Portland's Big Traffic Circle

As a Public Service

Offered as a public service to all who travel in or through Portland Oregon. This page, should be fairly static. Not much changes when it comes to roads in Portland.

If you want to see what the standards for signage in Oregon you can go to the Oregon Department of Transportation web site - but you will not find any images there. Just verbiage. If it is there it is so buried that even Google® cannot find it.

Portland's Big Traffic Circle

If you combine I-205 and the stretch of I-5 that goes between the two ends of I-205 you have in effect one big Traffic Circle (AKA: roundabout.) However, I hope that the Oregon DOT or even worse the Portland Metro Planning Board does not think about those roads it in this concept. Because if they do, the first thing they will do is put up traffic lights to "improve" the flow of traffic. Wait! They have, almost every on-ramp has traffic lights to help "flow" the traffic onto the interstate (like, hey what are acceleration lanes for anyway, ah yes ODOT parking ramps!). So they have instituted the Portland version of roundabout - - come to a complete stop and then try and accelerate in 100 yards to 55! Some on-ramps (I-217, Highway 26) will take around 10 to 15 minutes for you to pass through during the height of rush hour. Forget the rush part.

The Usual Slowdown

When driving in a new town - - or even your own town - - and listening to the traffic reports on the radio do you ever hear the phrase "The usual slowdown"?? Of course, if you have NEVER been to that section of town during that time of day how do you KNOW what is usual!

So, in an effort to help those people whom, like me, usually do not simultaneously drive every road at rush hour in order to find out what is normal and what is slow, I will attempt to put a map here - - using common names that are used on the air as well as local names and official names - - of roads that I have learned that have routine traffic problems - - and the time it takes to travel them.

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Morning Rush Hour

I-5 North
North on I-5
217 and Highway 99
Terwilliger Curves
Portland Exits
I5 I-84 Interchange
Columbia River and the Interstate Bridges
I5 Vancouver Washington
I5 and Washington SR-14

I-5 South
I5 South from Vancouver
I5 Battleground Washington
I5 and SR-500 in Washington
I5 at Delta park
I5 southbound at I-84 Interchange
I5 and the Ross Island Bridge (Highway 26)
I5 and sound end of I-405 (Plus Highway 43 to John's Landing, Sellwood area
I5 at Highway 99W
I5 south and 217
I5 south at I-205

Highway 26
Highway 26
Eastbound on 26 from Hillsboro
26 at 217

I-84 from the East
I5 at Troutdale
182nd Avenue
Past I84 I-205
The Interstate ends
Max Line

Traffic Cams
Traffic Cameras

Inbound to Portland

Going North on I-5

Starting At Wilsonville - - 6 miles south of the of I-205 Southern junction with I-5 - - traffic builds rapidly and starts slowing within 1/2 mile of the I-205 cutoff.

217 and Highway 99

Going North from there is slows to around 55 until the Oregon 217 interchange. 217 connects to Highway 26 - - The Sunset Highway - - 6 or so miles further north. 217 intersects Highway 99 two miles further north. Highway 99 at this point runs east / west. Here anyone heading to the West to get to Tigard, Beaverton, Hillsboro and other places must exit into ONE lane. There are also two stoplights that must be contended with. Needless to say, after exiting I-5 to the right to get to 217 there is usually a 5 minute wait to get onto the non traffic light portion of Oregon 217 between 7 and 8:30 AM. (And people wonder why I like traffic circles - - the wait would be cut to around 1 minute without the traffic lights). The whole interchange is being redone but how they are doing it is just shifting the wait from one section to a longer section of highway since the lights will still be there.
Traveling North on I-5 Highway 99W is met where a hill appears at the same time. Everyone slows down. Two lanes of Highway 99 joins the three lanes of I-5 thus slowing down to around 40 MPH. There is also a truck lane here to bypass the underpass of highway 99.
The two lanes from Highway 99 disappear within 1 mile so now it gets really slow at the top of that hill before dropping down toward Taylor's Ferry Road another two miles further north.

This whole 217 / I-5 interchange is being rebuild and should be finished in August of 2001. The result is that the Northbound lanes do not go loop under 217 and back up onto it and you have to go through two stop lights anymore; the southbound lanes from 217 to I-5 will also flow a little faster. This is hard to say for sure, they may make it a metered ramp onto I-5 so all the effort may be wasted. Every on ramp onto I-5 / 217 / 26 is now a metered ramp so you now waste time (form 30 seconds to 10 minutes) to get onto the highways now.

Terwilliger Curves

After Taylor's Ferry Road exit new hills and the "Terwilliger Curves" comes into play. I-5 goes downhill starting at Terwilliger Blvd. and it is a series of "S" turns. Hence the name. Here the highway department slowed the speed limit to 50 so as to lessen accidents due to people exceeding their ability to drive on curves. In the morning it will normally takes around 5 minutes to pass through the curves. Any accident here and it will mean that it will take one to two hours since there is no way off the road once past the Terwilliger exit (also known as the Burlingame area).

Portland Exits

At the bottom of the Terwilliger curves I-5 meets up with I-405. Now you have a choice of bearing left - - I-405 crosses Highway 26 after two miles, exit to the right side of the road - - or bearing right to go over the Marquam Bridge. If in the middle lane you get your choice left or right. But if in the middle lane and you bear left thinking of getting onto I-405 you better to the far left land to really get onto I-405 or else you end up in Portland Oregon in the morning as seen from the Marquam Bridge going East on the lower deck Downtown Portland.
If you bear right staying on I-5 right the road narrows down to two lanes that in another 1/4 mile merge with the two northbound lanes from I-405 right above the Willamette River.

I-84 Interchange

To go to I-84 you merge one lane to the right. If you want to get to OMSI, or the East Side Industrial area, you have to merge to the far right and take the first right exit - - usually a 10 minute wait to exit. Once past the OMSI exit the two right lanes then merge down to one that leads to the start of I-84 eastwards.
Staying in the left two lanes you will continue North on I-5. I-5 usually slows down to 30 mph at this point at I-84. Once past the exit it speeds up then slow down on the downward side of the Marquam bridge to around 40 or so at the Lloyd Center exit where merging traffic from I-84 joins in the same lane that is used to exit to go into the Lloyd Center district.

The exit from the Lloyd Center area onto I-5 is also where I-405 starts / stops (I-405 is only 4 miles long). I-405 usually has no backup at all on this end heading into downtown Portland. The I-405 Bridge is also known as the Fremont bridge.
At the I-405 exchange a normal day slows sees speeds down to 40 at this point then picks up to 55 (the normal speed from both ends of I-405 is posted at 50). Sometimes at Highway 30 bypass - - also known as Lombard - - it may slow to 50. Fremont Bridge to Highway 30 bypass is around 5 minutes. After Highway 30 bypass it gets back to around 55 and it takes 5 minutes from there to get to the Interstate Bridge a distance of some 6 miles (people really do not drive 55 along here).

Columbia River and the Interstate Bridges

The Interstate Bridge goes over the Columbia River. There are actually two bridges both with three lanes. Both are also lift bridges so at times ships going up or down the Columbia will cause the bridges to be raised thus closing the road. Closure time is usually only 10 minutes. However, time to clear the backup takes around 45 once that has happened. They do not time lifts during morning or evening rush hours. Travel time increases during rain around 10 minutes. An accident adds around 45 to an hour and a half. The only alternate path to get north is go east along Columbia Blvd. and join up with I-205 and go north again. Once over the Glenn Jackson Bridge - - I-205 bridge over the Columbia River - - you must double back along Highway 14 or Highway 500 in Washington and then rejoin I-5. It is 8 miles from I-5 to I-205 at this point. If you are going way north then staying on I-205 is the bet since it rejoins I-5 another 8 miles up the road anyway.

Vancouver Washington

Once The Columbia River is crossed - - most people slow down to 40 mph crossing the bridge since it is uphill and they never learned that gravity slows down a car going uphill (plus, I must admit, the sight line along the bridge drops down to maybe 300 feet at one point as you approach the the crest of the bridge). However, once past the crest traffic jumps to the limit of 60.

Washington SR-14

If you want to take SR-14 you MUST be in the right land on the I-5 bridge. If you are not then as it is said in THHGTTG "Forget it."
You must be either fleet of foot in the center lane and know how to drive to get onto Mill Plain or 4th Plain Blvd. or also stay in the right lane. The whole stretch from Columbia Blvd. (where Portland International Raceway is located - PIR) is known as the Janzen Beach / Hayden island / Delta Park area. A big set of shopping center complexes, harbors, boats, houseboats, condos etc. Lots of traffic.
Same area is where Airport Way from the East, The Industrial areas to the West, Expo Center and shopping centers all merge onto I-5. Sometimes from the side roads you will spend 10 minutes before you merge onto the road due to traffic lights on the access ramps in the afternoon rush hour. In Morning though it is usually only a few minutes.

Hazel Dell

It again slows down at Hazel Dell to around 40 where it constricts to two lanes passing under a Railroad bridge before it widens again to three lanes another mile and a half up the road. They will be working making it to three lanes. Expect this mile and a half construction project to be finished in four years or so if they rush it - - summer 2003. Delays through here will most likely be 15 minutes or so.

I-5 Southbound From Vancouver Washington

The big boom in housing - - due to lower costs of land in Washington - - allowed people to purchase the house and save money - - they just spend extra time getting to work in Oregon now.

South From Battleground

Having not driven this too much in the morning lately (Thank you very much!) I cannot be wholly accurate but judging from my co-workers it has only gotten worse.
Staring at the Battleground Park and Ride area all the 30,000+ people who commute to Oregon start out with three lanes of I-5. The I-5 I-205 junction appears and you get in the right lanes to get onto I-205 so you can go left 8 miles then head south again over the Columbia.

SR 500 and South

At this point I-5 narrows to two lanes with one for car pools on the left side then back to four at SR-500 onward (counting the the carpool lane). From this point on traffic usually slows down to 40 then as you approach 4th Plain it drops to 20 then at SR-14 it drops to 10.

Over the Bridge and into the Park

2010 Delta Park Road Update. The bright spot on the I-5 southbound through Delta Park area is that after 20 years of study, 30 million dollars+ spent on various traffic analysis and related DOT impacts, plus the actual costs of construction, they finally figured out that if added another lane and make it three lanes all the way through from the bridge to the other side of Delta Park traffic and not force three lanes into two, traffic does not jam up.

The two RIGHT lanes now end at Delta park and the left three go straight now. The first possible (and ONLY) exit to Hayden Island and the shopping centers (including Safeway) is in the far right lane.

Next exit on the right - - with far right being exit only - - is to Airport Way in both directions and the Expo center.
Now that the far right lane outside lane goes on for a 1/2 mile before it becomes an exit only to Delta Park and the next inside lane allows you to get left into the now three lanes of through traffic or exit into Delta Park.

--> Below now outdated! (After 20+ years of study.)

I-5 South at Delta Park with 1/2 sized emergency lanes either side being wasted.This southbound area could be made into a 3-lane road by eliminating the emergency lanes for the 1 / 2 mile (they are too narrow to hold a car anyway so anyone pulling off blocks the lane next to it anyway!) making the right lane for trucks only (widest lane), the far left narrower than the standard 12 feet, and then there would be 3 lanes of traffic and less slowdowns. But that is a easy quick fix and the "traffic experts" never like quick fixes. They have funding in place to explore a plan to widen the lanes in FY2004 so expect it to be reconstructed in 2010 to 4 lanes. <--

As my guess above stated, it actually WAS widened three lanes all the way through this section of road - but only to three lanes. They do not want people driving to have it easy cause then they cannot force people to take public transportation (buses and trains.)

After Delta Park traffic gets back up to speed of 55 it stays that way all the way to I-405 Fremont Bridge interchange. The last mile before the bridge I-5 is four lanes wide but the right two are exit only lanes onto I-405.

Along the way you can only exit to the right to get to Swan Island Industrial area (UPS, FedEx, shipbuilding etc. is all down there) or to go east for that matter.

You must be in the right two lanes to get onto I-405.

I-5 at this point slows down to 25 MPH usually since it now down to 3 lanes for a 1/2 mile before it narrows to 2 lanes again to get through the 1950s era Broadway bridge. After the merge to three lanes for a VERY short 1/4 mile another lane appears on the right so two right hand lanes are there for 1/4 mile but magically disappear - - far right exit only (with a short option to go either to the Broadway Bridge and into Downtown Portland / Pearl District / Old Town / Chinatown or left to Lloyd Center) and lane 2 takes you to Lloyd Center district then it merges back into I-5 thus disappearing.

I-5 Southbound near I-84

Now the wait begins

Due to the merging traffic of I-84 from the West (Gresham, Hollywood District) and the Lloyd Center area this area slows down to 20 MPH and stays that way till for a 1/4 mile till you get going downhill. You then go uphill onto the Marquam bridge. Here is speeds back up to 50 and stays that way pretty much till Terwilliger curves area. Except during the afternoon then the speed never gets back up to 50 till after the Terwilliger Curves, around 3 miles.

Ross Island (Highway 26), Highway 43, Sellwood

If you want to get to any of these places you better be in the far right lane at the other end of the Marquam Bridge or else "forget it." If you miss this exit you must know the back roads to get to those areas.

I-405 and Highway 26 (Sunset Highway)

There are two sets of roads to get onto I-405. One set is north of Lloyd Center and is the first I-405 exit that you see going south. You must be in the right two lanes going S on I-5 to take them. This also takes you to Highway 26.

To get to Highway 26 off this first exit via I-405 you exit off I-5 then move so that you are next to the left lane on the Fremont bridge. The bridge is a 4 lane bridge and there is no option lane to choose at the last second to get to 26, you merge right onto it after I-405 goes to two lanes at the bottom of the hill.

The first right most road on the bridge is for Highway 30 which exits to the Industrial area then the right most two lanes exit downtown a 1/4 mile from each other and end.

The entrance onto Highway 26 itself is two lanes that merge into one that in turn merges into three lanes at the tunnel. They are redoing the exit so that there are two lanes of exit off of 405 but it still will merge into one before the tunnel.

The other way is to go through the Lloyd Center area (past the convention center exit) where I-5 narrows to two lanes, opens up to three then becomes 4 lanes as you go onto the Marquam bridge. The left two lanes go N on I-405 (and thus to west on Highway 26 and downtown Portland) and right two lanes go onto I-5 South, the exit for Highway 43 (Lake Oswego) and also Highway 26 west to Mount Hood is at this exit.

Highway 99W

This exit to the right occurs some 6 miles after crossing the Willamette River and past Terwilliger Blvd. (curves), Barbur Blvd. and other exits. BTW, if you want to get to PCC (Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus) you better take the Capital Highway exit or else never go there. There are no road signs from the North telling you how to get to PCC. There is a sign for Lewis and Clark College.
The Highway 99 exit will usually see some backups both morning and evening. The light cycles are around two minutes but there are two lanes so it goes pretty fast. All stopped traffic usually gets through the light in two cycles so it takes 4 minutes. (Afternoon maybe three light cycles).
In the afternoon going down Highway 99, past the movie theater, Fred Myers, Costco, Petco and the stores with the associated 8 lights to cross over 217 and onto McMinnville and points south can take upwards of 1/2 hour some cases. Usually 15 minutes to go the 3 miles in the afternoon. 5 minutes otherwise.

I-5 Southbound to I-217

From Terwilliger till 217 in the morning there is no problems. The 217 exit exit is a slow area going left toward Lake Oswego - - takes around 5 minutes - - but the right onto 217 Northbound is fairly fast even with a traffic light there. Right turn on red in Oregon is allowed.

I-5 south at I-205

Once past Highway 217 there are a few exits to the right (Lake Oswego, Tigard) then the southern end of I-205 occurs. Here traffic slows down to around 40 during the time the 3 lanes of I-5 merge with the two lanes of I-205 into just three lanes. No more exits occur till the North Wilsonville Exit another 5 miles down the road. A major accident after I-205 exit means a few hours to get past it. Minor ones will mean an hour.

Highway 26 (Sunset Highway)

Highway 26 runs from the coast, though the heart of Portland, past Mount Hood and ends over in the Middle of Oregon. Notice they never refer to it as the Sunrise Highway.

The Sunset Highway was named in honor the the 41st Infantry Division. This was a National Guard Unit activated in 1941, deployed to Australia in June of 1942, and finally entered combat on Bouganville in January of 1943 and fought till the end of the war in the Pacific.

Highway 26 -The Sunset Highway - all times

It is a mess.
Going up or down the 7.5% grade people slow to around 40 mph most of the time. Afternoon expect it to get to 30 under heavy load. It does not help that the five lanes at the bottom of the hill going west goes to three at the crest which is the Sylvan exit.

South on I-405 on the right is a one lane exit to Highway 26. This same exit lane is where traffic from downtown merges to get onto I-405. Maybe a 3/8 of a mile. One slow vehicle will jam it up so that it takes 4 minutes to get to the real exit area. After getting onto the exit it widens to two lanes - - but the left lane disappears after 1/4 mile! So for those in the left lane you must merge back right or else hope no one is coming from downtown so you can jump into their lane - - else you hit the car to your right.

This is where the two other lanes join to form the three lanes that go through the Vista Ridge Tunnel. The center lane is from downtown Portland itself and the number 3 lane is the traffic that exited from Northbound I-405.
After the tunnel the road widens to 5 lanes (right is for trucks and a merge lane from downtown at the baseball field) but the right two lanes disappear one at a time as you progress up the hill. After the exit for the Zoo / Forestry Center the right lane to Sylvan becomes an exit only; then right most lane goes directly to Beaverton turning into Canyon Road (Highway 10) while the lane next to it is an option lane going to Canyon road or straight.

Thinking that three lanes would lead to traffic flow ease you do not know the Portland penchant for causing problems where there should be none, but here the compensated for making three lanes by having the heavy tractor trailer rigs take the right most lane as the truck lane, go down a gully and back up and then in a 200' area force them to merge back onto 26 from a blind entry area. Oh yes, where this merge is where traffic cops radar people coming down this nice 6% grade hill.

From before I-217 - - roughly three miles from the Canyon Road Exit - - traffic stays fast now since they extended the three lanes to past Murray - - a distance of some 2 miles. Now considering that all these people should be taking the right hand exits OFF the road to go home the left two lanes should flow very fast. They don't. Go figure. From Canyon road exit to Cedar Hills road there are 3 lanes but Highway 217 people merge onto 26 and then once past Murray Highway 26 goes back to 2 lanes and thus everything backs up to Cedar Hills Blvd in the evening.

Right past I-217 exits is the Sunset Transit center pedestrian bridge then the exit for Cedar Hills Blvd.

Cedar Hills exit is at which is a far right exit only lane. This is also where the Northbound lanes of 217 merges into the Sunset Highway so it all slows down.

Once you get past the 185th avenue exit, some three miles past Cedar Hills, then traffic picks up quickly.
Intel is based in Hillsboro. So the morning commute outbound is just as bad as the inbound.
Don't expect traffic to flow fast on sunny, warm summers going east or west.

Inbound on 26

With Intel's thousands and other workers out in Hillsboro traffic inbound in the afternoon is like the morning commute: delays always. The acceleration lanes lights kick on in the afternoon starting at 2:30 so it can take 8 minutes to just GET onto Highway 26 at times. Then from Murray road till you get to I-405 / downtown traffic goes around 30 mph all the way. Morning commute is thus the same as the afternoon commute on Highway 26.

They also started turning the metered on-ramps onto 26 on the WEEKENDS! So now it always takes at least 2 minutes just to get onto the highway an any time. They are doing the same type of things on I-5 now too. Metered on ramps till 11 PM at night.

Highway 217

Going into Portland you must be in the right two lanes to get to Highway 26. Of course in the morning and afternoon the 217 exit lanes have the ramp traffic lights turned on so it can take 10 minutes to get onto Highway 26. Highway 217 is mostly three lanes. To go west on 26 you can be in the left two lanes. The center lane is the choice lane to go to Barnes road, west on highway 26 or east onto highway 26. Course if you stay in the center lane because you cannot decide to go east or west you exit into the residential area where there is a shopping center, hospital and Starbucks to keep you on edge for the drive.

Interstate 84 (The Banfield)

I-84 from the I-205 interchange to the I-5 interchange is known as "The Banfield". Radio stations will use "The Banfield" and I-84 interchangeably when referring to this 6 mile section.

Troutdale to Portland

The State of Oregon just finished a lot of lane construction on widening I-84 from two lanes to four lanes and lots of overpasses (with stop lights to get on the highway of course!).

The morning rush starts out here earlier since it will take at least 15 minutes to drive from Troutdale to Portland I-84 / I-5 Interchange when there is no traffic.

182nd Avenue

Starting at 182nd traffic (in Gresham) builds quickly in the four lanes of I-84 westbound. The right two lanes of I-84 inbound to Portland really go to Portland. The left two lanes are the exit to I-205 north and I-205 south. I-205 North takes you to Portland Airport and onto the Glenn Jackson Bridge if you miss that (last) exit north to Washington with exits to Camas to the west and Vancouver to the east.

Past the I84 I205 exits

Once past the I-205 exits I-84 Swings south for 1/2 mile and turns West for the final 6 miles to I-5. At this point the merging traffic from I-205 northbound, the Halsey and the other feeder streets there join usually forcing speed down to around 50 MPH. Further on at 82nd avenue (Highway 213) it slows down again to around 40 and once at 42nd (Hollywood district area) it goes down to 30. At the Lloyd center exit (area in which I work) it drops down to 15 to 20. End of the Interstate Past the Lloyd Center exit four lanes are still there but the right lane merges out of existence. The now three lanes loses another due to an exit only on the right for The Rose Quarter area (Blazers play in the Rose Garden Arena, the Portland Convention Center is here, and other events in the Portland Coliseum) and now the center lane is a choice lane that allows one to get onto I-5 North (which is in turn a merge lane for those who want to get to Lloyd Center exit from I-5 North.

The Center lane is a choice lane to go N or S on I-5. Going N it immediately turns into another choice to merge right for the exit to the Rose Garden area or onto I-5. You have 300 feet to choose.

Going S on I-84 the two lanes force a choice to stay in the right lane and go to downtown Portland (or the East Side Industrial Area at the Hawthorn Bridge) or in the left lane you really get to get on I-5.

If raining then all speeds drop by 15 along all points past I-205 / I-84 Exchange.

Outbound on the Banfield

Going east on I-84 you have right side merge and exit lanes. The trickiest is that around Gateway / Halsey area where the road narrows down to two lanes at the I-205 exit as each right lane becomes an an exit only lane.

North on I-205 to Washington

Glenn Jackson Bridge over the Columbia River between Oregon and WashingtonGlenn Jackson Bridge is past the Portland International Airport exit with the exit before PDX being the Going North on I-205 is the Highway 30 exit.Highway 30 (bypass).


Going North over the Glenn Jackson bridge the first exit that you can take is to I-205 to Camas / Vancouver exit over the Glenn Jackson Bridge.Camas / Vancouver onto Washington Highway 14 . The right two lanes are for this. Far right lane is for Vancouver (west) and the one to the left is for Camas (east).

The next exit is for Mill Plane Blvd. The next exit after that is for Highway 500. This is where it took the State of Washington around three years to figure out how to turn the Right Emergency lane turned into an exit lane at SR 500.right emergency lane into an exit lane for a 1/2 mile to avoid a two mile backup onto I-5 in the afternoon by painting it as an exit lane. Oregon does not have a lock on simple solutions that takes them years to implement in one afternoon of repainting the road.

New Style Interchanges

The state of Washington, and Oregon and other states too, have now embarked upon creating new interchanges - - with traffic signals - - to speed the flow of traffic. The difference is that the whole overpass was built to speed traffic in just two directions and the cross traffic or exiting traffic gets stopped by traffic lights.

Course the fact that now you exit a highway then curve 90 degrees across traffic lanes on an angle in opposite direction from other people doing the same under the overpass after going through traffic lights is a little dangerous if the person going in the other direction does not slow down or drifts out of the lane since you are going head-on into them.

And this does nothing to speed the traffic that was going across the main highway at all. The traffic signals still exist for them. I think they came up with this design since there is no room for a true cloverleaf in a confined area and they came up with the novel solution of putting in traffic lights since they could not think of anything else.

Max Light Rail

The Max light rail line runs along the north side of I-84. Once you get past I-205 it goes south right into Gresham. A big Park and Ride is at I-205 and I-84 at the Gateway Transit center.

To the west Max trains run all the way to Hillsboro. A big park and ride is at 26 / 217 interchange (Sunset Transit Center).

To go from Hillsboro to Gresham on the Max takes close to two (2) hours. You can drive it (good traffic day) in around 40 minutes. These are the Blue Line trains. They run about every 6 to 12 minutes. There is no schedule that they run to.

There is now also a train that is dedicated to run to and from from downtown to the airport. This is the Airport Max and the sign on the front of the train is in Red and says Airport. It runs every 15 minutes in both directions.

Traffic Cameras

http://www.tripcheck.com/pages/ (Oregon)

http://www.kgw.com/ a local TV station has a good selection of Traffic Cams including streaming media cameras. Streaming Media cameras are much more useful than still image cameras. Still image cameras take a picture and the traffic can be going 5 mph or 55 and the image looks the same. You then have to learn how to READ car traffic indirect indicators to really find out how fast they are moving.


Another problem is Highway 26 west beyond 217 and the same is true for Highway 217 both north and south. There are emergency lanes on either side of the either highway, and a center median grass area on 26 as grass areas to the outside roadway. They could spend $60,000 to create a third land using the center emergency lane and have the road with three lanes for another six miles with NO problems. Instead, the current idea is to wait till 2010 to get funding to STUDY the problem and then figure out a solution to fix it around 2014 with it being completed around 2016. So they will put off for 12 years for a "perfect" solution and not do a temporary fix that would solve LOADS of problems of traffic backing up right now by just creating a third lane using blacktop already laid down that is seldom used. And cars could pull onto the grass if they need to get off the highway.

As of fall 2004 they are working on a new bridge over Cedar Hills blvd on 26 as well as the bridge over 217, but it is going to take A YEAR before that is done.

Highway 26 at Sunset Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Another problem is Highway 26. They can EASILY make it a 3 land road by eliminating the center shoulder. Safety people cry and shout that they cannot do that but on bridges there are no shoulders and no problems occur. Plus there is a 100' wide CENTER grass area that people can pull off onto. And in watching traffic accidents the cops block off the shoulder, the immediate center land and the next lane over ANYWAY so people pulling off to the side really makes no difference anyway. $60,000 to repaint the road and Hwy 26 from Hillsboro to 217 could IMMEDIATELY be 3 lanes in both directions. But that is a SIMPLE - QUICK - EASY solution to the 45 minute backup that occurs there every day (both directions morning and evening) so they will NEVER do that. "Not Elegant".

The same is true for Delta Park area on I-5 from Vancouver Washington. They could eliminate the right 6' wide and left 3' wide emergency lanes (meaningless anyway - - how many SUVs are less than 6' or 3' wide?) and make a third lane out of it immediately. No pull-offs would be there for 1/2 mile. But again, like above, any accident and the emergency lane and the lane next to it are immediately blocked anyway so nothing is lost by getting ride of the meaningless sides along the road. Having 3 lanes there to avoid sudden stops and frustration is more important than those lanes. They are set to STUDY in 2004 a possible way to make it 3 lanes for project year 2010! Spend $30,000 now to repaint it to three lanes would do more than any study three years from now.

End Soapbox

Construction Sign

I saw the standard sign talking about a road project at the I-5 and 217 interchange (which was finished August 1, 2001) stating that the Kruse Way project cost $243 million and I thought of what the sign REALLY should say:
Kruse Way Highway 217 Project
Cost: $243 Million
Value: $110 Million
Shifting traffic problem to another section of highway: Priceless.

This page was updated on December 29, 2014.