PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Barricades have gone up in southwest Portland as a new pilot program launched Monday morning — bringing changes to many drivers’ daily commute.
In an effort to try and minimize traffic to surrounding neighborhoods, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is starting a pilot program on Monday using barricades to restrict cut-through traffic access points to the Ross Island Bridge.
Most local residential streets have 500 to 1000 cars a day. But Southwest Gibbs Street west of Water Avenue sees 1500 trips a day and Southwest Kelly Avenue sees 1500 a day.
Concern about the congestion and unsafe driving on Southwest Corbett and Kelly was brought up by residents and the South Portland Neighborhood Association. Neighbors said rush-hour traffic from I-5 in downtown and areas south of downtown are severely impacting their neighborhood.
“They block the intersections, the cars honk their horns, there are many minor fender-benders,” Michael Kaplan told KOIN 6 News. “In a neighborhood where children and families have been moving back in with pedestrians and increasing bicyclists, this enormous traffic problem has been a huge burden.”
The South Portland Neighborhood Association helped design the new plan that will eliminate the ability for drivers to cut through residential streets in the area. The Ross Island Bridge can be still be accessed by other streets.
This PBOT pilot program will last until September and will be re-assessed at that time.
Cut-through routes closed by the project
SW Kelly Ave, between SW Whitaker and SW Curry:
– Close northbound access
– Purpose: Prevents commuter traffic from using SW Kelly to access the eastbound bridge ramp on SW Kelly.
SW Whitaker St, between SW Kelly and SW Corbett:
– Close eastbound access
– Purpose: Prevents commuter traffic from using SW Corbett to access the eastbound bridge ramp on SW Kelly.
SW Gibbs/ SW Naito Pkwy intersection:
– Close access to SW Naito Parkway
– Purpose: Prevents commuter traffic from using either SW Kelly or SW Corbett to access the eastbound bridge ramp via SW Gibbs at SW Naito Parkway
Follow KOIN 6 for the latest news and weather