The west side of OR 207 does not have a sidewalk and provides only a one foot paved shoulder. Existing sidewalk stops abruptly on both the north and south ends. Pedestrians are forced to make a decision - continue walking along the highway on a narrow, paved shoulder, or cross the highway to reach safe sidewalks on the east side of the road.
An existing sidewalk to the west ends abruptly at the section with no sidewalk. This poses another problem, leaving pedestrians without a safe crossing.
The lack of safe access has resulted in two recent pedestrian fatalities at or near the project site.
This project includes the following safety elements.
This project, funded by the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and Rapid Response Grant programs, costs $1.3 million.
Construction is scheduled for 2023.
When completed, the west side of OR 207/SW 11th Street will include the following. See images for plans and details.
A portion of sidewalk is missing. Pedestrians are forced to decide to walk along the highway on a narrow, paved shoulder or cross the highway to reach safe sidewalks on the other side of the street. We will connect current sidewalk with existing pieces so pedestrians can walk the entire length of this section on sidewalk. (See Picture
The current shoulder is narrow and does not give much room between vehicles on the road and pedestrians.
With a wider shoulder, we will have enough room to install a bicycle lane.
We will install the new crosswalk with the following elements.
Rectangular rapid flashing beacons, or RRFBs, use flashing yellow lights to alert drivers that someone is crossing the street. Pedestrians who want to cross the highway will be able to activate the beacons with the press of a button. These flashing lights will help alert drivers that a pedestrian is crossing the street. When not in use, the flashing beacons will be dark. See image for an example of a flashing beacon with crosswalk sign.
Continental crosswalks identify pedestrian crossings. They provide drivers with a visual cue of where to expect crossing pedestrians. See image for an example of a continental crosswalk.
Installing ADA curb ramps will meet new design standards and provide better access for people who rely on them.
Adding lights at the crossing can reduce nighttime crashes due to better visibility.
We are holding an in-person open house on June 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the West Park Elementary. We would be happy to meet you and talk with you then. If you are not able to join us, and you have questions or comments, please take a few minutes to share those with us.
We will update our project webpage periodically as project design continues. Please visit OR 207 West Park Elementary (Hermiston) Pedestrian Safety Improvements.