Each year the City of Hillsboro receives many requests from citizens seeking assistance to address neighborhood traffic concerns. Often the focus of these concerns is vehicle speeds. To effectively discourage inappropriate driving behaviors and make efficient use of limited funds, the City of Hillsboro has developed a two-phased process for addressing these concerns.
In most cases, speeding is not the result of an intentional decision to break the law but is instead a poor habit. In many cases, violators are local residents who live within the neighborhoods that are unaware they are speeding. Education and enforcement are often all that is needed to resolve the citizen concerns.
The City of Hillsboro Police Department has established several programs designed to raise drivers' awareness of their speeds.
The Neighborhood Speed Watch Program is a public awareness program in which concerned citizens can take an active role in solving the problem of speeders in their own neighborhoods. Through the program, citizens check out a radar unit from the Police Department. Speeds and license numbers of cars traveling in excess of speed designations are recorded and returned with the radar unit. The registered owners of those vehicles on the list are sent a confidential courtesy letter from the City asking them to reduce their speeds. The letters are not citations, but reminders about the posted speed and the community’s concern for safety. The City of Hillsboro requests that citizens who have concerns regarding vehicle speeds participate in this program before advancing to the second phase of this process.
The Speed Cart Program is another public awareness program designed to educate drivers. Under this program, a cart housing a radar unit and reader board is placed on the street. The cart displays the speed of all approaching vehicles and flashes the speed of vehicles traveling in excess of posted speeds.
The Hillsboro Police Department has recently purchased a few electronic speed display units for use as another tool to enhance traffic calming efforts. The speed display sign is effective in areas where right-of-way is tight for locating a speed cart.
The sign displays the approach speed of vehicles when in the normal forward visual range and can be set to change the display at different speeds.
The speed flashes when vehicles exceed the set speed limit to alert the driver and moves to an alternating flashing “SLOW DOWN” and speed display once the speed exceeds between 6-10 mph over the posted speed. At a certain threshold (high-speed cut-off), the speed limit would not display and would only show the flashing “SLOW DOWN” to help eliminate the need to race to get a maximum speed. The device also collects/records the date, time, and speed of each car. This data is analyzed to determine when speeders are most prevalent which results in more effective and targeted enforcement.
The speed display signs are installed at a location which has reported speeding issues and usually left in place for a period of 4 weeks before being moved to another location. This way the sign can serve multiple locations. In addition, changing the location increases the effectiveness of the signs as it catches people’s attention and does not allow the sign to become part of the everyday desensitizing sign clutter.
For more information about these programs, to schedule these programs, or to request additional enforcement contact the City of Hillsboro Police Department at 503-681-6190.
Many traffic safety concerns can be resolved through education and enforcement. Occasionally, some concerns may be more properly addressed by changing roadway features.
The types of changes implemented should be tailored to the specific concerns and roadway
attributes. Solutions may involve any number of tools including:
- increased signage
- lane narrowing
- pinch points
- curb extensions
- traffic circles
- pedestrian refuge islands
- speed humps
If you have a neighborhood traffic safety concern that involves speeding, the City asks that you participate in one or more of the Education/Enforcement Programs through the Hillsboro Police Department before continuing further. If you have participated in one or more of the programs and your concerns have not eased, please send your concerns and requests in writing to the Public Works Department, Engineering Division, 150 E Main Street. Hillsboro, OR 97123. Please include the following information in your letter to assist us:
A. Your name, address, and daytime phone number that we may utilize to contact you. We would also appreciate an email address if available.
B. The location(s) where your problem(s) is(are) occurring.
C. The nature of the problem(s) (ie: vehicle speeds, traffic volumes, pedestrian safety, etc.). Please be as
descriptive as possible and be sure to include times of days and/or days of week when the problems occur.
The decision to implement physical changes is made by the City Engineer based on an engineering study that evaluates traffic volumes, street characteristics, traffic speeds, pedestrian volumes, and accident histories. Additionally, consideration is given to the effectiveness of the measures in addressing neighborhood concerns, availability of funds to implement such measures, and citizen comments.
If you do not agree with the City Engineer’s recommendation you may choose to take your concerns to the City’s Transportation Committee for discussion and/or further action. Engineering staff will assist in making sure your item is placed on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled Transportation Committee meeting. The Committee will recommend a final course of action based on staff’s findings and any public testimony heard at the meeting. It is strongly encouraged that you attend the meeting at which your request will be heard. Engineering staff will work with you to provide information on the meeting date, time and forward you a copy of the agenda and accompanying staff report for your review.
The City of Hillsboro Transportation Committee is comprised of three City Councilors. The Committee meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. in the Hillsboro Civic Center located at 150 E Main Street to hear issues related to streets and traffic. Transportation Committee meetings are open to the public.
1. Receipt of Request
Once the City receives your request, the City will schedule your request for consideration by the City of Hillsboro transportation committee. Engineering will notify you that your letter has been received and inform you of the scheduled date and time your request will be presented t the transportation committee.
Prior to presentation to the transportation committee Engineering will look into your concerns and assess the extent of the problem. Traffic volumes, street characteristics, traffic speeds, pedestrian volumes, and accident histories are all factors in the investigation.
3. transportation committee Consideration
Engineering will present the findings of the investigation to the transportation committee. The transportation committee meeting is open to the public and we encourage you to attend at the time your item is presented to the transportation committee. Information regarding the time, date, and location of the meeting at which your request will be heard will be forwarded to you upon receipt of the letter however, on the Friday prior to the meeting, a copy of the transportation committee Agenda and any information related to your request will be mailed or faxed to you. At the time of the meeting you will be given an opportunity to speak on behalf of your concerns and present additional information.
4. Course of Action
The transportation committee will recommend a course of action related to your concerns. Solutions may involve immediate implementation of measures, further investigation, coordination with outside agencies, consideration by adjacent properties, or simply a recommendation to continue with education and enforcement efforts. Each situation is unique and as a result the course of action recommended by the transportation committee is tailored to address that situation. It may also be necessary to seek City Council approval to implement some recommendations by the transportation committee.
For more information, please contact the City of Hillsboro Engineering Division at (503) 681-6146.