August 9, 2006
Cedar Mill Wal-Mart Denied on Transportation Grounds
The Beaverton City Council reversed their own Design Review Board and voted 5-0 to deny Wal-Mart's application to build in Cedar Mill. Transportation was cited as the major issue:
Opponents attacked Wal-Mart's plans based on traffic and design. Wal-Mart's consultants estimated the store would create 7,400 vehicle trips a day. The company promised to pay for about $2.2 million in nearby street improvements. But opponents said the intersection would create a bottleneck for drivers going to and from neighborhoods to the north.
Do we accept that the Council denied this for transportation reasons, or is this really about Wal-Mart? Maybe only LUBA knows for sure.
August 9, 2006 9:18 AM
I don't know the Council reasons, but as someone who lives a little over a mile from there and has to go through that intersection pretty much to get anywhere, I am totally against it solely because of transportation reasons. The whole Cedar Mill area and the hills above it were not designed to handle the number of cars going through there. We're suffering already.
August 9, 2006 10:47 AM
Maybe they should build a streetcar loop called the "Walcar" and run it between the Sunset Transit Center and Wal-Mart could build out, but without their standard HUGE parking lot that's 2-3x the size of the store.
:o wonder if that would work. It'd be awesome if they got some other development behind it and did it in a cost effective and profitable way. They could have two cars at $850k a piece (it CAN be done, New Orleans did it), drop track like Tacoma to keep costs low and have a Wal-Mart Corridor of shops and all. Somewhere along the way, possibly at each end of the corridor they could drop two smaller parking structures. This could then feed in and out of the two primary transit sources in the area, the MAX and 217/26.
Anyway... just dreaming of common sense approaches that are triumphant! :o
August 9, 2006 2:05 PM
I thought Beaverton already had a walmart?
Beaverton and the Cedar Mill area - not to mention the I-5/217 interchange have extremely poorly designed transportation and (local) road systems.
One interesting problem in the future - that they are already experiencing in the I-5/217 interchange area is the huge amount of traffic congestion (by a relatively few # of cars) by people simply trying to travel what would otherwise be a few blocks in Portland. Who hasn't been stuck on 217 an hour or more trying to go just across I-5?
Not building local road access away from the freeways - and abysmal transit service (Kruse Way MAX to Beaverton Transit Station, anyone?!) will severly limit Beaverton's ability to densify in the future... which will happen because it has practically no place to grow but up!
August 9, 2006 10:09 PM
Jason McHuff Says:
As much as I would love to see development be transit-oriented, I believe it is hypocritical for people to argue against the project because it is in a Sunset TC-based "transit-oriented zone". With all its parking out front and stores not really visible from the road, the strip mall across Cedar Hills Blvd. towards the TC is not transit (= pedestrian) oriented. Moreover, it is a good uphill hike from Cedar Hills to the actual TC.
Also, I regularly go thru the intersection of Cedar Hills & Barnes and am amazed at how undeveloped the area seems for having 4 bus lines go thru it.
Oh, and there are no Wal*Marts west of 82nd Ave, though this does not discourage at least some people from driving halfway across the metro area, creating another transportation issue.
August 9, 2006 10:52 PM
Terry Parker Says:
This appears to be more of a political sentiment response/decision rather than one based on transportation grounds. It seems a stretch to claim the property as transit oriented development when it is approximately a mile and a half from the Sunset Transit Center. Any new development on that site will increase traffic. After almost two years of working with the Beaverton and/or Washington County Planning Commission(s), to find some common ground and make changes that included reducing the size of the store in the original plan, Wal-Mart will probably go to court, and they should, just as Nike went to court. The Beaverton City Council is on extremely thin ice.
August 10, 2006 7:57 AM
Ross Williams Says:
With all its parking out front and stores not really visible from the road, the strip mall across Cedar Hills Blvd. towards the TC is not transit (= pedestrian) oriented.
This is the problem with transforming auto-oriented suburban neighborhoods into pedestrian and transit friendly communities. Its not an instant process. It will take years before all the small changes add up to a meaningful change. But if you don't start someplace, it will never happen.
August 10, 2006 8:57 AM
Jim Howell Says:
The original concept for the Sunset Transit Center (Petercourt Station) was that a village center would develop around the station on land that would temporarily be used for park-and-ride. Unfortunately, TriMet gave into outside pressure to build a parking structure which now blocks any kind of transit oriented development on this site.
August 12, 2006 12:49 AM
Jason McHuff Says:
...But if you don't start someplace, it will never happen.
I totally understand and agree with that philosophy. My issue is that the shopping center looks new enough to have been built after light rail-based zoning was (or should have been) put into effect and, therefore, should be transit-oriented in the first place.
August 13, 2006 6:08 PM
Ross Williams Says:
should be transit-oriented in the first place.
Washington County really needs better (some?) design standards. I don't think the votes are there to do that though.
August 18, 2006 11:04 AM
Terry Parker Says:
Beaverton’s Mayor Drake made a comment about how someone who bought a case of toilet paper at the proposed WalMart store would not just strap it on their back and take it on Max or on a bike. (Not a direct quote) What is he saying here - that people should not buy toilet paper by the case to get a price break? Most people that are conscious shoppers and buy toilet paper by the case would drive to where toilet paper purchased. The only question that remains is whether they would go to another store or outlet to purchase other goods needed, or could they purchase all of them at the same location also at a good price, thereby reducing VMTs with a single trip to only one store instead of several. .