Data Sheds Light on Burnside Options

Yesterday afternoon Sam Adams and the consultant team presented the results of the traffic modeling of various alternatives for West Burnside St. from the river to NW 24th to “key stakeholders” (which included some property owners who had never been near the Stakeholder Committee process!).

While there are no conclusions, there is some narrowing of options. Note that ONLY traffic modeling data was presented, so we do not yet have data for how these options do on pedestrian safety and other key criteria for the project.

  • The couplet still scores best on a number of bases!
  • The ‘truncated couplet’ (i.e., force some of the traffic back to Burnside before it goes by the Henry) does reasonably well, but still sends 800 cars per hour past the Brewery Blocks (I think that surprised the Henry representative).
  • Options that narrow Burnside to 3 lanes east of I-405 tend to gridlock Northwest, Goose Hollow, and/or the Pearl.
  • Dropping to 2 westbound lanes and 1 eastbound lane WEST of I-405 (the option I’m rooting for in that area) did reasonably well.
  • Worst of all options was the so-called 5/4/3, which would add an extra 10 minutes to the 9 minute trip from the river to NW 23rd (compared to the couplet, which shaves a number of minutes off the trip).

More data will be presented to the full stakeholder committee (the one that’s been at this for four years), but I’m betting in the end the Commissioner will bring forward some variation of the couplet.

Here’s an example of the traffic diversion diagrams. This one is for the 1/1/1 option (one lane in each direction with a center turn lane).

[Hint: red = bad]


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