PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Despite protests from neighbors in the Eliot neighborhood, the Portland Bureau of Transportation cut down a large tree on Monday.

It was part of a traffic circle being removed by the city in the middle of NE 7th and Tillamook. Neighbors say the circle was a big help in slowing down down hundreds of cars using 7th instead of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, just one block over.

Speed bumps and some nearby crosswalks will replace the traffic circle.

KOIN 6 spoke with both neighbors and PBOT a week ago, just shortly after neighbors were told about the teardown.

“What they’re proposing isn’t going to make this intersection anymore safe than it is right now. And we’re not saying it’s a safe intersection as is, but we feel like it’s still going to be less safe from a speed perspective,” said Rose Francis, a neighbor.

PBOT says it will monitor the new speed bumps being put in, and will make more changes if there is still a problem with speeders in the neighborhood.

“The purposes of removing that traffic circle is to create clearer visibility for all the different users on that street and create more defined places for people to be traveling in,” said PBOT’s Hannah Schafer.

NE 7th avenue leads to the new Blumenauer Bridge opened early this year.