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Washington County roundup: Complete streets funding, Fanno crossing, and paved trails in North Plains

Posted by on September 7th, 2011 at 9:20 am

Riding on the west side-10
A fix is in store for this dead-end
of Fanno Creek Trail at Hall Blvd.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Several noteworthy bits of active transportation news from Washington County have come across my desk lately. The Board of Commissioners passed an important funding ordinance last night, an effort to improve the crossing of the Fanno Creek Trail at Hall Blvd is underway, and the small town of North Plains has unveiled plans for several paved biking and walking paths.

Learn more in the brief recaps below.

Amended Ordinance Gives County Board Authority to Invest in Complete Streets

“This ordinance is a step forward.”
— Dick Schouten, County Commissioner

In a 5-0 vote last night, the Washington County Board of Commissioners passed an amendment to the “Urban Road Maintenance District Ordinance.” The amendment gives the Board the ability to use taxpayer money previously slotted solely for road maintenance for “safety improvements.”

The amendment was passed in part because the head of road maintenance for the County testified that the region currently “enjoys very good road conditions.”

Commissioner Dick Schouten says they’ll now spend an estimated $10-12 million additional dollars over the next 10 years for on bicycling and walking-specific projects in urban, unincorporated Washington County. “This ordinance is a step forward,” wrote Schouten via email yesterday.

The “expansion of services” that the road tax can now pay for include: “sidewalks and pedestrian paths; bike lanes and paths; shoulder widening; installation of safety markings, devices, signals.”‘

New Crossing in the Works for Fanno Creek Trail at Hall Blvd.

A tour of the West Side-25
Can’t wait to see this
sign ripped out.

One of the most egregiously poor crossings on the popular Fanno Creek Trail is finally slated to be fixed. Where the trail meets Hall Blvd, users are told to walk 800 feet out of their way to cross at the closest signalized intersection. Of course most people ignore the suggestion and attempt to cross wide and fast Hall Blvd instead.

The Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD), the City of Beaverton and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) have come up with 4 potential solutions: an at-grade crossing; a bridge over Hall; a tunnel under Hall; or a new signalized crossing. To garner public input on the 4 options, there’s a public open house on September 21st at the Conestoga Recreation Center. Visit FannoCrossingHall.org for more details.

New Biking and Walking Paths in the Works in North Plains

As reported by The Oregonian last month, the small town of North Plains is looking to green-light about 6.5 miles of new off-street, paved paths. According to their Community Trails Master Plan (PDF) document, the community “envisions an eventual city-wide (approximately 10 miles) trail network around town that encompasses on-street, sidewalk, and greenway paths.”

Want more bike news from Washington County? Browse the BikePortland archives.

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  • Lake McTighe September 7, 2011 at 9:49 am

    This video on the Fanno Creek Trail Crossing is very informative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxH9Sf8KUpA&feature=youtube_gdata

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    • Jonathan Gordon September 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Great video! Thanks for sharing.

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  • Steven S September 7, 2011 at 11:49 am

    In other Washington County news, Tualatin-Sherwood road has been re-paved and re-striped. This is a heavily used bike route by commuters (me) recreational riders, and bike tourists. The newly striped bike lanes are striped with a double white line with about 2-3 feet of buffer between them. This gives bikes a little more room and drivers that ride the line are still a safe distance from cyclists. It appears that they took most of the real estate out of the vehicle travel lanes, which are still ample for the large trucks that frequent this route.

    Intersections have improved treatments as well. The bike lanes are now dashed to denote where cars must cross to access turn lanes.

    Minor, but welcome improvements.

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  • Mindful Cyclist September 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    “Of course most people ignore the suggestion and attempt to cross wide and fast Hall Blvd instead.”

    When I lived in Tigard and rode this trail frequently, I simply crossed in the middle of Hall not because I didn’t want to travel an extra 800′. Nope, I did it because it was safer to cross there.

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  • NW Biker September 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I’m particularly happy about the potential for improvements in unincorporated Washington county…because that’s where I live! I dislike riding in my own neighborhood because the streets have no bike lanes, and are narrow with little or no shoulder and speed limits that are too high for residential neighborhoods. I’d definitely ride more if I didn’t feel compelled to load my bike onto my car to go somewhere else to ride.

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  • Heather September 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks for posting this information, Jonathan. I just got back from doing the KBOO bike show with Hal Ballard, Will Vanlue, Tori Bortman, and Steph Roth where we discussed cycling in Washington County. For anyone interested in checking out the show, you can listen at http://bikeshow.portlandtransport.com/

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  • Otto September 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Good to see what North Plains is up to.

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  • K'Tesh September 7, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Jonathan, things have changed on the Fanno Creek Trail since you last were out here… That dead end has been removed, and a “ramp” leading up to the driveway next to Arby’s has been installed…

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/5692659426/

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