A Highway 217 update & learning about MAX stop closures


Transportation Committee April Meeting   At a recent Transportation Committee meeting, members heard from the Oregon Department of Transportation's (ODOT) Matt Freitag and TriMet's Grant O'Connell and Tom Mills. 
   Freitag shared with the committee an update on plans for Highway 217.
   ODOT is planning to create auxiliary lanes on Highway 217 southbound from Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway to Greenburg Road and from 99W to Scholls Ferry on the northbound side.
   It's also going to build a frontage road between Allen Boulevard and Denny Road on the southbound side, similar to the one that already runs between Canyon Road and Beaverton Hillsdale Highway.
   This frontage road will eliminate the need southbound for the Allen Boulevard on-ramp and the Denny Road off-ramp, which will reduce the traffic weave and traffic jam it currently experiences.
   ODOT will also be replacing the Tigard Hall Boulevard overpass to make way for the new auxiliary lane.
   Construction is expected to start in 2020.

   Also, the committee heard from TriMet's O'Connell about the proposed removal of four MAX stops in downtown Portland.

  The average commute time on MAX through downtown Portland is approximately 22 minutes.
  TriMet estimates 2 - 2.5 minutes can be saved from this commute time by eliminating four stops, which are within a few blocks of other MAX stops.
   The stops being considered for removal are Kings Hill/SW Salmon (outside of Providence Park, which is closed already on game days); both sides of Pioneer Place (the mall/SW 4th & 5th); and the Skidmore Fountain.
   O'Connell and Mills said 2 - 2.5 minutes may not seem like a lot, but it would help give the system more reliability time-wise, and it adds up to 17.5 hours of operational time that could be reinvested in the system.
   To see TriMet's PowerPoint on this issue, click here.
   To learn more about the Highway 217 project, visit its website.