Ascension Drive Safety Updates

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Update 8/25/20: The final report and Council presentation have been added to the 'Key Documents' section on the right column of this webpage.

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The City of Tigard is making safety changes on Ascension Drive in response to community concerns. Earlier this year, city staff moved toward removing parking on Ascension based on a traffic safety complaint. After hearing a broad range of input, the City Engineer has revised the initial proposal to include removal on only one side of the street.

Update 7/23/20: Letter from the City Engineer

Dear Ascension Drive neighbors,

I want to express my apologies for what has been an imperfect at best communications process around traffic safety and parking issues on SW Ascension Drive. Read more...

Background

  • In February, the City of Tigard received a traffic complaint of low visibility through the back-to-back curves (S-curves) on SW Ascension Drive.
  • Engineering staff visited the site and decided to limit on-street parking through the curves. The city sent a mailed notice to property owners in March.
  • In May, in response to community concerns and questions, the city mailed a second notice with more detail about the decision.
  • In June, city staff met individually with property owners along the curves to better understand their concerns.


What We Heard

  • Concerns from neighborhood residents about the lack of visibility for drivers in the S-curves when parked cars are present.
  • Concerns with the proposed removal of on-street parking:
    • Deliveries
    • Guests
    • Parking impacts to adjacent street
    • Limit ‘no parking’ to just one side of the street
  • Additional safety concerns:
    • Speed
    • Increased traffic volume
  • Concerns about the level of neighborhood involvement in responding to traffic safety complaints.
  • Read more...


What We Learned

  • The community has requested a comprehensive approach to addressing safety concerns. In this case, removing parking addresses visibility — but no other important traffic safety concerns.
  • In response to previous community concerns, the city has monitored speed on Ascension Drive since 2017. The average speed is 26 mph, with 85 percent of drivers below 30 mph — but there are a few outliers and even that speed seems fast in the back-to-back curves.
  • Traffic volume has increased from about 730 motor vehicles per day in 2016 to 1,050 per day in 2019. Tigard and adjacent communities have seen significant development. All public streets, including neighborhood routes, have seen higher traffic volumes.
  • Read more...


What’s Next

  • The City Engineer, Lori Faha, has outlined upcoming traffic safety improvements to be installed later this summer:
    • No parking on one side of Ascension Drive through the back-to-back curves.
    • Add striping in the curves, to serve as a visual clue to slow and stay in the correct lane.
    • Commitment to pursue a 20 mph neighborhood streets program with City Council, including implementation on Ascension Drive.
  • Development of a citywide neighborhood traffic complaint program with clear avenues for neighborhood feedback and clear criteria for prioritizing and addressing issues.
  • Read more...


We know this decision won’t satisfy everyone, but we are looking forward to improving safety in this area.



Update 8/25/20: The final report and Council presentation have been added to the 'Key Documents' section on the right column of this webpage.

*******

The City of Tigard is making safety changes on Ascension Drive in response to community concerns. Earlier this year, city staff moved toward removing parking on Ascension based on a traffic safety complaint. After hearing a broad range of input, the City Engineer has revised the initial proposal to include removal on only one side of the street.

Update 7/23/20: Letter from the City Engineer

Dear Ascension Drive neighbors,

I want to express my apologies for what has been an imperfect at best communications process around traffic safety and parking issues on SW Ascension Drive. Read more...

Background

  • In February, the City of Tigard received a traffic complaint of low visibility through the back-to-back curves (S-curves) on SW Ascension Drive.
  • Engineering staff visited the site and decided to limit on-street parking through the curves. The city sent a mailed notice to property owners in March.
  • In May, in response to community concerns and questions, the city mailed a second notice with more detail about the decision.
  • In June, city staff met individually with property owners along the curves to better understand their concerns.


What We Heard

  • Concerns from neighborhood residents about the lack of visibility for drivers in the S-curves when parked cars are present.
  • Concerns with the proposed removal of on-street parking:
    • Deliveries
    • Guests
    • Parking impacts to adjacent street
    • Limit ‘no parking’ to just one side of the street
  • Additional safety concerns:
    • Speed
    • Increased traffic volume
  • Concerns about the level of neighborhood involvement in responding to traffic safety complaints.
  • Read more...


What We Learned

  • The community has requested a comprehensive approach to addressing safety concerns. In this case, removing parking addresses visibility — but no other important traffic safety concerns.
  • In response to previous community concerns, the city has monitored speed on Ascension Drive since 2017. The average speed is 26 mph, with 85 percent of drivers below 30 mph — but there are a few outliers and even that speed seems fast in the back-to-back curves.
  • Traffic volume has increased from about 730 motor vehicles per day in 2016 to 1,050 per day in 2019. Tigard and adjacent communities have seen significant development. All public streets, including neighborhood routes, have seen higher traffic volumes.
  • Read more...


What’s Next

  • The City Engineer, Lori Faha, has outlined upcoming traffic safety improvements to be installed later this summer:
    • No parking on one side of Ascension Drive through the back-to-back curves.
    • Add striping in the curves, to serve as a visual clue to slow and stay in the correct lane.
    • Commitment to pursue a 20 mph neighborhood streets program with City Council, including implementation on Ascension Drive.
  • Development of a citywide neighborhood traffic complaint program with clear avenues for neighborhood feedback and clear criteria for prioritizing and addressing issues.
  • Read more...


We know this decision won’t satisfy everyone, but we are looking forward to improving safety in this area.



CLOSED: This discussion has concluded. A response to all questions will be posted by September 1.

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for taking the time to ask questions. We will review your questions, prepare a response, and both will be posted together on this site within one week.

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    Since some Ascension residents may not have posted their thoughts to this community input page, I'll paste the comments they shared for our presentation to Tigard City Council previously (follow-up from when two vehicles avoided head-on collision by driving through the yard of 13107 SW Ascension, which is where the S-curve connects to the second plateau as drivers come downhill from Mistletoe). Jamie A, Bull Mountain East I support any measure to reduce traffic and speed on Ascension. It's even dangerous to slow down to pull into a driveway. People who don't live here are using it as a cut through and have no patience. Steve H, Bull Mountain East Earlier this week I had a blue Honda Civic tailgating as I came up the street around the curve right in front of your house and then passed me once we got around the curve and must have gotten up to at least 50 going up the street. And this was at night in the rain! The problem with Ascension is it's become a big cut through to developments on the other side of Bull Mountain. Cheryl P, Bull Mountain East Thanks for the update so now I️ understand why your yard looks the way it does. I️ would LOVE photo radar (that can issue citation tickets) to be installed on our street. Trish C, Bull Mountain East I have also been passed (and flipped off) on Ascension twice by a woman driving a black Lexus. This was right after pulling out of my driveway on my way to work. Kate J, Bull Mountain East I had this experience couple of months ago; went downhill on Ascension around 5pm. A lady drove up her car fast uphill but the worst part is she was in the middle of 2 lanes as we crossed around the curve. Couldn't see each other and I almost got hit! Jill S, Bull Mountain East My first impression was that perhaps a car had to swerve from hitting an oncoming car around those curves and ended up going through your yard to avoid a head-on. Cars travel down the middle especially if there are any parked cars in the way and they're driving way too fast. Kas A, Bull Mountain East Speeding traffic is a problem on Ascension. Tonight I almost got hit by someone speeding downhill and around the corner. I was coming uphill, could see no one coming and pulled into the middle to go around a parked car. They came so fast and didn't even slow down when they saw me. Just inches between us as they sped past. Margie A, Bull Mountain East As a resident of Bull Mountain I enjoy walking the neighborhood. It is really sad and very frightening to see this happen on Ascension, however, not surprising. The parking is very tight and over and over I have seen speeding. when I drive thru the neighborhood, I see repeated instances of wreckless speeding almost every time. Especially during commute hours. It is terrible. I think a lot of people use those as cut throughs to areas in the back/West side of Bull Mountain. Apps like Waze have contributed, I am sure. It seems it would be easy enough to patrol and reduce speed to 15 and enforce. Speed bumps could help and yes, I would contribute for sure. Carrie M, Bull Mountain East It is getting just horrible in this area. We live on Mistletoe and the traffic and speeding has increased so much that we are nervous about just backing in and out of our driveway. We get honked at and flipped off as well as people that try to pass behind us while we try to back in to the driveway. I've sent in multiple comments to the city without receiving any response. It is dangerous and unfair for those of us living here. I really hope that they take this seriously because if something doesn't happen a person is going to get hit. Our roads are not built to handle this kind of traffic. You might want to check with your neighbors to see if anyone has a nest camera, we put one up (fairly inexpensive) and it has a fairly wide angle on the picture. Jason B, Bull Mountain East I have twin 4 year olds and I have been buzzed by speeders countless times while trying to enjoy a walk on Ascension. Most appear to be adults (not reckless teenagers) cutting through our neighborhood. This past Halloween our group of adults and kids making their way up the street was almost hit by someone accelerating as they turned downhill onto Ascension from SW Mistletoe. Scary to say the least.

    stantaur3 asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your submission and helping to ensure your neighbors voices are heard. We’ve taken these and other comments into account in updating our proposed safety improvements on Ascension Drive.   The City Engineer is planning the following safety measures:

    • Remove parking on one side of Ascension in the curves to remove visual obstructions to line of sight in the curves.  The parking removal will be focused on the inside of the curves, so it will be partially on side, partially on the other side of the street.
    • Add a center stripe in the street with tactile bumps in the curves to add another visual cue to drivers to stay in their lane in the curves.
    • Add a permanent electronic Your Speed Is feedback sign leading into the curves.
    • Ask city council to adopt a 20 mph speed zone for some priority neighborhood streets (including Ascension).  This requires council adoption and must follow requirements of state legislation passed in 2019 that now allows for some streets to have reduced enforceable speed limits.  (The 15 mph signs at the curves are advisory only and not enforceable, per state law.)   This would likely be implemented starting 2021.


    Additionally, city staff are working on developing a citywide traffic calming program including a clearer process for addressing traffic safety complaints.  Traffic humps will be considered as a potential tool in the traffic calming tool kit, and therefore may become a future tool again in the city (the city does not currently have a traffic hump program, although it did place speed humps in some locations many years ago).  There will be criteria for prioritizing and technically approving use of all traffic calming tools.   This work to create a program will be completed by the end of 2020.   Ascension may or may not qualify for speed humps (the steepness of the street and lack of line of sight in the curves create safety issues for humps); but if it does qualify, would be prioritized along with other city streets with speed and traffic safety issues.  Prioritization criteria may include topics such as measured speed, accident records, traffic volume, adjacency to schools, width of street, presence of sidewalks, etc.   In developing this program and recommending that resources be found for it, city staff will be utilizing the input we have received from Ascension neighbors, complaint information from others throughout the city, the Tigard Transportation Advisory Committee, and city council.

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    Is the City is still marching forward with its recently-disproven idea to strip residents of street parking on one side of the S-curve (despite 7/23’s accident perfectly DISMANTLING the theory that clearer sight lines would - magically - motivate drivers to REDUCE speed, stay in their lane, and not straddle the center of the road)? If so, then which residents along the S-curve are going to lose their street parking? How will the City compensate these residents for the extra fees that service providers will charge (roofing, landscaping, etc.)? Will the City waive any costs for getting variances in order to install fencing high enough to mask the jarring sight of cars speeding by our windows? Reason I ask is when I called to inquire about variances, I was told that Tigard would charge us over $1000 in permits & fees just to assess whether a fence could be built closer to the sidewalk than current 15’ lateral distance per code, even though some fences along the street don’t comply. And building a fence that could help slow down a speeding SUV isn’t going to be cheap – remember, we had one trench our yard (10’ from the living rm) avoiding a head-on collision in 2017, so this isn’t just conjecture. We want that fence because Tigard has failed to listen to its Ascension residents and slow speeders down. The City’s removal of street parking was fully disproven by the 7/23 head-on collision in the S-curve with perfect conditions and no cars parked on the road – perfect sight lines and guess what happened? Offset-head-on collision in the MIDDLE of the road. Not one edge or the other. The middle of the road, because drivers naturally “cheat over” into the oncoming lane when their speed is too high to navigate the turn successfully in their own lane. Come on down any weekday morning between 7:30 and 9AM, or afternoons between 4:30 and 6:30 to see a clinic on speeders being surprised by the S-curve so much that they cheat over to the middle of the road… Will those residents get a tax “step-down” on their annual property taxes to offset the (very “reasonably foreseeable”) drop in home values when we try to sell our house? The party who complained about the sightlines SO effectively this year clearly has a TON of influence with the City. They got their wish in less than a year, vs. Ascension residents waiting decades for speed humps (like Benchview, Fern & 135th already have). That person should easily be able to afford to “pay up” their own property tax enough to offset the property tax step-downs the rest of us losing our street parking & property values would need in order to be made whole.

    stantaur3 asked 7 months ago

    Yes, the City Engineer plans to move forward with removal of parking on one side of SW Ascension in the curves.   This will be partly on one side, partly on the other side, focused on removing parking on the inside of the curves where the vision obstruction of parked cars is the worst.   The recent accident definitely illustrated the problem of reckless driving in the curves.   Thankfully it was not worse and not a complete head-on collision.   This did not disprove the problem of visual obstruction in the curves when parked cars are present.   It did showcase that this location has multiple issues including both line of sight issues and reckless driver issues.  The immediate (next few months) planned work includes the partial removal of parking (for line of sight), addition of striping (for a visual cue to stay in your lane), installation of a permanent Your Speed Is Sign (for speeding feedback), continued annual monitoring of speed and traffic volume (to create data to evaluate for future needs and compare with other problem sites citywide), and pursuit of the enforceable 20 mph speed limit.

    City engineering staff review all received traffic safety complaints.  The city put into place some mitigation measures on Ascension in 2017 based on speeding/reckless driving.  Collected speed data since that time did not suggest that Ascension should be at the top of the list for further mitigations at this time.  The latest complaint in February 2020 about lack of visibility and concern for head on collisions in the curves was reviewed and prioritized after engineering staff field-confirmed the issue.  A hybrid response with multiple measures is now planned after engineering review and considering all the input from neighbors.

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    Thanks (I think…?) for trying to see it from our point of view… you know, in our living room, as cars rush by our homes at 35+ MPH less than 28 feet away… as we suppress flinching from our peripheral vision if one of them’s going to come careening into our living room or bedroom. Every day. 24/7. That’s after installing third & fourth pane soundproofing glass to street-facing windows to reduce the noise of cars screeching tires, horns honking, or gunning their engines uphill. Used to be a nice neighborhood, but the speeders have pretty much ruined it for all of us. So please advise if I’m understanding the last sentence of your 7/29 reply about speed humps correctly: Tigard may reinstate speed humps as one of the tools available to address the aggressive driving behaviors Ascension residents have suffered for over a decade (documented from multiple residents many times in presentations and correspondence to City Council) including but not limited to: Speeding, swerving, tailgating, riding the center lane Collisions with other vehicles Road-rage (esp by tailgaters trying to hustle residents who honor the 25 MPH limit & 15 in the S-curve) Vehicles driving through homeowner’s yards, < 10 ft from a dining room and causing $1K lawn/sprinkler damage Speed humps might happen, maybe green-lit as soon as “the end of this year” which could be Dec 2020 with subsequent implementation by _______? Please let us know if this distillation is correct, and when Ascension would be eligible for at least two speed humps as previously diagrammed in e-mails I’ve sent to the council multiple times. Since Ascension’s residents have endured decades of City teams stone-walling us with: Erroneous data & policy on slope / grades taken in the wrong locations (or not taken at all) The “Your Speed Is” sign debacle (after our yard was trenched in 2017 during a near-head-on-collision) Disproving the removal of parking (7/23’s head-on collision with NO CARS PARKED ON EITHER SIDE of the S-curve Ignoring insights from City’s Volume & Velocity studies proving a 30% increase in volume and consistent speeding from Roy Rodgers cut-through to Progress Ridge / Barrows. …I’m hoping the City sees Ascension as having paid its dues and qualifies for properly, thoroughly fixing the speeding before more residents (like ourselves) give up on Tigard entirely. The sheer volume of negative feedback and outright frustration from residents should be a cautionary tale for any engineering case study or media / public relations training – a shining example of City mismanagement turning a nice neighborhood into a dangerous eyesore that gives Tigard another image problem, PR debacle, and reason that people who sucked it up to vote for improvements/taxes/levies to give up on the City and stop approving tax hikes/levies that aren’t benefiting them. So that’s just about the speed humps. For clarity, I’ll revisit my earlier (and unanswered from 7/15) questions about making those of us who are losing street parking “whole” again in my next post.

    stantaur3 asked 7 months ago

    Regarding speed humps:   the information I previously shared noted that we are working on a citywide traffic calming program including a clearer process for addressing traffic safety complaints.  Traffic humps will be considered as a potential tool in the traffic calming tool kit, and therefore may become a future tool again in the city.  There will be criteria for prioritizing and technically approving use of all traffic calming tools.   This work to create a program will be completed by the end of 2020.    Ascension may or may not qualify for speed humps; but if it does, would be prioritized for funding and implementation along with other city streets with speed and traffic safety issues.   Prioritization criteria may include topics such as measured speed, accident records, traffic volume, adjacency to schools, width of street, presence of sidewalks, etc.   City staff are currently working on this and will be utilizing the input we have received from Ascension neighbors as well as complaint information from others throughout the city, the Tigard Transportation Advisory Committee, and city council.

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    Thank you for your quick response to my questions. My opinion is restricting parking on one side of the street will increase the speed of those using Ascension as a by pass to reach their destination. It will make the area more dangerous, not less dangerous. You mention a recent accident in the curves. How many accidents have there been in the curves for the past year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. Thank you

    ascension asked 7 months ago

    City engineering staff have information about 6 reported accidents since 2009 on Ascension Drive.  Four of those occurred between 2016 and present.   This is data for all of Ascension Drive.  Specific to the curves are three of those data points, including the crash in July 2020.

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    You specify that you will remove parking on one side of Ascension. Can you be more specific? Is the plan to remove parking on the uphill or downhill side? Will it alternate to only the inside curves? A map of the proposed plan would help.

    Vorhees asked 7 months ago

    Parking will be removed along the inside of the curves, which is the location where parked vehicles cause the most obstruction to line of sight.  So the No Parking zone will be partially on one side, and partially on the other side.   The exact design has not yet been prepared, but we can send out to adjacent neighbors a map prior to installation of No Parking signs.


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    One additional comment. You can install stop signs at Oxalis to slow down the traffic. This would be especially important if you do restrict parking. The stop signs would help keep Ascension from becoming an expressway. Thank you

    ascension asked 7 months ago

    As noted in the prior response, we are further reviewing safety measures, and can still do so in the future.   Stop signs are placed according to national standards and restrictions under the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.   The short answer is that a small cul-de-sac side street such as Oxalis does not meet the standards for application of an all way stop.  We do get your and other neighbors underlying concerns about reckless driving behavior and speeding, as well as sight distance limitations.  Coupled together this makes for a complex situation.  We are developing a plan, based on input, data, and engineering standards that we can implement soon.   We also will continue to monitor traffic speed and volume, and as noted above are working on some citywide traffic safety programs that may help as well.  More to come in the next couple weeks.


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    I am following up on my comments submitted last night, July 27. I believe the only reason and place drivers using Ascension as a main arterial to get where they are going slow down is in the curves. By the time they reach my house going up or down Ascension they are often exceeding the speed limit. While the sight lines are poor in the curves, they are currently the only deterent to having a race track on Ascension, putting more lives at risk. When I drive up or down Ascension from my house, I am often tailgated. This is a significant risk to me and family members in the car. As I stated last night, let those who live in and near the curves make the decision about parking. While I may benefit from sight lines, I do not live directly in the impacted area and benefit from cars slowing in the curves when I go up or down Ascension.

    ascension asked 7 months ago

    Thank you.   We have had individual conversations with the Ascension neighbors who live in the curves.  In response to their concerns about the impacts of removing parking, the city has adjusted the original proposal to remove parking on both sides.  The proposal now is to remove parking on one side, coupled with other safety measures.    These are described at the top of this web page in the “What’s Next” section.  Also, we will  further review our response and proposed safety measures after the survey closes, and considering the recent accident in the curves.

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    We live at 13679 SW Ascension Drive. We have lived here for 13 years. It is my understanding Ascension Drive is narrower than City code due to the city providing the developers a variance when the area was developed in the 90's. Issues pertaining to sight lines, parking would be considered at that time and the city made a determination that they were not an issue. I have seen Ascension Drive become a major arterial for the Hillshire development and Bull Mountain residents who want to get to Murray Blvd., Barrows Road and Scholls Ferry on their way to Hillsboro and Beaverton. My understanding, there were other roads that could have been extended as part of newer developments that would have provided additional routes to access West Beaverton and Hillsboro, however the decision was made to not have the developers extend them as part of the expansion of housing in the area. We now have decisions that need to be made to help ease the traffic flow and speed on Ascension. I would like to see "calming bumps" installed. I have read your answers below pertaining to the calming bumps, however I believe there needs to be additional discussion and consideration. They work well on busy Beaverton streets and on 135th. I have talked with 10 neighbors who all support the installation of the "bumps". This would help slow the traffic or have those using Ascension as an expressway that do not like the bumps to use Gaarde, Walnut and other arterials that were designed to support additional traffic at greater speeds. You can have a gap in the middle of the humps like beaverton does which allows easier movement over them for emergency vehicles and bicyclists. You can install one in front of my house and one right before the curves and Oxalis St. You could also install one half way down Ascension past the curves and before you get to Fern St. This would be similar to the calming bumps you have on 135th before you get to Walnut. Calming bumps work and the only people who struggle with them are those who are going to fast. Those of us who live on Ascension are familiar with the challenges of the curves. Is the request to change the parking coming from those who live on Ascension Drive or from drivers who live in other areas. If you would provide the history and where the request for the change is coming from that would be beneficial for all of us who live on Ascension and Oxalis. Transparency is important. Since the city approved the narrow street for the developers, I believe the decision on parking should be up to those who live in the curves and on Oxalis. The curve sight line issues are a much larger issue today due to the volume of traffic. I would suggest you work on strategies to divert traffic from Ascension Drive. I look forward to your response. Dave

    ascension asked 7 months ago

    Regarding traffic volume:  

    You and many of your neighbors have expressed concerns related to the increasing traffic.  I will repeat here some of the information previously posted about this issue.   Citywide we are all seeing the traffic impacts of city and regionwide growth, including both infill development and urban growth boundary expansion (such as River Terrace).   And more growth is going to continue with expansion planning underway for South and West River Terrace in Tigard, King City, and the Cooper Mountain area in Beaverton.  If you have questions about this urban growth planning for Tigard, please contact Senior Planner Schuyler Warren at SchuylerW@tigard-or.gov.   

    Also the city is embarking on an update to the Transportation System Plan (TSP), which is the document that includes the designations of roadway classifications, connectivity, priorities for transportation projects, and programmatic policies and needs.  There will be lots of public input opportunities over the next year, and please contact Senior Transportation Planner Dave Roth if you have specific questions at DaveR@tigard-or.gov.  

    I understand the concerns about increasing traffic.   It is a larger issue than any one street.  We are a city with poor connectivity already due to past development patterns, and it is not city standard practice to close off or divert traffic from one street to another.  Community Development and Public Works staff try to improve connections for cars, bikes and pedestrians wherever we can so traffic can be distributed and dispersed and is not overwhelming any single route.  It’s difficult and expensive to do, and most such improvements occur as requirements attached to new development or redevelopment projects.  We agree old patterns of development that did not include complete connections such as Greenfield are not helping.   There is not an easy answer to this.


    Regarding history and background related to the sight distance/no parking issues:

    Rather than repeating it all here, I hope you will find answers to your questions in the Background information above, as well as in responses to other questions posted here, which give history, timeline, reasoning, etc.


    Regarding speed humps:

    Many in the Ascension neighborhood clearly want speed humps.   This is loud and clear in your and other neighbors questions and ideas shared.   As I have noted previously in answer to several similar questions, the city does not currently offer a speed hump program and staff have concerns about speed humps being the appropriate or safe response to the reckless driving issues on Ascension.  Please see additional detail in the responses below. Thank you.

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    We’ve now PROVEN Ascension’s speed is the issue, not limited visibility, as an accident happened with NO CARS PARKED on either side of the street in the S-curves last Thursday 7/23. Proof: On Th 7/23 at 7:15 PM, perfect 73 degrees Fahrenheit, clear dry conditions, NOT ONE single car parked along S-curve, a silver Ford Expedition headed uphill (southbound) straddled the middle of the road and collided with a black Toyota Tundra pickup. Tundra driver stopped but Explorer driver continued uphill. Neighbors’ Ring cams on both sides caught the incident. Solution: Install speed humps in two “plateaus” (areas that are relatively level) along Ascension’s rise from the S-curve to Mistletoe. These plateaus have the same grade as plateaus measured on Benchview (I measured them and various locations up Ascension on Fri 7/24 and sent a map to City Council, diagramming where these fit). First speed hump fits between SW 13179 and 13188 which is a 3.9 degree grade. This gets downhill traffic properly slowed before entering the S-curves, and does not interfere with driveways / backing. It also “cues” drivers going uphill to watch their speed; uphill drivers will learn to anticipate this bump as well as the next one further up the street. Second speed hump fits between SW 13589 and 13572, which is a 4.4 degree grade and doesn’t interfere with driveways. This one will cue downhill drivers to slow down and smarter drivers will anticipate more speed humps given this one’s precedent. It will also limit speeds of uphill drivers as they enter the next element of Ascension well before the stop sign.

    stantaur3 asked 7 months ago

    Regarding the accident:

    Thank you to multiple Ascension Drive neighbors for sharing the collective information about the collision in the curves on July 23rd.   Your photos, descriptions and video must have been very helpful to the police.   Thankfully no one was hurt.   This is an unfortunate live example of what you have been sharing about reckless driver behavior.  We’re looking into this further and I am looking into ways to modify our proposals to integrate further safety updates.  These will be announced along with a summary of results of all the information on this web page in the next 2 weeks.   


    Regarding speed humps:

    Many in the Ascension neighborhood clearly want speed humps.   This is loud and clear in your and other neighbors questions and ideas shared.   As I have noted previously in answer to similar questions, the city does not currently offer a speed hump program and staff have concerns about speed humps being the appropriate or safe response to the reckless driving issues on Ascension.  I understand this is not what everyone wants to hear.  This is not a brush off.   And we appreciate that you and a couple of your neighbors are going to a lot of effort to try to find specific locations on Ascension that are not quite as steep and asking why we can’t put speed humps there.  The answer for now is no, but please keep reading.

    There are multiple locations, citywide, with speeding, reckless driving, and other issues.    The city has admittedly not had a clear or coherent program in regards to these issues in the past, and staff just tried to respond to and accommodate what they could as time and funds allowed.  Also, in the past few years we have seen a big upward trend in such complaints which has added to the need for a more organized and fair program.   Speed hump requests are part of this, and if re-instated as a city program, must be implemented in a fair, equitable way citywide, and in a way that takes into account costs to implement.

    So, staff have begun work on proposing clear, transparent, well communicated processes for receiving, sorting, prioritizing and responding to complaints.   Establishing a “tool kit” of available traffic calming measures is part of this process, including when and where different measures can be appropriately and safely used.  I expect speed humps to be proposed as a tool in the tool kit for some situations.  Also more use of “Your Speed Is” feedback signs, which is another tool that can work similarly to speed humps to encourage people to be aware and slow down.  Our work must consider needs citywide, and must establish priorities, since there will not be time or funding to solve everything, and certainly not at once.   We aim for this program development work to be completed by the end of the calendar year, allowing for input to be gathered from the Tigard Transportation Advisory Committee, City Council, community members (the Ascension neighbors input to date will be added to this), and city staff who must implement, maintain and enforce the measures.   Prioritization of SW Ascension for any additional measures beyond those we have shared that we can implement more quickly (speed humps or something else) will occur as an outcome of this citywide effort, and this will be shared and available to all Ascension neighbors.

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    Thank you for your response regarding speed hump usage. However, I am still not convinced. If 8% is the max, we still qualify. The uphill half is at 7%, maybe 8% at its steepest grade. If we need to take bicyclists into consideration use speed cushions. This will accommodate emergency traffic as well as two wheeled vehicles. And exactly what maintenance is there for speed humps? The paint? You don’t have an issue painting a stripe down the middle of the curves. That will require maintenance as well. And in regard to the curves, in your answer to a previous question you replied, “Additional sight distance is needed in the curves when reviewed for 20, 25 or 30 mph speeds”. This shouldn’t be an issue because Tigard was generous enough to put up 15 mph advisory speed signs. Are you implying that these signs are ineffective? What makes you think dropping the speed limit to 20 mph will do any good? Will the 15 mph advisory signs stay up or will the speed go up to 20 mph? Either way, from what we’ve seen, nobody will pay attention! And a stripe in the middle? How will that be effective again? People will be afraid to cross it? Because everyone obeys the law and are respectful of everyone else’s safety? We wouldn’t be having this conversation if they were. How about we paint the curbs red/white as they do on professional road courses? And where have these “Your speed Is” signs been? You bought them in 2016 and I’ve seen them twice. For the life of me can’t figure out the city’s priorities. You get 1 or 2 complaints from who knows who, the Mayor? The Governor? Taylor Swift? And BAM! Immediate attention is given. The residents of Ascension, particularly at the curves, have been issuing complaint after complaint for 2+ decades and nothing. Oh wait, we got the two 15mph advisory signs. We had predicted from the beginning that the city’s mind was made up from the start. You all have done nothing to prove us otherwise. Can you please post a link to the “guidance and standards” you keep referring to? I apologize if my questions are 90% complaints and 10% question, but this is currently the only avenue we are given to make our voices heard. And finally, are there any plans to at least have town hall discussions via Zoom or another platform?

    Rob H asked 8 months ago

    I am sorry this is frustrating.   I will offer a few points of clarification in case they help at least provide some further explanation and rationale:  

    • The 15 mph speed signs are advisory only and not enforceable.    The enforceable current speed limit on Ascension is 25 mph.   We anticipate leaving the 15 mph advisory signs in place.   In addition, staff are working on a proposal that will need public input and council approval, for an enforceable 20 mph speed zone that can be applied to some neighborhood streets.   
    • Of course everyone does not follow every speed zone sign, but the goal of reducing speed limits on some neighborhood streets is for most people to do so and reduce the number of speeders.   Currently, the police department staff have noted that when they have conducted speed enforcement on Ascension, they are not observing speeding at a level for which they would issue tickets; this could change if the speed limit were 20 mph.
    • The Your Speed Is signs are rotated between approximately 15 sites citywide.   I just learned that the signs have had programming and maintenance issues that our public works staff are working to resolve.   This is why the signs have not been seen as regularly as we would like.    We have a technology solution nearly in place and the signs will go out again on rotation shortly.  
    • The removal of parking on one side of SW Ascension is for sight distance to improve vision of an oncoming vehicle, person or other obstacle in the roadway.  City staff are not prioritizing responses based on who complains or how many people complain, but rather based on the safety implications of the complaint.  A potential for a head-on collision in the curves is something we must take seriously, and yes, at this time was prioritized over prior speed complaints (which had been reviewed in the past and responded to with prior measures including the 15mph advisory speed signs and the purchase of Your Speed Is feedback signs that are rotated to locations around the city including SW Ascension).  
    • The city annually monitors speed and traffic volume on SW Ascension and will continue to do so.  If increased speeds are observed, additional mitigation measures can be considered.
    • Standards and guidance used by city staff include:  
      • Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) by Federal Highway Administration
      • A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets by American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials 
      • Guidelines for the Design and Application of Speed Humps by the Institute of Transportation Engineers
      • Tigard Community Development Code 18.910
      • Traffic Calming ePrimer – Module 3 by Federal Highway Administration