The City of Tigard held a Design Workshop on April 30th for River Terrace’s most important street: the north-south collector now known as River Terrace Boulevard. Kenny Asher, Community Development Director, opened the meeting by reminding the developers, property owners, planners, and community members about the importance of the task at hand. “This street will define the character of the neighborhood – streets have a way of doing that.”

GreenWorks, an urban design firm that has been involved since the West Bull Mountain Concept planning process, presented a serious of design options for River Terrace Boulevard, starting with a standard collector street and working up to the design concept preferred by staff.

The design of this street is complex. As Robin Craig, GreenWorks, noted “This is not just a street, it encompasses a trail. A street/trail design is not in the books, so we are starting new.” The street will carry relatively high traffic levels, at low speeds, and needs to be designed as a neighborhood amenity. Getting all of this right, and designing for safety, is a challenge. A lively discussion about concerns and preferences ensued. A few of the points from the meeting are listed below.

  1. The design concept with the trail location in the middle of the street may be unsafe for bikes and pedestrians at intersections and was not preferred. The group unanimously preferred the trail on the side of the street.
  2. There was a strong preference for design flexibility along the length of the corridor to accommodate topography, stream crossings, and different land uses.
  3. In lieu of on-street parking to reduce traffic speeds, the group favored a landscaped median with big trees and narrow travel lanes with on-street parking in some locations, such as through the commercial area.
  4. There was general concern that driveways along this street would be problematic for traffic flow and residents alike. The preferred option was to allow homes to take access from side streets rather than back alleys and to create design standards for street-facing facades and yards to ensure a high-quality and safe public realm.
  5. There was strong support to eliminate redundant facilities wherever possible. The group was okay with having bikes share the trail with pedestrians and not including separate bike facilities.
  6. The topography in the area will likely make alley access unpractical and creates additional design challenges for the street.

City staff and GreenWorks will continue to analyze the comments from this meeting to refine the design concept.

Stay tuned and let us know what you think!