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TriMet's first 'Bike & Ride' opens in Beaverton

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 30th, 2010 at 7:13 am

(Photos by Jim "K'Tesh" Parsons)

Yesterday, with notable transportation officials from around the region in attendance, TriMet officially cut the ribbon on their new 'Bike & Ride' facility at the Sunset Transit Center in Beaverton. With secure parking for 74 bikes, TriMet hopes the new service will make it easier for people to make the bike-transit connection.

A good sign.

In a statement about the opening, TriMet's new General Manager Neil McFarlane said, "We chose Sunset Transit Center for our first Bike & Ride because it's one of the most popular destinations for cyclists to connect to transit, since the West Hills are a barrier to riding a bike into downtown."

The 74 bike racks are in a space previously occupied by just eight car parking spaces (630 car spaces remain at the site). TriMet has made the facility secure by adding surveillance cameras and by requiring the use of a BikeLink keycard to gain access. Keycards cost $20 and last for about 10 weeks of daily parking at any TriMet Bike & Ride.

Looks pretty darn secure to me.

Since TriMet doesn't charge to park cars at this transit center, you might wonder why bike parking comes with a fee. TriMet's bike planner Colin Maher says it's not about making money. Rather, there's a practical reason: To discourage people from using the Bike & Ride as their personal garage or storage unit. "Experience has shown that bike stations fill with unused bikes if parking is completely free. This isn’t a problem for car parking, partly because the owners would incur hefty towing and impound fees (which aren’t practical to charge for bikes) if their cars were left for more than 24 hours."

Maher points out that if you don't want to pay for bike parking, you can use the standard bike racks that are also available.

Do you plan on using this new Bike & Ride? Have you already used it? We'd love to hear how it's working for you. For more information on TriMet's Bike & Rides, and to purchase a BikeLink card, check out their new website at TriMet.org/bikeandride.

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Comments
  • K'Tesh July 30, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Yes, I've used it... only for the grand opening, but I found that it was a very comfortable experience being able to secure my bike in an area that I'd normally not leave my bike. I loved the bike stand, and found that there was an attached pump. It came in handy when I threw my chain, and didn't need to get myself oily while I got it back on the chainring.

    Links to the photo of the workstation:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/4841978448/in/set-72157624486430099/

    Link to the set
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157624486430099/

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  • SteveG July 30, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Congratulations TriMet! This is fantastic. It's a huge step toward better integration of bikes and transit -- and continuing to provide integrated transportation options.

    Not only will this reduce the need to bring bikes onto Max trains, but it'll make bike (+transit) commuting much, much more practical in Portland's suburbs. Next step is for the nearby communities to invest in bike lanes and/or trails to connect safely to these stations.

    I think these new bike parking facilities will soon be overwhelmed with demand, and TriMet will be in the enviable position of having to transition more car parking spaces into room for the next batch of healthy, happy suburban bike commuters.

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  • Joe July 30, 2010 at 9:08 am

    cool deal! thanks TriMet.

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  • Steve July 30, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Coming soon...TriMet bans bicycles on MAX trains...

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  • peejay July 30, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Great idea. But the fact remains that Sunset Transit Center is a glaring example of everything wrong with transit infrastructure in this country. Yes, there's secure bike parking. But, as Trimet admits, there are 630 car parking spots there, also, and those spots are right up against the train and bus facilities. Surrounding that enormous parking structure are acres of useless space -- space that should be taken up with higher density commercial, office and housing, that would be built-in demand for the transit services the Sunset TC provides. If you need to walk to or from this station, you've already got a half-mile or so at minimum to go.

    I will give credit to two good things this station has: the pedestrian bridge over Hwy 26, and the coffee and snack shop above the tracks. But it just reminds us how good it could be if there were more of each -- more easy car-free access to actual destinations nearby, and more pleasant retail activity surrounding the facility. As it is, Sunset Transit Center is an example of what happens when you forget about the immediate context of your surroundings, like a nice office tower in the middle of a field, or a horse barn in the middle of a city.

    I know it's not all TriMet's fault. It's most likely the fault of stupid zoning laws, and tax code that lets a greedy property owner to sit on a huge chunk of undeveloped land waiting to make a killing. But it pisses me off every time I pass through, which is twice a day.

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  • Dr. Something July 30, 2010 at 10:31 am

    This is an interesting idea, and I'm excited that there will be one at Beaverton TC soon, a much more bike accessible location, in my opinion.

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  • skodt July 30, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Nice job Tri-Met! Hopefully this will catch on in other parts of the city--removing car parking in huge structures in favor of bikes.

    If you are interested in seeing these articulating racks in action but don't want to go out to Sunset, you can come into Rack Attack near PGE Park...we've got a demonstration set for everyone to play with. The racks are jam packed with staff bikes here at the shop, but we'd gladly spend a few minutes showing them off.

    FYI, the racks are manufactured by Saris in Madison Wisconsin and Rack Attack is a distributor for these and other parking products. I'd be happy to talk about them if your business/apartment/condo/school is thinking about adding bike parking capacity.

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  • trail user July 30, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Discounts to ride max for bike and ride users!

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  • craig July 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Jonathan, an interesting related story I just read in the new Portland Tribune, ref the pending project for the Milwaukie MAX line...

    http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=128035443421544700

    Due to reduced Federal funding support, the planned "600-space park and ride facility at the Oak Grove station could be reduced. The 800-space park and ride facility at the Tacoma Street station, on the eastern edge of Sellwood, also could be reduced."

    Do either of those planned P&R garages include a bike-n-ride facility? In either case, could the project save dollars by shifting a significant portion of P&R accommodation away from cars toward bikes?

    I have coworkers who commute from Milwaukie who would be served by a MAX connection with bike P&R and would NOT be served by a car P&R.

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  • q'Tzal July 30, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Peejay #5
    Not that I want a Walmart, and haven't missed it since I moved here back when they were trying to move in the area I was thinking that they could offer the Sunset Transit center on a few provisions:
    () All Walmart purchases would count as a All Zone fare. Possibly require it to be a rount trip ticket so that shoppers have no reason not to use transit
    () make them use <%50 of the available land square footage; this would require a 3 story structure at least.
    () require that they rebuild and expand by 200% the parking garage for the shared TC/Walmart parking within the previous provisions.
    () no sales or advertising on train platform, however, Walmart would take over the overcharging, underserving food stand and replace it with a small food court that is open when ever transit is running.

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  • Duncan July 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    love the comments on the Oregonian....
    http://www.oregonlive.com/washingtoncounty/index.ssf/2010/07/sunset_transit_center_now_hold.html

    about this project

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  • Todd Boulanger July 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Regarding WalMart discussion...how about below market rate housing priced at the salary of their workers...and others in the business....like what had been proposed for the Home Depot that had been planned a few years back.

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  • Todd Boulanger July 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    My comment was incomplete...the Home Depot had this planned housing on its top floor.

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  • Anne Hawley July 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    @Duncan #11: The adage "Never read the comments" applies better to Oregonlive than to just about any other online space I can think of.

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  • Todd Boulanger July 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Craig thanks for the link to the Trib article...so if the Feds (FTA) chips in less funding for the project...does this mean that Trimet can then reduce the P&R capacity because:
    1) the P+R were over designed (built to hold more cars than required by FTA)
    2) the FTA has decreased their required trips to the transit facility delivered by SOV drivers due to new minimum ratios for project scoring methodology (I hope 'Obama' has done this) ?
    3) the FTA has decreased their required trips to the transit facility delivered by SOV drivers due to their reduced funding its only fair); or
    4) Trimet was able to propose a higher mode split to reach the transit station by bike, foot, or other transit (by the regions success in mode shift/ slower growth in miles driven?
    5) other?

    I ask this question...since in the planning process for the CRC ... the Vancouver side of the Yellow Line LRT was being burdened with some very large (not urbane) and possibly wasteful P+R facilities in the City Centre in order to reach the federal funding calculations for ridership (there was much staff discussion that this methodology was outdated/ inflexible to the NW and likely to produce the very outcome that the portion of the project was trying to reduce...car driving).

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  • Phil B July 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Do you have to pay to use the bike parking? It seems like you do from the Oregonian article, but that would be strange since you don't have to pay to park your car...

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  • BURR July 30, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    TriMet's explanation of why the bike parking costs money but motor vehicle parking doesn't is bogus and disingenuous.

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  • Phil B July 30, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    What is Trimet's explanation?

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  • Adam July 30, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    16 and 18. Did you read the story above at all? It's in there.

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  • Phil B July 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    @ Adam, unfortunately I can't read, but it also doesn't help that the trimet website isn't working...

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  • Adam July 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    It's stated above in Jonathan's article.

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  • trail user July 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Just got back from the bike'n ride an hour ago. A lonely carbon trek was the sole bike inside the cage -- a "thief's delight" indeed.

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  • Duncan July 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Anne-
    Oregonlive comments are like traffic accidents- you want to look away but sometimes you just cannot.

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  • ChaseB July 30, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    >Does this mean that Trimet can then reduce the P&R capacity because: 1) The P+R were over designed (built to hold more cars than required by FTA)?

    FTA does not require Park and Ride facilities at all; Just look at the Tacoma Link, which has no dedicated Park and Ride, or Seattle's Central Link light rail, which has only one. Rather, planners build them because they have been shown to increase ridership, which helps justify rail construction. Thus planners can build as much or as little P&R as they want. Reducing P&R capacity may lower overall cost, but it also lowers ridership, so it's a careful balancing act.

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  • Jeff M July 30, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    It seems that everyone, including Trimet, says that Sunset TC is in Beaverton, yet the address is 10470 SW Barnes Rd, Portland.

    Anyway, this is very cool. Sunset is always filled with cars during business hours. However, it would be more useful for me to have this at the Tualatin WES station, since it is 2 miles from there to work - and NO Trimet bus service.

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  • PdxRunner July 31, 2010 at 7:33 am

    I purchased a card on-line and tried out the facility Thursday night. It's important to know that the first time you use the facility it will take about 5 min. to go through the ID proceddure and you will need picture ID. The cost is shown as $5, but only $3 was shown as subtracted. I'm uncomfortable with the Chain link enclosure. It's like a window shopping for bike theifs. It's supposed to be monitored, but how fast would be a response to a theft by police?
    I would not park anything but a cheap commuter there!

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  • The Translator July 31, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Steve@#4 is correct. Tri-Met is going to build more secure bike-n-ride along their lines over the next couple of years and then bikes, except little folders, will be booted off the trains.

    I'm mixed about it. The trains have become much more crowded and, for varied reasons, many MAX riders have become openly hostile to bikes. Getting on or off during peak hours is a pain. The problem for me using a bike-n-ride is that I have a nearly 3/4 mile jaunt to the office from the nearest MAX station. Walking that adds about 15 minutes each way and, sadly, makes driving the more efficient option timewise. Taking advantage of company subsidized parking is only a few dollars more each month than what Tri-Met is charging for bike parking. I can offset the gasoline and parking costs by simply brewing my own coffee or brown bagging lunch three days a week.

    Good on Tri-Met for thinking about the issues but the economic justification for the masses ditching cars in favor of mixed mode don't exist yet.Steve@#4 is correct. Tri-Met is going to build more secure bike-n-ride along their lines over the next couple of years and then bikes, except little folders, will be booted off the trains.

    I'm mixed about it. The trains have become much more crowded and, for varied reasons, many MAX riders have become openly hostile to bikes. Getting on or off during peak hours is a pain. The problem for me using a bike-n-ride is that I have a nearly 3/4 mile jaunt to the office from the nearest MAX station. Walking that adds about 15 minutes each way and, sadly, makes driving the more efficient option timewise. Taking advantage of company subsidized parking is only a few dollars more each month than what Tri-Met is charging for bike parking. I can offset the gasoline and parking costs by simply brewing my own coffee or brown bagging lunch three days a week.

    Good on Tri-Met for thinking about the issues but the economic justification for the masses ditching cars in favor of mixed mode don't exist yet.

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  • Colin Maher, TriMet July 31, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for the feedback. Just to clarify:

    TriMet is not changing policy for bikes on MAX.

    The Bike & Ride has many layers of security features in addition to cameras: the enclosure is made from welded wire, which is much stronger than chain link but still lets others see what someone is doing inside 24 hours a day. The gate has an alarm that is not only triggered by forced entry, but also if someone spends more than 10 minutes inside. The BikeLink system requires ID check the first time you use it and keeps an entry log. As in any situation, you should only use a strong u-lock or chain.

    Please let us know what you think. Email questions or comments to bikes@trimet.org

    Colin Maher
    TriMet

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  • trail user July 31, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Most bike thieves that are good can cut a log under 10 seconds.

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  • SteveG August 1, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Steve (#4):

    Banning bikes on MAX trains may be extreme, but requiring extra payment to take them on board is simply logical, in terms of TriMet's self-interest. A person and a bike take up significantly more room than a person without a bike. During times (i.e. rush hour) when the trains are full, riders with bikes should probably pay more, or leave their bikes in a locker. The same is true of riders with a baby stroller. This may not make TriMet a lot of friends, but it will generate more revenue, increased overall ridership, etc. They're not, after all, in the business of promoting bicycle transportation. I see their accommodation of bicycles as a good thing, but I don't think anyone should assume that they'll keep doing it regardless of the revenue impact and inconvenience to non-cyclists.

    For this reason, I applaud this move, and although I don't think they'll outright "ban" bikes on MAX, I wouldn't be surprised to see them limit bikes to non-rushhour trains, or trains (like the new Green Line) that are operating at below capacity during rush hour.

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  • joshuadf August 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    By the way, a few of the car parking spaces closest to the platform at Sunset Transit Center do require payment.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 2, 2010 at 7:20 am

    ChaseB - thanks for the follow up to my FTA question.

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  • Josh August 2, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Could I park my Bakfiets cargo bike in one of these stations?

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  • Tennore August 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I just used it for the first time. Nice. But now I wonder if they will build a BTC unit if STC doesn't sell out.
    Also, what if for some reason the card access is down? Are you then up the creek as far as getting your bike out? (or in during morning rush hour?) This concerns me also.
    Lastly, they should have first built the bike racks at BTC, which is way more accessible than halfway up Sylvan Hill at Sunset TC

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  • Pdxrunner August 2, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I just received my bike# in the mail. Two small stickers with #s to gp on each side of the seat tube. What do I do with the other 2 bikes I commute with? What if I don't want to glueb stickers onto my bike? What is the purpose of the numbered sticker?

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  • Colin Maher, TriMet August 3, 2010 at 12:22 am

    @Craig #9 & Todd #15:
    Bike & Rides are currently planned for three Milwaukie LRT stations: the Tacoma and Park Rd. Park & Rides as well as the Bybee station, which does not have a Park & Ride. Many scenarios will be evaluated as the project is recalibrated, so it's too early to say what the final design will look like.

    @Josh #33:
    The Bike & Ride has a rack designed for cargo bikes and bikes with trailers.

    @Tennore #34:
    BikeLink will still let registered users in or out in case of internet failure. There are backups in case of power outage, but staff can assist in the worst-case scenario. The Beaverton TC Bike & Ride is opening later than Sunset TC since it is a new building.

    @Pdxrunner
    Displaying your card # on the bike lets us know that the bikes that are checked in are actually there. Right now, tape and a marker are provided so you can label your bike if it doesn't have a sticker. We're evaluating how to make it convenient for users to display their card #, so your feedback is appreciated.

    I'm happy to respond to general questions in the comments. If you have a specific question, please contact us at bikes@trimet.org.

    Colin Maher
    TriMet

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  • trail user August 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

    RFID tags so we can hide the transmitter in the frame and an automatic notification via cell phone in case it leaves the cage without the assigned cardholder.

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  • Ed August 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I wish they have something like this in Rose Quarter or downtown Portland.

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  • Paul Johnson August 3, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    So why not keep it free parking, but impound overparked bicycles? Note that the city should be doing this anyway for idiots that park perpendicular or more than two on a staple rack anyway...

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  • jim August 4, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Max should charge a system like the Washington state ferries. So much for a person and so much more for a bicycle. $1.00 to $4.00 depending on how long of a ride. Same for buses. Trimet is a money vacuum, ticket sales only suport about 17% of operation.

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  • Paul Johnson August 5, 2010 at 2:42 am

    You know what's a bigger money vacuum? Motor vehicle lanes on the highways. Us car-free folk are subsidizing the luxury of automobility. Punishing people for doing the right thing with increased fares is counterintuitive until registration fees and gas taxes actually cover the entire cost of automobility placed on society at large.

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  • Pete August 5, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Paul's right, to the tune of $22B+ and growing highway deficit that our grandkids will be stuck with (when foreign investors start looking elsewhere for guaranteed returns). Yet no politician has the guts to raise gas taxes (city council tried and failed in Hood River). The previous transportation secretary fought it vehemently at the federal level, and even our public-transit-friendly incumbent is not so brave to strongly endorse it.

    We should be more angry about our country's insane deficit growth than paying an extra buck a gallon at the pump, but of course that's someone else's fault.

    (And no, I'm not car-free, but still subsidizing them).

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  • shanana August 5, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I am very much looking forward to using this bike & ride. I live about 3 miles from the Sunset TC and my mom lives in Oregon City. When we get together we usually meet downtown...she takes the green line & I take the blue/red. I usually take a bus to the TC because it's pretty darn hilly between my home & the TC. (I can ride the hill, but don't like to show up all sweaty when meeting mom) The problem is that the bus only runs once an hour on the weekend. On my way home I usually miss the bus by less than 10 minutes, then have to wait for what feels like an eternity....or call someone for a ride. I've tried walking but the lack of sidewalks makes it a very undesirable option. I'm sure there's a better walking route, but I haven't found it yet.

    My new plan will be to put my bike on the bus and park the bike at the TC, then when I return it doesn't matter that I just missed the bus because I'll plan to ride home. (I don't mind getting sweaty on the way home)

    I also don't mind paying $.01 or $.03/hour to park my bike in a fairly secure location that won't get rained on.

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  • Jim Geddes December 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    With the elimination of parking on Lombard Ave. in Beaverton Oregon for the installation of bike lanes the biking community has succeeded in endangering pedestrians that must now cross a street with no cross walks or traffic controll devices. Bicycle riders useing Lomabard are riding the wrong direction in the bike lanes, are discourteus to pedestrians and auto traffic.

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    • Paul Johnson December 27, 2010 at 9:47 pm

      That's not the bicyclists doing that, it's discourteous drivers creating the danger. All intersections, unless explicitly marked "Crosswalk Closed" or other approved signage to that effect, are crosswalks, whether or not there's the presence of paint. The only traffic control devices that have been changed is the inclusion of bicycle lanes.

      As for wrong way cyclists, yes, feel free to report them to encourage Beaverton Police to get on the problem: They're endangering not only themselves, but legally operating road users. If you're riding legally and you encounter a wrong-way, look for an out towards the right shoulder and force them to pass to your left: This prevents you from endangering yourself if they realize their error and swerve back towards your side, and may encourage them to rub their last two remaining brain cells together and form a cogent thought about their own safety and those around them.

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      • Paul Johnson December 27, 2010 at 9:47 pm

        err, if they swerve back towards *their* side, that is...

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    • wsbob December 28, 2010 at 1:00 am

      "... Bicycle riders useing Lomabard are riding the wrong direction in the bike lanes, are discourteus to pedestrians and auto traffic." Jim Geddes

      Jim...definitely keep track of how frequently you observe this wrong way use of the Lombard bike lanes by cyclists. If you can, write down descriptions of the cyclists that are doing this. Put a report together and turn it in to City Council, the Beaverton Bike Advisory Council and the Beaverton Police.

      I've got a strong feeling that not...all...the bicycle riders using the Lombard bike lanes are doing the things you describe, but I also can completely understand how annoying and stressful it can be when a cyclist does direct their bike the wrong direction down the bike lane, and your need to speak out about this. Same thing applies to occasional pedestrians that seem to find walking in the bike in a direction opposed to bike lane traffic.

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      • Paul Johnson December 28, 2010 at 6:14 am

        Considering Lombard has sidewalks, any pedestrians in the bike lane not getting into a car or crossing at the crosswalk would be jaywalking by definition...

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        • wsbob December 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm

          What's the definition of 'jaywalking'?

          Funny thing is, there doesn't seem to be any Oregon law prohibiting 'jaywalking'. I learned this some years ago while serving grand jury duty. Part of the service was a tour of the county jail. Heading over from the courthouse to the jail, the eight of us were led across the street by a sheriff's deputy. He jaywalked the lot of us. When we mentioned to him that we were somewhat under the impression that jaywalking was illegal, he said "jaywalking is actually not illegal in Oregon".

          Did an online search. Found an ODT document ( http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/docs/OBP_Plan/Chapter_5_crossings.pdf?ga=t).

          It says: " "Jaywalking" is not a legally defined term in Oregon law. It does not mean crossing a street midblock. The Oregon Vehicle Code states that it is illegal for pedestrians to: ..." .

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    • El Biciclero December 28, 2010 at 9:54 am

      pedestrians...must now cross a street with no cross walks or traffic controll devices.

      Were there any (marked) crosswalks before? As Paul mentions, all intersections, unless explicitly closed, are legal crosswalks at which drivers andcyclists must stop for pedestrians waiting to cross.

      Also, I would think removal of parked cars would make pedestrian crossing safer, since visibility is greatly increased.

      As for wrong-way riders, they drive me nuts as well, since when I am riding the right way in a bike lane, they create a dangerous head-on potential. I think there are two main reasons cyclists will ride the wrong way: a) they are lazy/don't care and don't want to cross the street to ride the right way, or b) they are doing what they were taught as pedestrians--to go against traffic--because they think it is safer and don't realize they are operating a vehicle.

      Thanks for being observant. If we had more road users who paid attention, there would be far fewer problems.

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  • Lynne July 19, 2011 at 10:45 am

    so, back to the Sunset Park and Ride facility. I have used it once, leaving my bike to go to a Timbers game. First I had to buy the card. It may be purchased at the Sunset Park and Ride snack shop during hours that don't always work for me - I use the MAX when going into PDX, which is not a daily occurrence, and rarely during daytime business hours. There is a $5 fee to activate the card, plus a longish internet interaction. Then, the first time (so far my only time) you use the facility, you've got to stand by the camera with the picture ID you registered with, so someone can verify that it is really you. The facility entrance is outside and south-facing; sunlight washes out the video screen. I elected to park at a staple rack, and stripped the bike of anything easily removable (light, pump, computer head) Retrieving the bike later was much quicker.

    I do wish I had more than one set of stickers, although, in reality, the bike I rode is probably the only one I'd use.

    The card is good for one user/bicycle, which means my husband needs to get a card as well.

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    • Colin Maher, TriMet July 19, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Thanks for the feedback. We're looking at a way to fix the screen glare issue. There are now several more BikeLink vendors in the area.

      Just to clarify, the cards are non-transferable, but people traveling together can use the same card.

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  • fiets503 July 19, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I think you can contact BikeLink and tell them you need another sticker. You also might double check that rule about one card per bicycle. I'm not sure that is correct anymore.

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