Experimental stop sign in Pearl District frustrates drivers

City tries new traffic change in Pearl District

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A new stop sign is causing a lot of headaches for some drivers in Portland's Pearl District.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation installed it temporarily at Northwest 14th Avenue and Davis Street, right where traffic merges with cars getting off I-405. PBOT is trying it out before they re-pave that street this summer. During re-paving, lines are re-striped. And before they are, PBOT always looks at ways to improve traffic.

But many people who drive this route aren't liking the experimental traffic flow.

"I don't understand the reasoning behind it. I don't know what they were trying to solve. It's making it more complicated," Mackenzie Day said.

"The change is rather difficult to understand," said another woman.

And a driver yelled out his window, "This is about the dumbest thing I've ever seen, I don't know why they did this, what a mess!"

The change is experimental. It didn't come in response from traffic accidents though. The city and businesses that border the intersection both say there aren't a lot of crashes here, but there are horn honks and near-misses. The change came because the city asked for feedback and NW Portland neighborhood associations identified the intersection as uncomfortable to merge into.

You have city traffic and freeway traffic coming together, often both wanting to turn right onto Everett. The city says forcing the street traffic on 14th to now stop, and angling them in with a striped no-go zone gives them a better look at the exiting freeway traffic.

Drivers say it's now more dangerous to try and merge into fast traffic from a dead stop.

On Facebook, Rachel Farley commented, "You should film it during the morning commute to see how it backs up traffic onto the 405."

Some though thought it made sense. Suzanne Dutoit commented on Facebook, "It makes sense for vehicles to stop or at least yield before merging into what is an exit lane off an interstate highway."

Cyclists love the expanded bike lane. One told us, "I like having the new bike lane, it makes me feel a bit safer having that because traffic always seems to move fast through here."

The city said this isn't a done deal.They want feedback so they invite you to call their hotline at 503-823-1414 and leave a message with your name, contact number and comment on the intersection.

They're also looking at adding parking spots a few blocks away on Northwest 14th Avenue to make up for the two that have been taken away with this traffic change.

© 2017 KGW-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment