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Old 03-27-2011, 04:08 PM
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Default Biking to theBeaverton Library

Here's some observations about the Beaverton Library and customer visits to it by bike.

It's a 3pm Sunday on a typically moist, light gray, early spring day. Moist, but more mist than actual rain, and not cold. Hours are 1pm to 5pm on Sunday. For people reading, not familiar with it, Beaverton's central library is fairly new, quite big at 68,000 sq ft, has striking, modern architecture. Lots of people are there today. Easily more than a 100 people...say...250, maybe more. I'm just guessing though, and am unsure how accurate that figure is.
Two of Beaverton's major north-south thoroughfares, Hall and Watson, are located directly to the west of the library, but just beyond them, and to the east also, are quiet residential neighborhoods with accordingly quiet residential streets leading directly to the library. These are wonderful streets upon which to walk along to the library. (The exception to this is 5th Ave on the south border of the library's great lawn. It's a somewhat high volume street, but it has bike lanes.). Because the surrounding neighborhoods are so quiet and nice, I walk to the library rather than drive or bike, unless I'm returning a book. When I do, I take the bike.

So why aren't more people riding their bikes to visit this library?

On the south east side of the library, on the plaza leading to the library's front entrance, there's a bike rack that will hold...I think...10-12 bikes. Three bikes were locked to the rack when I went in at 1:30pm, four when I left at 3pm. There may be more bike racks at other points around the library, but I didn't walk around today to locate them.

This library bears some distinction by virtue of having it's own bike parking area for employees...secure, enclosed with locking gate, covered bike shelter that holds probably 20 bikes. Not only that: If you're an employee that rides a bike to the library, and your ride is sufficiently exerting that you need to shower up before starting the workday, this library has an employee shower for that purpose. On March 27 when I started this thread, there wasn't a single bike in the employee bike shelter. On April 28, by chance, I had an opportunity to talk with a library employee about employees riding their bikes to the library. A summary of this person's remarks: About a dozen employees ride their bikes to the library. They tend to be 'fair weather' cyclists. This employee remarked also, their thought that age demographics may have quite a bearing on the type of employee that would consider riding to the library. The employee said that for many years, a number of library employees may not have done physical activity such as cycling, which might have them thinking that cycling to work isn't practical for them.
For people arriving by car, the library has its own customer parking lot directly across the street and to the east of the library. Parking is....free!... . The parking lot is big...holds approximately 180 cars. It also serves a small community center to the south of the Library.

Could the city, the library...someone or something...be doing more to encourage people to travel to and from the library by bike?

To help you visit the library by bike:, here are the locations of bike racks at the library: There's a rack with a 30 bike capacity on the east side of the library plaza. It's uncovered, but I'm told by a forum member, that activity at the bike rack is monitored by security camera. Another rack is located immediately across the street on the library's west side. This is a 20 bike rack, but it's covered. Probably not security monitored.


Trip time from my neighborhood to the library: I live in Central Beaverton, also the neighborhood that the central Beaverton library is located within. Trip time to the library is 20 minutes by foot. 10 minutes by bike.
From my residence to the grocery store Winco, is also about a 20 minute trip. On the bike, this is a 7-8 minute trip.


Beaverton neighborhood map: (Location of the library on the map would be just about at the upper left hand corner of the Vose neighborhood boundary. Location of my residence on the map is approximately where the 'L' spelling out 'Lombard' on the map is located.):



Also, I found a link to a PowerPoint presentation prepared by the city of Beaverton from U.S. Census data. Right click for a list upon which will be 'Go To Slide'. Pick 'Slide 15'. Scroll back and forth to bring up the table with the neighborhood population data.

Examples of data in that table: neighborhoods Central Beaverton, South Beaverton, and Vose, are estimated to have populations of 11,112, 8,889, and 7,684. respectively. Lots of other relevant info too, such as age demographics.


(the dates below are from 2011)

Saturday, April 2nd: 1:30pm, east side of the building: Parking lot, was probably 70 percent full. (I'll make a count soon, of how many cars the parking lot actually holds.). The bike rack had two bikes parked there.

Timed the length of the trip to the library from my residence. My residence is located between Canyon Rd and Center St. Went over on the skateboard. Trip time over was just 11 minutes. Return trip for some reason, was 15 minutes. Beaverton's good for travel by skateboard...quiet streets, smooth. Board goes right with you into the library.

Monday, April 4th:

Walk over to the library at 7:30 pm. Weather conditions...not cold, maybe 60, but steady, light rain. Not many people's idea of nice cycling weather.

I did a more formal, though still not perfectly exact count of how many parking spaces are in the visitor parking lot. By that count, the parking lot holds close to around 180 vehicles. Tonight, it was probably 80 percent full

Not a single bike in the 30 place bike rack at the east side of the library. The covered bike rack to the west of the library had one bike at the racks. The deluxe covered and gated employee bike shelter had a single bike parked there.

My time for walking over to the library tonight, from just north of Canyon Rd at 117th, was 17 minutes.

Monday, April 11th: Walked over to the library, 6:30-7pm...weather, fair, 60 degrees. Auto parking lot probably 70-80 percent full. East bike rack...30 bike capacity, only 4 bikes. West bike rack, just one bike. Same with employee bike shelter.

Monday, April 18th: Arrive on foot at the library, 6:30pm. The sun finally kind of broke out, so the air was pleasant. Ten to twelve bikes locked up to the east bike rack. Looking over to the employee bike shelter...two bikes there... an employee was just unlocking their bike and getting ready to roll. Asked the person how many times a week they ride to the library. Answer: a couple times. Visitor car park probably 70 percent full.
Monday, April 20th: 7:30pm...close to sunset, which, by the way, was beautiful...weather cool, spitting little drops of rain. O bikes locked up to the east bike rack. Looking over to the employee bike shelter...two bikes there. Motor vehicle parking was about 60 percent filled.

Thursday, April 28th: 1:30pm...east bike rack has 6 bikes. West bike rack has 3. Employee bike rack has 1. Car parking lot is two-thirds full.

Last edited by wsbob; 03-16-2012 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:14 PM
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It should also be noted that the patron bike racks are under camera surveillance. Nice.

I ride MY bike to the library. Coming from the north, so
S on Lombard, cross TV Hwy and Farmington,
R on 2nd,
L on SW Tucker

My bicycle is rarely alone in the rack. My trips are often after work.

I would like a cover over the bike parking area, myself.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnef View Post
It should also be noted that the patron bike racks are under camera surveillance. Nice.

I ride MY bike to the library. Coming from the north, so
S on Lombard, cross TV Hwy and Farmington,
R on 2nd,
L on SW Tucker

My bicycle is rarely alone in the rack. My trips are often after work.

I would like a cover over the bike parking area, myself.

"...I would like a cover over the bike parking area, myself." lynnef

There is a covered bike parking area for library visitors. It's to the west of the Library, just across Hall Blvd. Just a tiny bit further to walk to and from than the east side bike rack, but worth it if you'd like to keep your bike out of the rain while you enjoy the wonders within the library.

Hey lynne ...thanks for pipin' up with some interesting, helpful thoughts. I didn't specify it, but the route you described past Farmington to the library, is basically my route. I love those quiet neighborhood streets for walking. Again, as I noted earlier, neighborhoods to both the west and to the east of the library have quiet streets like these too. For many people in the immediately surrounding area, the Beaverton library is very easy and pleasant to get to on foot or by bike.

Tonight, I almost rode by the library to do a quick survey of how many bikes and cars were in their respective parking areas. Might be interesting to kind of get some sense of how much use each is getting, on an ongoing basis. I also tend to observe that though there may not be many bikes parked outside the library, there's almost always some.

Didn't think about patron bikes being under surveillance. That is nice. Covering for the bike racks would be nice, if the city could do it without turning the project into a hugely expensive, red tape laden, major architectural undertaking. The security measures having directed the design of the employee bike parking area are probably warranted, but it seems like patrons could do well enough with something far more simple.

Anybody wanting to drop a suggestion to the library about that idea or some other, I think the following email address may be the right one:

Beaverton Library, contact


I'd also like to make a notice here of another great resource just across 5th Ave from the library. I'm talking about the little house serving as The Book Corner. The house is super cozy, neat as a pin, and a trove, chock full of books. These are pre-owned, in good condition donated books, so the prices are very reasonable. The Book Corner is run by great people from New Friends of the Beaverton Library. Profit made from books you buy there goes to fund various things for the library.

The staff was very welcoming to me with my bike on a kind of drizzly day. My bike is fairly clean, but of course, since it was raining, the bike was slightly dripping. Nevertheless, when I asked them, they allowed me to park my bike just inside the front door. There's room for just one bike there for people like me that don't want to drag a lock around if they can get away without having to.

For those of you with a lock, the shop has a fair sized front entry deck with a steel railing and steel posts that several bikes could probably be locked to.


Photos of bike parking at the Beaverton Library:



This is one of two public bike parking areas at the Beaverton Library that I'm aware of. It's located to the west of the library just across Hall Blvd. The parking lot seen in the background of the photo is the site of the Beaverton Saturday Farmer's Market. As for the fact that there's just one bike seen in the bike park, note that this was taken on a cold March day during a brief break in a stretch of some extraordinarily rainy Oregon days. There usually are more bikes parked there...4-5....8-10...but I'd have to say, except maybe on market days, I've never seen this bike park filled to capacity.


This is the public bike rack on the library's east side. It often has 8 or 10 bikes in the rack, and turnover may be fairly frequent, though some are there long term. One of those bikes, looks like it may be have been there for a v-e-r-y long time. Across the street can be seen part of the big car parking lot. Same somewhat harsh March day, but hey people...it's dry!



Secured bike parking enclosure for library employees. Indoors (of course... .) they've got showers too.

Last edited by wsbob; 03-16-2012 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:42 PM
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I've walked from my house, which appears to be to the east and north of yours. It was a pretty nice walk.

One time I biked to the library, and found I had a cable, but no lock. Fortunately, my book was waiting in the reserved area, and there was another cyclist chatting away on his cell phone by the rack. He watched my bike for me. Still chatting when I got back
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:07 PM
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Lynne...I seem to remember you writing in an earlier comment on another thread some months back, that you lived near the Beaverton-Portland city limits line...West Slope neighborhood. If so, that would make for quite a long walk to the library.

But...as I've said earlier, people within a 15-20 block radius, east, west and south of the library, have it made for walking or biking to the library. It's nice walking and biking. So I wonder how many residents from those areas are walking and biking to the library.

If dozens of cyclists at one time...even say, more than a hundred or more, started needing parking at the library, or other prime destinations, such as Cedar Hills Crossing (the grocery, cinema, mall), I wonder how the city would handle that. Because you know...the beav is unequivocally a very big time driving town.

Almost all of the personal transportation planning, designing, and creative thinking has been dedicated to motor vehicles. And as ugly as car parking lots are, most bike parking facilities seem to be worse looking and more challenging to do well.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:17 AM
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I live (without being too specific) in the NE corner of the Hwy 217/Walker Rd interchange.

The biggest challenge (walking or cycling) exiting the neighborhood to the south is getting across Walker Rd. Yuck.

Everyone's definition of a "long" walk differs. As does the definition of "long" bike ride
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnef View Post
I live (without being too specific) in the NE corner of the Hwy 217/Walker Rd interchange.

The biggest challenge (walking or cycling) exiting the neighborhood to the south is getting across Walker Rd. Yuck.

Everyone's definition of a "long" walk differs. As does the definition of "long" bike ride
Walker is dangerous to cross in the area you describe...approximately 107th, I suppose. What do you think the possibility is, that Beaverton's planning personnel and traffic engineers are more or less completely oblivious to the hazard inherent to pedestrians, forced to contend with Hwy 217 and Cedar Hills Blvd bound motor vehicle traffic effectively using Walker Rd as a cut through?

For people just browsing the forums that aren't familiar with this traffic situation, we're most likely talking about a point on Walker Rd. perhaps two tenths of a mile from entrance and exits of Hwy 217. A huge volume of traffic, partly associated with that major highway, uses narrow, two-lane, twisty Walker Rd to get around a section of the nastier, motor vehicle traffic of Canyon Rd, a half to three-quarters of a mile further south, where it brings traffic through Beaverton. Walker is effectively a 'cut-through'. Harried commuter motor vehicle drivers drive the road very intensely.

The neighborhoods northeast of Walker are very nice and quiet for walking and biking. I don't know to what degree people living there might consider walking or biking to Central Beaverton, but I think I could say for certain, that as it is now, those residents would probably be very hesitant to risk crossing Walker on foot or bike. Which is too bad, because once across Walker, as Lynne said, the route is very nice for either walking or biking. This is an intersection ripe for experiment with thermoplastic crosswalk markings and the flashing yellow pedestrian activated lights that are more economical to install than full crosswalk lights.
Lynne, by the way...about covered bike parking at the library: by way of a walk over there tonight and around the library, I noticed that there is covered bike parking just across Hall Blvd to the library's west side. It's on the southeast corner of the block where the farmer's market is held. Room for about 30 bikes. Simple, low profile flat roofed structure that looks nice.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:40 AM
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It depends. People actually DRIVE INTO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND PARK and then run, walk or cycle. I do exit the neighborhood via SW 107th. The trick, if heading S and W (into Beaverton) is to turn LEFT onto SW Walker then immediately R onto SW 106th and immediately R on SW Sunnyhill. That puts you onto SW 108th, turn R, follow the road around to the left and pick up Cabot/Center. I used to turn R onto SW Walker and then stand out there in the middle waiting to turn L onto SW 108th. Drivers come around that corner really, really fast. Sight lines are horrible. If there is an accident on SW Walker, that is where it happens. My mom writes the county letters and calls; they ignore her.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:38 PM
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"... People actually DRIVE INTO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND PARK and then run, walk or cycle. I do exit the neighborhood via SW 107th. ..." lynnef

Yeah...in an ironic way, isn't that funny? Communities have unwittingly let, or by 'manifest destiny' type planning agendas, found the livability of their own neighborhoods screwed over. So when residents want or need to have a bit of ordinary neighborhood recreation, they have to take refuge for that type activity in one of the few remaining neighborhoods that aren't over-run by overflow or cut-through traffic. You, and many other people probably know Fairmount Blvd, around Council Crest, as a classic example of this.

It seems to be very, very hard, to get city officials to make improvements to situations like the Walker, 107th/106th/108th points. If enough neighbors put pressure to bear on them, they might...but I kind of doubt enough people in your neighborhood would be so inclined. Riding through there, my impression is that aside from walking the dog, those people all drive...everywhere.

There are frequently bikes on the street in my neighborhood, on 117th and Center. That's partly because those streets are good routes for bikes, but also, probably because there's lots of relatively low income people living in this area, that ride bikes because it's what they can afford. Unfortunately, barring some kind of horrific pedestrian or cyclist traffic fatality of their own, they're also probably not the type that would join together to put pressure on city hall to make needed changes.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:25 PM
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Busy street, SW 117th. I try to find other routes, because of the number of parking lot driveways which open onto it. I prefer the non-street of SW 114th/the alley that has the traffic light on Canyon (direct access to Freddies!) and SW Lombard.
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