woods.