Gresham In The News

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  • Will Hillsboro overtake Gresham as Oregon's fourth-largest city? PSU projections say it could

    Hillsboro's population continues to race toward the six-figure mark.

    Hillsboro's population continues to race toward the six-figure mark, and if current growth patterns and development plans hold up, it could eventually overtake Gresham's status as Oregon's fourth-largest city.

    Preliminary population estimates from Portland State University show that Gresham gained 275 people in the year between July of 2013 and 2014, a growth rate of only about one quarter of 1 percent for a total of 106,455.

    PSU estimated Hillsboro's 2014 population at 94,260, but city officials disputed the figure, giving a number of 95,310 instead. City spokesman Patrick Preston said PSU planned to update the estimate accordingly. The numbers will be certified Dec. 15.

    Hillsboro's 2013 population was 93,340, according to PSU, meaning the city's number of residents grew by more than 2 percent from 2013 to 2014.

    If those rates hold up, Hillsboro would eventually pass Gresham, sometime in the 2020s.

    PSU's growth estimates don't account for anticipated future annexation or development outside of the cities. That means the study didn't include Hillsboro's incoming South Hillsboro project, which is expected to add approximately 1,400 acres to the city and increase its population by about 25,000 residents.

    Gresham projected two years ago that it would reach nearly 134,000 people by 2032, according to city Communications Manager Wendy Lawton.

    -- Luke Hammill

  • Wednesday evening commute: 5 areas to avoid as Thanksgiving holiday begins

    The Thanksgiving commute is in full swing as many drivers are heading out early.


    The Thanksgiving commute is in full swing. Many drivers are heading out early en route to Grandma Millie's house in time to help start brining the turkey.

    The Oregonian's Rob Davis spoke Tuesday with the high-tech traffic analysis folks at Inrix in Washington. They told Rob two things: Wednesday's commute in Portland is going to be really bad (second only to Los Angeles in level of pain) and there are five areas to avoid this afternoon.

    Here they are:

    • Interstate 5 northbound from Macadam Avenue (Exit 299) to the Interstate Bridge.
    • U.S. 26 eastbound from Camelot Court overpass to Exit 73.
    • Interstate 205 northbound from Washington Street/Stark Street to U.S. 30 (Exits 20 to 23).
    • Interstate 84 eastbound from Oregon 99E to Interstate 205.
    • Interstate 5 southbound from Haines Street to Elligsen Road (Exits 293 to 286).

    As expected, all those areas are already backing up midway through the afternoon.

    The Oregonian's newsroom will keep an eye on traffic through the afternoon and post the big problems at OregonLive.com/roadreport. You may also follow along with the Twitter hashtag #PDXtraffic -- or see the feed at the bottom of this story.

    -- The Oregonian

  • Portland Metro Wednesday Traffic: Crash on the Interstate Bridge southbound had traffic snarled

    Today's clear skies and wiper-less commutes might help out the traditional snarl of folks trying to get into or out of town, shoppers and last minute grocery runs.


    What is arguably the worst traffic day of the year in the metro area might get a boost from wonderful driving weather. Today's clear skies and wiper-less commutes might help out the traditional snarl of folks trying to get into or out of town, shoppers and last minute grocery runs.

    DOWNTOWN PORTLAND I-5 AT MODA CENTER until 10 a.m.;  ODOT reports emergency road repairs on I-5 both south and north bound center lanes in the area between the Moda Center exit and Fremont Bridge exit. Watch for delays in that area.

    ***

    UPDATE ROSS ISLAND BRIDGE WESTBOUND 9:00 a.m.; Stall in the right lane CLEARED.

    ***

    UPDATE INTERSTATE BRIDGE SOUTHBOUND 8:42 a.m.;  I-5 bridge southbound from Vancouver semi and car crash. CLEARED all lanes getting by now. Back up begins at SR 500.

    B3YS6QACQAIsXzS.jpgCrash on the Interstate Bridge, southbound 

    ***

    TROUTDALE FRONTAGE ROAD OFF I-84 6:48 a.m.; Crash involving semis on this access road to Graham Road (near the outlet mall). Use the Wood Village exit to get to Gresham and points south.

    ***

    UPDATE BEAVERTON SCHOLLS FERRY ROAD AND 135th AVENUE 6:25 a.m.; Crews responding to a reported crash at Southwest Scholls Ferry Road and 135th Avenue, CLEARED.

    Portland's issue with day-before Thanksgiving traffic is well documented.

    But getting things done super early - like at 6 a.m. - can really help. Trying to get home this afternoon might be tough. Check back throughout the morning for the latest commuting updates and follow us on Twitter: @trafficportland

  • Joseph Rose: Are Portland's evening drivers 'cheating' on I-84 ramp? Or did ODOT just mess up?

    Are evening drivers cutting in line on the long ramp from the Morrison Bridge to I-84?

    Q: At the end of the long ramp from the Morrison Bridge to eastbound Interstate 84, there are two lights that meter traffic onto the freeway. One on the right. And one on the left. But there's only one lane leading up to the signals. I've always thought that we were expected to wait single file until we reached the front of the line, where the two lead cars split off and each takes one of the meters. It seems orderly and fair. But during every evening commute, many drivers bypass the queue by using the right shoulder and driving up to the right ramp signal. Isn't that cheating? Is it against the law?

    A: Come on now.

    Orderly? Fair?

    We're talking about rush hour in America, not a garden party with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in attendance. If it were legal, I'm sure many drivers would install Batmobile-style tire-shredding blades on their cars if it meant saving 10 minutes on the way home.

    Know this: Wherever there are two signals at the end of a highway ramp, the expectation is that drivers will form two lines when things clog up and the meters light up. "We expect drivers to take the opportunity as it presents itself," said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Don Hamilton. 

    Yes, it sounds a little like Lord-of-the-Flies traffic management. But ODOT insists that the 26-foot-wide eastbound I-84 ramp from the Morrison Bridge, which carries about 1,300 vehicles an hour during the evening commute, is plenty wide enough to accommodate two rows of vehicles in its single lane. 

    I drove out there on a recent evening to check out the conundrum for myself. What a zoo. It was a body-shop owners dream.

    Unfortunately, ODOT has left drivers guessing about what's expected of them at this busy junction from downtown to the east side.

    Among other things, the highway department hasn't installed the requisite "form two lanes" signs at the ramp's entrance. So, during the evening slog, most motorists tend to hang out in the middle of the lane, rather than shifting slightly to the left to allow a second line to form on the right.

    As a result, those "cheating" drivers on the right are forced to cross the solid white line and drive along the shoulder, which (you're right) can't legally be used as a highway passing lane.   

    That said, I'm not convinced that the existing lane is wide enough to handle a second lineup of cars. Frankly, it looked like the ODOT officials are trying to cram a traffic-jam solution onto a section of road that doesn't have the capacity to oblige them.  

    "We are looking at installing signs and possibly restriping the ramp to two lanes," Hamilton said. "We understand how this can be confusing." 

    Bottom line: Your interpretation of ramp etiquette isn't accurate, but you and your fellow commuters shouldn't be left trying to guess what you're supposed to do. 

    Q: The announcement on MAX trains as they pull away from stations now says, "Train departing. Please hold on." Is this new?

    A: Ah. So those announcements aren't entirely lost on riders. Yes, TriMet is trying out new safety messages. "It's not the final message," said Roberta Altstadt, a TriMet spokeswoman. "We will likely be making some changes." 

    Of course, that led to my next question: Did someone on a departing train fall and sue TriMet, or something like that? "No," Altstadt said. "We're always looking for ways to enhance safety and the Portland Streetcar says, 'Ding. Ding. Please hold on.' We thought it would be good to add a similar message."

    The woman who furnishes the English "voice of the MAX" agreed to record the trial messages for just $25, she said. The Spanish message won't be modified. "It would make the announcement too long," Altstadt said.

    -- Joseph Rose

  • Traffic alert: 5 Portland-area black holes to avoid at all costs Wednesday

    The region's worst traffic nightmares are supposed to get even worse on Wednesday, the heaviest travel day of the year.

    If you're driving in Portland on Wednesday -- the year's busiest travel day -- here are the five routes that you'll want to avoid in the afternoon.

    Between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., traffic is expected to be unusually heavy. Inrix, a Washington traffic analytics firm, predicts that Portland's holiday traffic will be the country's second worst. (Behind only Los Angeles.)

    Inrix expects Portland's traffic delays to be 35 percent longer than a typical day's. A 30-minute drive will become a 40-minute trip. An hour-long trip will take an extra 20 minutes.

    But that's just on average. A few notorious places will morph into even ghastlier black holes.

    Here are the region's worst of the worst:

    1. Interstate 5 northbound from Macadam Avenue (Exit 299) to the Interstate Bridge.

    Distance: 10 miles

    What you hope it takes: 11 minutes 

    The Wednesday forecast: 50 minutes

    Average expected speed: 12 mph


    2. U.S. 26 eastbound from Camelot Court overpass to Exit 73.

    Distance: 4 miles

    What you hope it takes: 4 minutes 

    The Wednesday forecast: 16 minutes

    Average expected speed: 16 mph


    3. Interstate 205 northbound from Washington Street/Stark Street to U.S. 30 (Exits 20 to 23).

    Distance: 4 miles

    What you hope it takes: 4 minutes 

    The Wednesday forecast: 14 minutes.

    Average expected speed: 17 mph


    4. Interstate 84 eastbound from Oregon 99E to Interstate 205.

    Distance: 6 miles

    What you hope it takes: 6 minutes 

    The Wednesday forecast: 19 minutes

    Average expected speed: 19 mph


    5. Interstate 5 southbound from Haines Street to Elligsen Road (Exits 293 to 286).

    Distance: 8 miles

    What you hope it takes: 8 minutes 

    The Wednesday forecast: 29 minutes

    Average expected speed: 16 mph

    -- Rob Davis

  • Portland Metro Wednesday Forecast: Breaking or meeting record highs today; rain moves in late tonight

    Wednesday will be unseasonably warm and dry, which should help the afternoon commute on a day that's traditionally the worst for traffic tie-ups.

    As confusing as it looks on paper, what you feel is right, yesterday Portland set a record for the highest low for the date. Meaning, it sure didn't get very cold, even overnight. Today will also be unseasonably warm and dry, which should help the afternoon commute on a day that's traditionally the worst for traffic tie-ups.

    Regular old rain and cooler temps move in later tonight and into Thanksgiving. Expect a chance of rain for that drive to Grandma's house, and for that pick-up football game you play in the yard with the nephews.

    Much colder air moves in for the weekend with lows dipping below 30. And it's then that you'll wonder where all that warm air we had today went.

  • Tuesday evening Portland-area commute: Ferguson protest rally closing downtown streets

    The Portland police are closing streets downtown as the rally grows.

    A large crowd is gathered at the Justice Center downtown as part of a Ferguson protest rally. Check back in for updates if they decide to take the protest on the move.

    ***


    Protestors are trying to get on the freeways. Traffic is locked on the Marquam Bridge. Crowd moving to Morrison Bridge.

    ***
    Reporter Kasia Hall is now following the protest. Demonstrators are blocking traffic. Buses/Max also being delayed.

    ***
    The Ferguson rally is currently blocking traffic on the Burnside Bridge. They are stopped in the intersection with MLK Boulevard.

    ***

    PORTLAND, 6:18 p.m.: 5th Avenue Downtown

    A Max train collided with a car downtown. Twitter user @Sportschop says he thinks the cross streets are 5th Avenue and Morrison Street.

    ***

    SECOND UPDATE PORTLAND, 5:42 p.m.: Justice Center Downtown

    Beth Nakamura and Melissa Binder are following the rally and tweeting the route.

    ***
    UPDATE PORTLAND, 5:21 p.m.: Justice Center Downtown

    Photographer Beth Nakamura says the rally is about to start marching downtown. Best to avoid driving in that area.

    ***
    WILSONVILLE, 4:55 p.m.: Interstate 5 Southbound

    Reports of a rollover crash blocking the right lane just after the Willamette River. Traffic is significantly jammed past Elligsen Road and quickly growing.

    ***
    PORTLAND, 4:24 p.m.: Justice Center Downtown

    The Portland police are closing streets downtown as the rally gathers.

    ***

    PORTLAND, 3:55 p.m.: Interstate 84 Eastbound at Lloyd Boulevard

    A disabled car is blocking the middle lane. Traffic in that area was already bad. It is quickly getting worse.

    ***

    There is one more evening commute before all sorts of chaos breaks loose tomorrow. With Portland traffic expected to be the second worse in the nation tomorrow, make sure to give thanks that the commute tonight isn't that bad.

    Follow the Oregonian's commuting alerts on Twitter: @TrafficPortland

  • Alleged getaway driver in Gresham homicide accused of hindering prosecution

    A Gresham detective obtained a warrant to "ping'' Timothy D. Smith's cell phone and was able to locate him in Las Vegas, according to police and prosecutors.

    A man accused of driving the getaway vehicle from the scene of a shooting in Gresham last month and then leaving the state is accused of hindering prosecution.

    Timothy Dewayne Smith, 21, was arraigned on the single charge in Multnomah County Circuit Court Tuesday morning. He entered a plea of not guilty.

    The Oct. 18 shooting outside a 7-Eleven store off Southeast Division Street in Gresham turned into a homicide investigation when the victim died of his injuries a week later, according to court records.

    timothydewaynesmith21.jpegView full sizeTimothy Dewayne Smith, 21 

    Smith was seen running out of the store and driving the alleged gunman away from the scene of the shooting, prosecutor Nathan Vasquez wrote in a court affidavit.

    The man shot, John Lowery Jr., died at OHSU Hospital on Oct. 25. A bullet entered above his left eye and he was found lying in a pool of blood on the pavement in front of the store, the affidavit said. Lowery died from the single gunshot wound to the head, according to an autopsy.

    A Gresham detective obtained a warrant to "ping'' Smith's cell phone and was able to locate him in Las Vegas, according to police and prosecutors.

    Gresham Det. John Rasmussen traveled to Nevada and interviewed Smith. He admitted to driving the shooter away from the scene of the shooting, and then leaving the Pacific Northwest immediately after the shooting, the affidavit said.

    Smith's lawyer said what the affidavit did not include was information in police and court records that his client also told the detective that Smith couldn't identify the shooter, who ordered him at gunpoint to drive him from the scene, said Smith's lawyer Jim Leuenberger.

    Vasquez asked a judge to increase Smith's bail from $5,000 to $100,00, "to protect the community'' and ensure Smith's appearance if he were to post bail. A judge granted the request. Smith's next court appearance is set for Jan. 6.

    Police are continuing to investigate the case to charge the alleged gunman, who has not been identified.

    Police urge anyone with information about the shooting to call the Gresham Police tip line at 503-618-2719. Callers may remain anonymous.

    --Maxine Bernstein

  • Remember Larry Kangas, prolific Oregon mural artist, with a walking tour

    Take a self-guided tour of the artist's many murals in the Portland region.

    On the first anniversary of Larry Kangas' passing, family and friends invite the public to take a self-guided tour of the prolific Oregon artist's murals in the Portland area. Kangas, dubbed the "fastest brush in the West," painted 1,000 murals or more. He died Nov. 25, 2013.

    Over 40 years, Kangas worked for commercial clients, homeowners and in schools, and is remembered for, among others, his Northwest 23rd Avenue "Vespa" mural and the Parkrose High School Community Center mural "Horses Through History & World Cultures."

    The map lists 15 of his Portland-area murals. 

    Larry Kangas mural map brochure Nov 25, 2014-page-0.jpgA map shows the locations of 15 murals in the Portland area by Larry Kangas.  
  • Portland Metro Tuesday Forecast: Warm today with highs near 60; rain stays north

    High temps Tuesday will be in the mid-to-upper 50s, which just seems odd. But we're not complaining. A little break from being cold is most welcome.


    We'll keep a chance of showers in the forecast for Tuesday, though most of the moisture is to the north and northeast of the Portland metro area. High temps will be in the mid-to-upper 50s, which just seems odd. But we're not complaining. A little break from being cold is most welcome.

    Tomorrow should be dry all day with a repeat of the mild temperatures. Rain should return by Thanksgiving morning, but most of it will fall as spotty showers.

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