Why is the City doing this project?
The purpose of the Boones Ferry Road Improvement Project is to create a street that serves as the centerpiece of the Lake Grove area. The concept for the street imagines a safe, welcoming and convenient pedestrian and bicycle environment, where auto traffic is accommodated efficiently and safely, stormwater is treated naturally, and businesses needs are successfully met.
Where is the project located?
The limits of the current Boones Ferry Road project is from Madrona Street to the Oakridge Road/Reese Road intersection. The project will also include pedestrian crossing improvements at the Lanewood Street intersection.
A second future project will construct improvements on Boones Ferry Road between Oakridge/Reese and Kruse Way. Funds for this project are not available. As such, it may not occur for a number of years.
What improvements are proposed?
Improvements to enhance the streetscape, make the street safer, and improve access to businesses and nearby residences include:
- Landscaped medians with left turn lanes
- New sidewalks with street trees, street lighting, street furnishings, & landscaping
- New and improved pedestrian crosswalks
- New 5-foot wide bike lanes on both sides of the street
- Stormwater treatment of street runoff to protect our waterways
- Undergrounding of utilities
- Provide a pedestrian crossing signal at Lanewood Street
What is the project schedule?
- Final Design and Right-of-Way Acquisition 2016 – 2018
- Construction late 2018 – 2020
How will the City pay for this work?
The most recent (winter 2018) cost estimate for Phase 1 of the Boones Ferry Road Improvement Project is $32.2 million. The funding plan is:
Urban Renewal Funds $22.7 million
General Obligation Bond $5 million
Oregon Dept. of Transportation Federal Grant $4 million
Transportation System Dev. Charges $500,000
How did the Boones Ferry Road project come about?
A community-driven process to improve Boones Ferry Road began nearly two decades ago. In 2008, following years of work by community leaders and City staff, the Lake Grove Village Center Plan was adopted by City Council and incorporated into City Code. That Plan defines implementation measures to achieve the community’s vision for a welcoming, comfortable town center. The transformation of Boones Ferry Road to address infrastructure and amenity deficiencies is the key element of that vision.
In 2012, the City Council adopted a goal for that year to develop an implementation strategy for the Village Center Plan. The City developed the Lake Grove Village Center Financial Study and adopted the Lake Grove Village Center Urban Renewal Plan creating a new urban renewal district and providing funding for the two most important projects in the Plan:
- Boones Ferry Road Improvements from Madrona Street to Kruse Way.
- Village Center Parking Improvements to provide additional public parking and to replace parking lost as a result of the Boones Ferry Road project.
What are the current traffic volumes on Boones Ferry Road?
Daily traffic volumes on Boones Ferry Road vary between 18,000 vehicles per day near Madrona Street to 24,000 vehicles per day near Oakridge Road. These volumes are similar to those on Kruse Way and Country Club Road, and slightly more than the traffic volumes on A Avenue in downtown.
Are traffic volumes expected to increase in the future? If so, how will Boones Ferry Road handle the additional traffic?
Yes, with anticipated future redevelopment in Lake Oswego and Lake Grove specifically, traffic volumes on Boones Ferry are expected to increase by 25% to 30% by the year 2040. Boones Ferry today has some capacity to handle additional traffic. With this reserve capacity and the proposed project changes (primarily the median that eliminates mid-block left turns), Boones Ferry Road will have adequate capacity to handle future traffic volumes forecasted for 2040.
What changes will be made to Boones Ferry to improve traffic safety?
One of the primary reasons for doing the Boones Ferry project is to improve traffic safety. There will be a number of changes that will accomplish this including:
- Providing a raised median down the center of the street to eliminate mid-block left-turn problems into and out of businesses.
- Installing new traffic signals at Madrona, the McDonald’s driveway and at Lanewood to control traffic, provide for safer turns onto and off of Boones Ferry at these locations, and allow for U-turns.
- Realigning the access out of Lake Grove Elementary School to line up with Lanewood to improve safety for bus and school traffic at this new signalized intersection.
- Providing better street lighting to make the street safer at night.
- Removing all utility poles on both sides of the street.
- Finally, potentially lowering the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph.
What changes will be made to Boones Ferry to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety?
Similar to vehicle traffic, the project will make a number of changes to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety including:
- Building new, wider sidewalks that will be further setback from vehicle traffic;
- Installing several new marked crosswalks that will make crossing Boones Ferry Road much easier and safer;
- Installing a new traffic signal at Lanewood to provide for safe crosswalks for Lake Grove Elementary School;
- Providing new bike lanes so bicyclists won’t have to mix with pedestrians and/or vehicles; and
- Providing better street lighting to make the street safer at night for both pedestrians and bicyclists
What are Expanded Sidewalk Areas as shown on the Boones Ferry Road Conceptual Plan?
New 9-foot-wide sidewalks and planting areas will be provided on both sides of Boones Ferry in the vast majority of locations. Where planting areas exist, the new sidewalk will be only 5.5-foot wide. While this width is adequate, it’s not overly generous for pedestrians. To improve the pedestrian environment along Boones Ferry, the Project Advisory Committee and Project Team are considering wider “expanded sidewalk areas” at locations on each side of Boones Ferry where there are underutilized remnant portions of private property. These expanded pedestrian areas would provide opportunities for art, street furniture (such as benches, bike racks and fountains), and additional landscaping and trees. There are a total of 10 expanded sidewalk areas being considered. Constructing each will depend on approval from the respective property owners as well as the availability of project funds.
With the proposed raised median almost the entire length of the project, how will customers and employees access adjacent businesses?
At all major intersections with traffic signals, left-turn lanes will be designed to also allow U-turns. Customers and employees needing to get to businesses on the opposite side of the street can go to the next signalized intersection and make a U-turn.
What size of vehicles will be able to make the U-turns at the major intersections?
Full-sized passenger vehicles, including larger SUVs such as a Chevy Suburban, will be able to make the U-turns.
What will larger vehicles do that are unable to make a U-turn at the intersections?
Drivers of larger trucks will need to plan their trips in a way that will allow them to access their destinations by making right turns. This is common practice for truck drivers who make deliveries in urban areas on a regular basis.
With all the proposed changes, will drivers avoid Boones Ferry Road and use local neighborhood streets instead? If so, what steps are being taken to try to minimize this potential cut-through traffic?
As designed, Boones Ferry Road will be able to carry more traffic as traffic volumes increase in the future. However, due to the new traffic signals and center median, traffic patterns in the area may change. The Project Team is working with the three neighborhoods adjacent to Boones Ferry Road – Lake Grove, Lake Forest and Waluga neighborhoods – to better understand future neighborhood traffic issues and minimize potential impacts to residents. Some neighborhood traffic improvements may be done as part of the project; others may be re-evaluated after the project is completed. Initial meetings with the three neighborhoods were held in the fall of 2016. Concerns expressed by residents were primarily about additional cut-through traffic and pedestrian safety on neighborhood streets. The Project Team will be following up on these concerns.
The street is currently not very wide. How will the new sidewalks, bike lanes, left turn lanes, stormwater planters and medians fit in this relatively small space?
The existing street is too narrow to be able to accommodate all the proposed changes to Boones Ferry. As such, additional right-of-way and/or easements will be needed from properties along Boones Ferry. A significant amount of effort has gone into the design of Boones Ferry to minimize the amount of additional right-of-way needed to build the project while still providing the necessary street improvements.
How many properties will be affected by the acquisition of additional right-of-way?
Additional right-of-way and easements will be acquired from over 50 properties along or adjacent to Boones Ferry Road.
What is the process for acquiring this right-of-way?
Formal notices from the City’s right-of-way agent are sent to property owners who own land where additional right-of-way and/or easements are needed. Once these notices go out, certified appraisers will determine the compensation for the land and the improvements that will be affected. Based on this appraisal, the right-of-way agent will prepare an offer and present it to the property owner. The owner can accept or reject the offer. If it’s rejected, the owner should present reasons why the appraisal was incorrect. Ideally, the owner and City will arrive at an agreed upon amount. If the two parties cannot agree, the City will initiate condemnation proceedings and the compensation will then be determined by the court.
During rainstorms, stormwater is a problem all along Boones Ferry. How will the project deal with this?
Currently, stormwater systems are deficient and the untreated water runs directly to Oswego Lake. New stormwater facilities will be built as part of the project to handle stormwater runoff from typical rainstorms. These new facilities include stormwater planters that will treat much of the water by removing pollutants. Most stormwater will then infiltrate directly into the ground minimizing excess runoff into the stormwater system. For larger rainstorms, water that doesn’t infiltrate into the ground will be treated before it flows to Oswego Lake improving the overall water quality of the Lake.
Parking is also a problem in certain areas along Boones Ferry Road. Will parking become a bigger problem when the street is widened and some parking is lost?
For most properties, existing parking will not be affected. However, there are nine (9) properties where parking will be impacted. The combined amount of parking loss could be as much as 47 parking spaces. The City has worked with these owners to explore ways to replace the lost parking through reconfiguring their remaining parking areas. It appears that replacing nearly all of the lost parking is possible. While the project would pay for this work, the decision to actually do it will be left up to each individual property owner.
What’s the long term plan for additional parking in Lake Grove?
The Lake Grove Village Center Parking Management Plan, completed in spring 2016, addresses parking needs and opportunities in the Lake Grove area. This includes the acquisition of property and construction of public parking on underutilized parcels within the Village Center area. The Plan and related materials can be found at http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/citymanager/lake-grove-village-center-parking-management-plan.
How many trees along Boones Ferry Road will be removed by the project?
Approximately 120 trees will be removed in order to widen the street.
How many new trees will be planted as part of the project?
Approximately 200 new trees will be planted on both sides of Boones Ferry and in the center median area. Additional money is in the project budget to mitigate for the loss of trees by either planting more trees in other areas of the city or paying into the City’s tree fund for future tree planting opportunities.
During construction, how will customers and employees access nearby businesses?
The goal of the project is to maintain access to businesses during all business hours. The current plan is to keep at least one travel lane in each direction open throughout construction. Driveways to businesses may be partially closed while they are being reconstructed, but access will be retained. Final construction staging plans will be developed over the next year prior to actual construction. Project staff will be available to work with businesses to address their concerns and to address problems as they arise during construction.
Will traffic be detoured onto local residential streets during construction?
The goal is to not close off Boones Ferry Road, which in turn means there would be no detours onto local streets. However, given the complexity of the construction work, some drivers may decide to use local streets instead of driving through the construction area. The Project Team will do what it reasonably can to minimize the likelihood of this happening.
Will the entire street be under construction at the same time?
The street will be constructed in stages. For each stage, traffic will be shifted to allow for construction in a specific area. Lane closures may be required for paving and constructing certain portions of the street. Minimizing traffic impacts to businesses, residents and the traveling public is a primary goal of the project.
Will construction workers be parking in the neighborhood?
Construction workers will be directed to park at designated staging areas, which are to be determined.
How will dump trucks and heavy equipment be kept out of neighborhoods?
Large equipment operators will be directed to use Boones Ferry Road as much as possible and to stay out of neighborhoods. The contractor will be required to use only City-approved haul routes for dump trucks and heavy equipment. Project inspectors will monitor construction traffic and ensure the contractor stays on the approved haul routes.
What will traffic control look like during construction?
Existing traffic signals and signs will be maintained in some manner throughout construction. As necessary, flaggers will be used to safely direct pedestrians and vehicles within the work area.
How can I get involved?
As part of the design process, opportunities to provide input and learn more about the project include:
- Attend Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meetings – These are monthly meetings open to the public. They are held at City Hall on the third Tuesday of each month starting at 9:00 a.m. For more information about PAC meetings, go to: http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/bfp/pac
- Attend a project Open House
- Email – Leave a comment on the project webpage
- Contact the Project Team directly
- Sign up for email notices that provide information about upcoming meetings, open houses, and other project-related work