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TriMet begins work on 'Bike & Ride' facility at Beaverton Transit Center

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 9th, 2011 at 10:10 am

Rendering of Bike & Ride facility coming to Beaverton Transit Center this summer (by Alta Planning and Design).


TriMet is set to break ground on their second of three 'Bike & Ride' facilities this Thursday. Last summer, they opened a Bike & Ride at the Sunset Transit Center and they'll begin construction on a similar facility at the Beaverton Transit Center tomorrow. A third Bike & Ride is set to open this summer at the Gresham Transit Center.

(Photo: Jim Parsons)

Funds for the three projects come from $1.4 million in federal stimulus funds TriMet is putting to use to bolster bike parking capacity and improve existing facilities. When all the projects are done, TriMet will have added 386 new or improved bike parking spaces in the region. TriMet is motivated to improve bike parking not just because the demand exists, but also because they have no intention of expanding bike capacity on their trains or buses.

The Beaverton Transit Center is the busiest is TriMet's system and it also has the highest demand for bike access. With about 19,000 weekday trips on the bus, MAX light rail and WES commuter rail, TriMet estimates that about 12% of those riders arrive by bike. The new Bike & Ride will have parking for 100 bikes, 76 of them secure indoor spaces and another 24 in covered spaces outside the facility. The secure spaces will be accessible by a keycard and will be monitored by security cameras. The price for the keycard is 5 cents an hour.

The facility will also have a repair stand, air pump and bike map. TriMet says they can expand the facility by 56 spaces if demand warrants. TriMet's bike and pedestrian access planner Colin Maher will be on location (4050 SW Lombard) tomorrow (3/10) from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm to answer questions.

Learn more about TriMet's Bike & Ride facilities at TriMet.org.

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Comments
  • jean dumar March 9, 2011 at 10:24 am

    It would be great if you could do an update on how the sunset bike and ride is doing. seems like a lot of money for three bike cages and it would be interesting to see how they are doing especially since this kind of project is a pretty new thing. I don't really know why one would pay money for parking when you can just take your bike on the train for free but maybe I'm wrong.

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  • Bike-Max-Bike March 9, 2011 at 10:38 am

    "I don't really know why one would pay money for parking when you can just take your bike on the train for free but maybe I'm wrong."

    Just my own mad train of thought here, but I feel installation of new bike parking capacity at Transit Centers is part of the plan to eventually ban bikes from Max.

    How about we clear a few seats from Max cars? Make more room for people (to stand), and for more bikes. Win. Win.

    Back to my own little world.

    BMB

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  • peejay March 9, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Jonathan:

    Do you really mean 0.05 cents an hour, Which would mean one cent every 20 hours? Or do you actually mean $0.05/hour? Minor quibble, but a mistake I see all the time.

    The major problem I have with this TriMet facility is that they are charging for access. Not a problem in and of itself, but when you consider that parking is still free, and the costs associated with providing parking for all suburban TriMet facilities is most surely greater than all of TriMet's bike expenditures, and because the bike facility isn't free it will go unused just like the one in Sunset TC, think of all the bad press that will be generated along the lines of "TriMet is throwing money away at those freeloading bikers".

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  • peejay March 9, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Jean:

    In fact the Sunset facility is all but unused. I typically see anywhere from zero to two bikes in the cage every day. Recently, I had occasion to be picked up at the Sunset TC by someone with a small car. I just locked my bike to a standard staple lock. For free. Just like all the cars.

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    • matt picio March 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm

      I'm not surprised. Sunset has poor connectivity to the road grid, the neighborhood is unpleasant to ride in, and there's nothing nearby. Beaverton would collect a lot more of the EB bike commuters. WB commuters want something *before* the hill, and if Trimet is ever able to find room at/near Goose Hollow or PGE Park, I'd wager that facility would be heavily used. Galleria would probably even work well for WB commuters.

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      • wsbob March 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm

        "...Sunset has poor connectivity to the road grid, the neighborhood is unpleasant to ride in, and there's nothing nearby. ..." matt picio

        Be specific. Of course, this part of Beavert/Portland (boundary lines are close at this point.) is not methodically plotted like inner NW or SE Portland neighborhoods, but it does have connectivity. Look at your map. You're the map man, what with your tour business.

        The street infrastructure gradually evolves with new development that includes connectivity that's easier to navigate. Even with those gradual advances though, from a terrain standpoint, the neighborhood is naturally going to be a bit daunting to some people as cyclists, because it's hilly.

        I hate to say it, but I imagine most residents in this area are hard cord drive everywhere types. It might be tough to get them used to the idea of getting on the bike to ride up the hill to the transit center or back home. Once enough of them do though, it might catch on. Those hills could help build some honkin' good looking commuter bike bods.

        As said in later comments, there's actually a bunch of stuff to do just south of Hwy 26. What's there could get a whole lot better if cyclists discovered and started patronizing the businesses.

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    • Dominic March 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      Seems to be the norm with bicycle parking facilities. The Bikestation in Long Beach has a busy day when 6 bikes are parked. I went by the Covina station a week ago and while there were 8 bikes in the little facility, they all had flat tires and a layer of dust on them.

      These facilities seem to be an answer to a question nobody is asking.

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  • wsbob March 9, 2011 at 10:58 am

    "...I don't really know why one would pay money for parking when you can just take your bike on the train for free but maybe I'm wrong." jean dumar

    One reason, is there's not a lot of room on the mass transit for bikes. I think the bus racks hold three bikes, the trains, four or six...not sure though.

    The pitched roof shed design for bikes illustrated above looks good enough. I do wish a bit of ingenuity could be applied to devise a way for the area up close to the roof to also be used to park bikes; a cable-pulley system or something like that. But then, there'd be the problem of a lot wet, drippy bikes, raining down on people and bikes below.

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    • Mindful Cyclist March 9, 2011 at 11:46 am

      Buses have room for two and MAX trains hold 4 on each car. However, many people bring them on if all the hooks are full. Technically, you are not supposed to bring it on if there is no room, but unless the car is very full, I have yet to see anyone getting booted off the train. I am sure it happens, though.

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    • matt picio March 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

      Typical morning commutes see 8-12 bicycles per train CAR on all but the 100 series trains (which will have 4-6 bikes) between PGE Park and Sunset TC. Evening commutes can be just as bad. I commute daily from NoPo to Hillsboro, and usually hit the tunnel at 7:15am WB and 5:40pm EB. During those times all hooks are full, multiple bikes will be in the aisle, and frequently other riders are left standing on the platform for the next train.

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  • John Lascurettes March 9, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Ah yes. Cents vs. dollars. Americans aren't too familiar with their own currency.

    $0.05 = 5¢
    0.05¢ = $0.0005

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  • Eric March 9, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I use Sunset TC to go to work every M-F. I'm there anytime between 5 and 6:30 in the mornings and between 3:30 and 4:30 in the afternoons. During those times the bike parking area is just about empty...3 bikes max.

    I'm surprised we haven't heard more of an outcry over how unused the bike parking is.

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    • matt picio March 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      There's nothing there but a parking garage, and bus passengers don't pass by the bike facility. There's no outcry because few even notice, much less care that there's a bike facility there.

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      • Lynne March 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm

        I wouldn't say there is NOTHING there. Cross over the Hwy 26 bridge (yay!) and there are lots of things there.

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        • wsbob March 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm

          And what an extraordinary bridge it is. Lynn...you are s-o-o-o right that there are lots of things very near the Sunset Transit Center...Cedar Mills Shopping Center...haven't spent much time there, but think there's a restaurant, a coffee shop, definitely know there's a DMV, because I just had to dump a bunch of time there a couple months ago. Musn't forget Harbor Freight. Just a ways away, there's a great plant store. If you want to take your gripes to the Oregonian personally, the paper has a satellite branch right close by.

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  • 9watts March 9, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Given that bikes these days (at least in Portland) come in a whole variety of shapes and sizes I wonder if the facility will have a section that accommodates those? From the computer graphic the bikes look very homogeneous and like an X-tra cycle or recumbent wouldn't fit in those rows very well.

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  • Mindful Cyclist March 9, 2011 at 11:44 am

    To basically echo what others are saying, I see very little use of the bike and ride there. I no longer am at the job that was on the South side of the Highway, but plenty of days I did not see one bike and rarely saw more than 2.

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  • Ed March 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Its a nice thought, but I would never use this. As others mention I would just lock to a pole or "leaning rail" like I do everywhere else. My commuter bike is not expensive enough to worry about secure parking for.

    Why not just put a couple of covered bike corrals in the car parking space?

    Or encourage people to get folding bikes?

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  • davemess March 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Jonathan, can you explain the payment for the card a little better? SO you have to pre-receive a card (in the mail?), and are then charged when the card is scanned into and out of the cage? I assume this is the case, but if almost anyone can get a card easily (even through the mail) how would this system actually prevent theft? Theives could just register for a card, or buy one on the spot.

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  • Colin Maher, TriMet March 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    The Beaverton TC Bike + Ride will have both typical bike racks and a card-access area uner the same roof. There are racks for all types of bikes.

    A card is only required to acess the secure area, the other racks are free to use. To access the secure area, a BikeLink card is required. The card costs $20 and five cents is deducted from that $20 value each hour your bike is there (nights and weekends cost one cent per hour). The first time you use the card, you must show photo ID to BikeLink via a webcam on the door.

    Experience has shown that when secure bike parking is free, it is used for long-term storage leaving little space for commuters.

    About 30 individual cardholders have used the Sunset TC Bike + Ride since it opened, but daily usage has been low during the Winter. I expect usage to pick up as the weather improves.

    See http://www.trimet.org/bikeandride for more details.

    Colin Maher
    TriMet

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    • Andrew March 10, 2011 at 1:30 am

      I think it's unfair to evaluate the success of the Sunset Bike N Ride just yet, far too soon. What I really want is another Bike n ride on the other side at Goose Hollow. Trimet/max downtown is painfully slow compared to a bike. Why would anyone give up their bike at sunset and have to wait/walk? It needs to function Amsterdam/Copenhagen style with bikes at either end. Hopefully TriMet gets that and installs some of these at goose hollow/pge/rose quarter. (and there's room at all three too on public land already).

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  • GlowBoy March 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I agree that the Sunset TC isn't very well situated for a Bike-N-Ride. It's away from the main "grid" (if you can call it that of Beaverton, and you have to climb a big, time-consuming hill to get to it. A facility down on the flatlands at Beaverton TC will be MUCH better used, because that's where you actually see lots of riders who aren't continuing on to Portland.

    And while this is great for westsiders who work downtown ... if you REALLY want to see a Bike-N-Ride get used, build one near Goose Hollow for Portlanders who work on the westside! Many of us ride downtown because it saves 10-20 minutes (or more) each way vs. the bus, but there's nowhere to safely park on the west side of downtown so we can get on the train without taking up precious bike space.

    And echoing many of the above comments, the bike spots on MAX are often FULL. Both directions. I regularly have to wait on the platform for the next train, delaying my trips to work and back home. I'm sure it will reach truly godawful proportions this summer; and since a Goose Hollow-ish B&R is many years away, I'm getting a folding bike.

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  • K'Tesh March 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    My photos of the construction of the new Bike n Ride in Beaverton are being uploaded...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157626107526011/

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  • Mindful Cyclist March 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Hopefully this location will be better utilitized and I think it will. It seems a little more "urban" and certainly much flatter and easier to bicycle.

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  • K'Tesh March 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    My photos of the opening day of the Sunset location:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157624486430099/with/4841305321/

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