Construction was completed in November 2012 on a project that will improve safety and traffic flow on Oregon Highway 99E (SE McLoughlin Boulevard) at the SE Tacoma Street intersection. The project had two main elements:
- Placing a safety shield on the concrete median barrier on SE McLoughlin Boulevard from SE Nehalem Street to SE Ochoco Street. The safety shield will prohibit pedestrians from crossing the highway illegally and unsafely. Safety shield example (JPG)
- Re-striping southbound SE McLoughlin Boulevard to improve traffic flow near SE Tacoma Street. Striping improvements include:
- Shifting the start of the third (outside) southbound travel lane so it begins at the Tacoma Street on-ramp instead of Nehalem Street. This will create a dedicated lane for drivers entering southbound McLoughlin Boulevard from the Tacoma Street ramp. The existing stop sign will be replaced with a new “Stop for pedestrians” sign. After yielding to any pedestrians, drivers heading south on McLoughlin Boulevard will be able to make a free-flow right turn into their own dedicated travel lane.
- Improving the striping for the right-turn lane from southbound McLoughlin Boulevard to eastbound Tacoma Street.
- Constructing a raised concrete island at the southbound McLoughlin Boulevard and Tacoma Street intersection. This will help delineate the ramp lanes (for cars exiting and entering McLoughlin Boulevard) and will provide a pedestrian refuge.
View project design drawing (PDF)
During public outreach for the Portland to Milwaukie Light-Rail Transit Project, the public voiced concerns about pedestrians running across SE McLoughlin Boulevard and hopping over the median barrier to get to bus stops. In early summer 2012, TriMet removed the northbound bus stop due to light rail construction activities in the area. TriMet also plans to remove the southbound bus stop in this area when ODOT restripes the right lane in August/September 2012.
However, pedestrians may still be tempted to cross SE McLoughlin Boulevard in this same manner to access light rail. Installing safety shield will increase the height of the median barrier to deter pedestrians from crossing illegally and unsafely.
Also through public outreach for the Portland to Milwaukie Light-Rail Transit Project, ODOT heard concerns from community members regarding the southbound SE McLoughlin Boulevard and SE Tacoma Street interchange. Drivers trying to head south on SE McLoughlin Boulevard from the Tacoma Street ramp often have difficulty determining whether oncoming vehicles in the outside travel lane are exiting to Tacoma Street or continuing south on McLoughlin Boulevard.
The number of vehicles making a right-turn from southbound McLoughlin Boulevard to eastbound Tacoma Street is expected to increase in 2015 with the opening of the new TriMet Park & Ride facility. The striping improvements will help reduce driver confusion and improve safety and operations of this interchange.
For more information, please contact:
ODOT Community Affairs Coordinator