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Old 03-04-2012, 12:23 AM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Default West Ave ventures south in 'fantasy urban planning' mode.

Having looked at the idea of enhanced pedestrian-bike travel infrastructure between Broadway and Beaverton Central to the north (and hopefully to Cedar Mills Crossing, eventually.) using the Civic Plans' officially designated project which would extend Main Ave to Rose Biggi, and also, my 'out of the blue' idea of possibly extending West Ave to the north of Canyon, extending it Millikan Way and beyond....let's do a little more fantasy urban planning, and look at the idea of extending north-south running West Ave further south from Broadway across the RR tracks, Farmington where it could meet up with a street it's in line with.

As a geographical reference, get out your 'free' Beaverton Bicycle Map...did I say 'free'? ...available at your local bike store or City Hall, or it you're determined to use google mapview, be that way.

Ignore the fact for the moment if you will that there's, well...a building in the way of West Ave's route any further south from Broadway. Look at the map. Notice that in line with West Ave., directly south across the RR tracks and Farmington is Washington Ave. Actually, you may like to have a little more informative map than the Beaverton Bike Map, because though the street is indicated on the map, the name is not there. just note the single parallel running line between Hall and Watson: That's Washington Ave.

There's a number of very appealing qualities that 'West Ave meets Washington Ave' offers as a pedestrian-bike boulevard. First of all... obvious, is that the route these streets would provide, is away from the awful, motor vehicle traffic afflicted streets of the evil Hall-Watson couplet.

Second appealing quality, is that the route takes you directly to the Library and the big park adjoining it, and also, to the big parking area that's the home of the extraordinarily popular Beaverton Farmers Market on Saturdays.

Only problem is...well, hey...not the only problem but...(shrug)...the building on Broadway that's directly in the way. And...it's a vintage building, not excellent architecture, but one certainly having sentimental and some historic associations. it doesn't need to come entirely down...it just needs a redesign, with a striking arch that would allow people on foot and on bikes to pass through it (An esplanade is what I'm thinking here, a refuge from motor vehicles.). 15'-20' wide would be nice. I'll look around for a picture, but think something like from Oxford or Paris, but probably more modern, less expensive.
A redesign of the vintage building, or a replacement, could add stories to make up for space given over to the provision of a pass through arch.

Like the idea of extending West Ave north through parking lots to Beaverton Central...what are the chances extending West Ave south to Washington Ave through a nice old building would be given any consideration in Beaverton? Very few I suppose. Nice to dream. And it would make for a very nice walk or leisurely bike ride between Millikan Way and 5th, where the library, park and farmer's market is.

One of the things a major, centrally located bike-pedestrian esplanade could do for Beaverton, is open the Downtown up to activity and business not constrained by motor vehicle travel. Beaverton's streets are only so wide and they aren't getting any wider. If people could walk without or bike without being under assault by the motor vehicle characterized environment of the couplet streets, it seems they would walk, just as they do Portland's South Park Blocks.

Not finding pictures of arches in width's and height's that would be exactly right for West Ave-Washington Ave at Broadway, but here's some examples to start to get a general idea. Think proportions and radius of the arch top rather than style. B&W pic is Stanford. Second from top color pic is something 'JMU'. Top two arches appear to have a width that would be just about right for shared walking and biking. A bit wider maybe a foot or two might be good. Height seems about right. Second from bottom pic is of another Stanford arch, nice, but seems too wide for a West Ave-Washington Ave at Broadway. Bottom pic of twin arch is attractive and functional. Note: I searched the web for some stock photo pics of arches, found some, posted info to them I thought would make them visible here. They were visible, but have now become invisible even though the source info is still visible on the compose page. Sorry if I've inappropriately borrowed pics for a use I wasn't entitled to. I'll try to either take some pics of arches that would be useful in a reconfiguration of the West Ave-Washington Ave building, or find some others that are able to be used and visible here, because I think some kind of visualization of an arch incorporated into this building for the purpose of a bike pedestrian boulevard is important to helping people consider how effective that feature could be.









P.S. ...if the 'views' count indicates at least someone is actually reading and thinking about the subject this thread deals with...and I hope someone is...here's some bonus info...kind of a homework assignment, because in the next week, with the next post, I'll be leading up to something I think you'll find interesting associated with the 'fantasy' extension of West Ave South to Washington Ave. . The assignment: 'O' story about how Oregon City people are learning to use Amtrak's Cascade service. The link to that story: Amtrak gaining popularity among commuters who ride between Portland, Oregon City and Salem/rose/oregonlive

Last edited by wsbob; 03-24-2012 at 10:20 PM.
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