Farmington and River Roads Intersection Open House Summary

Farming and River roads intersection project logo

Online Open House Summary

April 17-May 3, 2020

The project received over 260 comments through the online open house.

Comments received include:

  • 176 comments preferring a roundabout:
    • 14 preferred the center alternative.
    • 42 preferred the offset center alternative.
    • 56 preferred the southwest alternative.
    • Some comments did not indicate a preferred alternative, only that a roundabout is preferable to a traffic signal.
  • 34 comments preferring a traffic signal.
  • 4 comments preferring the intersection to remain as it is.
  • 34 comments did not state a preference, but did provide comments which will be taken into consideration.


Questions and responses:


Q. Are roundabouts safe?

A. Roundabouts have been shown to be safer alternatives than traffic signals. More information is available from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).


Q. What criteria was used to evaluate the design alternatives?

A. Standard criteria is used when evaluating intersection treatments.


Q. Why consider offset roundabouts?

A. Offset roundabouts are considered for constructability, right-of-way impacts, environmental impacts, traffic calming and drainage.


Q. Why were alternatives north of the intersection not considered?

A. Alternatives north of the intersection were considered in early design meetings but were determined to have a greater impact than the alternatives presented in the open house.

Only the northeast option preserved the Cruise In Country Diner, but that would have required relocating two residents; impacts to a business, farmland and the Farmington Paddle Launch; and the road geometry would be dangerous, due to the existing curve on River Road.

The northwest option had significant impacts to the Farmington Paddle Launch and the flood plain impacts, as well as impacting the diner.

The north-central option would require relocating a resident; larger impacts to the Farmington Paddle Launch, including access issues; and impacts to the diner.

The alternatives presented in the open house have no residential impacts, no access issues, only one impacts the flood plain. The diner cannot be preserved due to its location close to the intersection. Farmland will be impacted by all the design options, unfortunately. 


Q. Could the intersection pushed further north with a traffic signal?

A. Shifting the intersection to the north would increase right-of-way impacts and require adjustments to the roadway geometry. The functionality of the traffic signal would not change by shifting the intersection.


Q. Why is the signalized intersection extended farther than the roundabout alternatives?

A. The signalized alternative includes a turning lane and other improvements to address the queue lengths during peak hours.


Q. Could a hybrid roundabout with traffic lights during peak commute times be considered?

A. Roundabout options are being evaluated to accommodate peak commute times. Adding traffic lights would eliminate the benefits of a roundabout.


Q. What is the difference between the three roundabout options?

A. In order that they appear in the open house:

Roundabout 1: Roundabout centered with current intersection

This roundabout requires complex staging to maintain traffic traveling through the intersection during construction. With no curves entering the roundabout, speeds will be higher than the other two options, but other methods to slow traffic down would be implemented. This option has the longest estimated construction duration, but it has the fewest right-of-way impacts.

Roundabout 2: Roundabout off-center with current intersection

This roundabout design has less complex construction staging and the estimated duration of construction would be shorter than the previous option, but right-of-way impacts increase. The curves require traffic to slow when entering the roundabout.

Roundabout 3: Roundabout southwest of current intersection

This option has the least complex traffic staging, being largely outside of the current intersection. Estimated construction duration would be shorter than the other two options. Similar to the previous option, curves would require traffic to slow.


Q. How will the projects impact the Metro property?

A. The Farmington Paddle Launch and property will not be impacted.


Q. Could a left-turn lane into the Farmington Paddle Launch be added, just north of the intersection?

A. A left-turn lane is included in the traffic signal option. If a roundabout is the preferred alternative, access to the Farmington Paddle Launch will be accommodated and a left-turn lane will be considered.


Q. Will access to the Farmington Paddle Launch be available during construction?

A. Yes, access will be maintained during construction.


Q. Can improvements to the Farmington Paddle Launch be made to offset project impacts?

A. Mitigation will be in accordance with the Department of State Lands requirements. Consideration will be given if alternative mitigation efforts are acceptable, so long as the project is compliant with applicable codes and policies.


Q. Please explain the differences in construction complexity. Is it possible to shut down the entire intersection to complete the project more quickly?

A. Construction complexity results from phasing construction to maintain traffic flow on Farmington and River roads. The intersection cannot be entirely shutdown due to the lengthy detours and number of people who use the intersection daily.


Q. Will the roundabout be signed requesting motorists to alert other drivers when they're exiting the roundabout?

A. Signage will be determined by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Drivers are required to follow the rules and regulations of the road.


Q. Will the roundabout be signed for cyclists with "Bicycles Take the Lane" signs?

A. Signage will be determined by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Cyclists are required to follow the rules and regulations of the road. A graphic showing intended signage will be available at the second open house.


Q. Will the roundabout be designed to accommodate large farming vehicles?

A. The project team is coordinating with the Rural Roads Operations and Maintenance Advisory Committee (RROMAC) and is aware of farmer concerns with navigating the roundabout with large equipment. The project team will reference turning requirements for those vehicles and adjust the roundabout design as needed.


Q. Why do most roundabouts in Washington County have such a large radius?

A. Most of the County's roundabouts are on roads designated as freight routes and are designed to accommodate freight and other large vehicles, such a farm equipment.


Q. What will keep vehicles for speeding?

A. The entrances to the roundabout are being designed to slow vehicles. State law requires drivers to obey speed signs and drive safely for current conditions.


Q. Can rumble strips and additional warning lights be installed, due to frequent heavy fog?

A. Safety is a priority and the recommendation will be given due consideration.


Q. Explain the safety image showing 32 possible conflict points.

A. The conflict points are located where any two vehicles have the potential of colliding. There are eight merge (both vehicles turning toward each other) and eight diverge (both vehicles turning away from each other) conflict points. Collisions associated with merging/diverging movements are rear-end and sideswipe collisions.

There are 16 crossing conflict points, where one vehicle is going through the intersection. Of these, 12 crossing movements are associated left-turning vehicles. Collisions associated with this crossing movement occur when a vehicle attempting a left turn at a signal is struck by traffic passing through the intersection on another approach. The remaining four crossing movements involve through movements on two adjacent approaches. Angle collisions may occur as a result of this type of conflict. 

This video explains the diagram.


Q. What will keep River Road traffic from dominating the roundabout?

A. River Road traffic dominating the roundabout was evaluated and traffic analysis shows that the other traffic approaches will be able to enter the roundabout even during the evening rush.


Q. Roundabouts are being removed in some places; why is a roundabout being considered here?

A. There has been advancement in roundabout design to improve the functionality. Roundabout removal can occur because of when it was constructed, if it isn't adequate for current traffic patterns or for the vehicles using it.


Q. Why isn't "no build" included in one of the options? Rural roads should not be widened to service people traveling in urban areas.

A. A "no build" option was not included in the open house because this project was identified through the County's Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP 3e) as necessary to address an existing congestion issue.


Q. What are the plans for the Highway 219/Farmington Road intersection?

A. That intersection is outside the scope of this project. Highway 219 is under the jurisdiction of the the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).


Q. What will happen to the Cruise In Country Diner? What provisions have been made?

A. The right-of-way acquisition process will begin in the final phase of design. A Right-of-Way agent will notify and individually work with each impacted property owner to obtain necessary right-of-way and/or easements. 


Q. Will the zoning allow for a replacement diner?

A. Zoning changes are managed through the Long Range Planning Division and outside the scope of this project.


Q. What will the mitigation for runoff water be?

A. The project will address treatment of runoff water in compliance with local and state requirements. Swales are commonly used in similar projects.


Q. What is the functionality of rain gardens?

A. The rain gardens are to detain and treat road runoff water before the water enters streams. Additional analysis will be done to ensure the facilities provide the required water treatment.


Q. What is being done to mitigate light pollution?

A. The County will follow current Dark Sky compliance standards. If possible, additional measures will be implemented to reduce light pollution.


Q. Can parking be included for semitrucks who wait for the nursery to open in the morning?

A. The request will be reviewed and determined if this can be included in the scope of the project.


Q. Will the center of the roundabout be low-profile and free of line of sight obstructions to improve safety?

A. This will be reviewed once the design alternative is selected.


Q. Is there a FEMA floodway designation?

A. Mapping indicated no FEMA floodway along the project area, however it is in proximity to the floodplain, the impacts to which will be mitigated as required.


Q. Why is construction expected to take nine months or more?

A. The construction estimate includes all work from clearing to the final tree planting. Estimates includes phasing to maintain traffic during construction.


Q. Why is a 10-foot multi-use path proposed in a rural area?

A. The multi-use path is a conceptual design to address bicycle and pedestrian needs. This will be further analyzed as design progresses.


Q. What will the treatment be for the multi-use path. Traditional sidewalk joints are uncomfortable for cyclists.

A. The joint treatment will be reviewed as design progresses. The County has received recommendations for treatments similar to those used in South Hillsboro.