Cornell Road – a Balancing Act!

by Peter Stark, Cornell Road Sustainability Coalition Chair

You may have noticed NW Westover Road in the Hillside Neighborhood has been shut down so the city can upgrade sewer lines (www.hillsidena.org/transportation/westover-road-closure). What you may not know is Westover has become an alternate route for morning commuters off Cornell.

Over the years Cornell has increased in use beyond its designed capacity. The issue of capacity has not only impacted Westover in Hillside, but also the intersection at NW 25th in the Northwest District Association, the Audubon Society in Forest Park Neighborhood and Skyline and Miller in NW Heights Neighborhood. The Cornell Road Sustainability Coalition (CRSC) is working with the City of Portland to define, recommend and implement a strategy to remedy the negative effects of excessive commuter traffic along the “Cornell Corridor” (NW Cornell Rd. between NW 25th Ave. and NW Miller Rd.).

This traffic is generated by the substantial and increasing use of NW Cornell Road through Forest Park as an alternate route to U.S. Route 26 (Sunset Highway). The Coalition seeks to build consensus and understanding of the importance of protecting and preserving adjacent neighborhoods and the valuable and fragile assets of the Forest Park and Balch Creek sanctuaries through which Cornell Road passes.

Our goal is to aid in the management of these resources by promoting an environment that rebalances their usage  to better support pedestrians, bicyclists, tourists, joggers, students, nature park enthusiasts and the Forest Park ecosystem. Implicit in this goal is the need to improve safety and promote sustainability for these groups. We have a DRAFT plan to rebalance Cornell Road. The CRSC is gathering public input from neighbors who use Cornell.

We need to hear from you! Please visit www.cornellroad.org and comment on our draft plan or join our Google group and we’ll make sure you’re informed as we progress. Comments are anonymous – everyone is welcome.

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