I've been reading the Beaverton Civic Plan's Transportation Strategy plans, with particular interest in 'Appendix Three: Proposed Bicycle Improvement Projects'
, and hope some of you also have been taking a look as well.
What the civic plan seeks to address, is the challenge of finding ways to better link the Beav's neighborhoods with its various commercial and public areas, such as Downtown, the multi-shopping/entertainment centers to the northwest and east, and the Library to the south of Downtown. Plans in the works are for more miles of bike lanes; new ones and connection of existing ones with each other. People from the neighborhoods will be having an easier time of getting to town, work and so on without necessarily having to ride main roads as these bike lane projects are completed, in quite a few instances, after many years have passed.
For any town, of course, being able to travel within Downtown is particularly important. For Beaverton, this is a particularly difficult challenge because of the two east-west thoroughfares and the freight rail line running through town. Broadway business owners naturally want to draw more business to their shops, and of course, thinking of people, customers and potential customers that drive is something they're aware of and seek to provide for.
The city hears this and supports them, but at the same time, in its civic plan, gives biking considerable recognition for the potential promise this mode of transportation represents as a means for people to practically and enjoyably make their way around town. With this in mind, the city has proposed among its Proposed Bicycle Improvement Projects, a north-south pedestrian/bike corridor on Main Ave that would travel from Allen Ave to the south, north to Farmington, and from there, manage its way across the freight rail line and intersect with Broadway. Rose Biggi Ave, currently stopping north of Canyon Rd, but roughly in line with Main Ave would likely connect with Main Ave, providing bike traffic with a route to what the city calls Beaverton Central. BC is home of the The Round and a light rail stop. Page 46 of the civic plan says about Rose Biggi:
"... while Rose Biggi will serve as the primary bicycle connection between Beaverton’s OldTown (south of Farmington) and emerging development and activity centers north of Canyon. ..."
Sorry to be so long winded. What I'm working up to
is to point out what I'd hope people might consider to be a couple alternatives, or additional possible pedestrian/bike boulevard counterparts to the Main Ave/Rose Biggi Ave route that would connect Broadway more directly with Beaverton Central and major points north, such as Cedar Mills Crossing, than would the Main/Rose Biggi corridor.
The candidate streets would be West Ave and East Ave. These streets currently do not show up as bike boulevards on the maps in the Beaverton Civic Plan pdf. Additionally, West Ave is not indicated on those maps as extending north of Canyon Rd, however, there is a Beaverton Civic Plan circular with maps that do indicate West St for extension north of Canyon.
West Ave traveling north-south from east-west Canyon Rd tees right about smack dab in the center of Broadway between Hall/Watson. East Ave...logically, east of West Ave and Hall Blvd as well, travels just to the east side of the Beaverton Bakery's annex building and tees with Broadway, looking out over the Holland properties...tenant Ringo's, Stark St Lawn and Garden, a machine shop, and some others, as well as a huge undeveloped chunk of land.
I'm posting some pics, which I hope will help you visualize the potential for a great pedestrian/bike boulevard using these streets. Both face considerable obstacles to actually becoming bike/boulevards, as the accompanying notes will help explain. A Beaveton Bike Map, which you can get free (thanks to your tax dollars through Metro) at bike shops and city hall, will be a great aid to visualizing what these pictures attempt to show.
The above pic shows East Ave in Damerow Ford country, from Millikan Way, looking south across Canyon Rd to where East terminates at Broadway. The stacking of the image elements because of the telephoto lens makes it hard to pick out details, but Beaverton Bakery's annex would be to the right at the intersection with Broadway. Holland properties and Ringo's just across Broadway on the right. Beaverton Pharmacy on the left.
Same camera position, wider angle shot to establish that these shots were taken from Millikan Way.
Same camera position, but facing east down Millikan Way towards the Beaverton Transit Center. The importance of what this shot shows to a possible East Ave pedestrian/bike boulevard to Broadway, Millikan Way's use as a bike route, is that the barricade indicates the present termination point of Millikan Way. Literally 200'-300' feet past the barricade is Lombard Ave and the transit center. People have established this short distance as a connection to the transit center, by walking regularly over the bare earth. Establishing this important, useful connection as an official city street is in the project list, but isn't scheduled to be paved anytime in the near future, reducing its attractiveness and function as a route to Millikan Way and potentially, Broadway.
It seems the least the city could do is talk now instead of later, with whoever it is that owns the property on which the muddy path traverses, come to some agreement with them and throw some chip seal down to create a safe,level, clean surface for people to walk on from the transit center and points west. The property the path traverses is actually part of a project in the plan, Project 14, pg. 77, but that particular plan is designated 'Long Term'. Work won't be commenced for 11-20 years. Notice in the picture, a guy that's just come from having to push his toddler in a stroller across the muddy path.
It's important that I note that these picture cannot really represent what traffic is like on these streets. East Ave near Damerow sees very little traffic. Canyon Rd sees a h-u-u-g-e amount of very ugly traffic which I selectively timed the shot to avoid, so cars would not block the terminus of East across Canyon.
With a pedestrian crossing signal at East Ave, timed to coincide with that of the signal on nearby Hall Blvd, East could become a superb pedestrian bike boulevard between Millikan Way and Broadway.
The following post will have pictures and notes for East Ave's counterpart across Hall Blvd, West Ave.