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Welcome to our coverage of Washington County. Browse posts below and click the headline for the full story. If you have news tips or feedback please get in touch.

Comment of the Week: Making Beaverton the country’s #1 biking suburb

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Beaverton to Tualatin ride-3
Can you see the potential? No, seriously.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

One of the frustrating facts of life at BikePortland is that we’ve never had time to cover the big Clark and Washington County suburbs nearly as much as we’d like. But if you bike in Washington County and haven’t followed the comments beneath this week’s Washington County post, you’ve been missing out.

(more…)

The BTA’s biggest new idea: a Tualatin Valley Highway bikeway across Washington County

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
tv highway map
Forest Grove, Cornelius, Hillsboro and Beaverton have a common link: a highway that’s mostly terrible to use.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Final post in a series about the BTA’s five new advocacy campaigns.

If Washington County has an aorta, it’s the Tualatin Valley Highway. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance has launched a long-term campaign to make a separated bikeway part of the plan for keeping it flowing smoothly.

The highway connects 16 miles of increasingly dense suburban development between Beaverton’s historic downtown and Forest Grove.

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New buffered bike lanes for Boones Ferry Road

Monday, June 16th, 2014
Brand new buffered bike lane on SW Boones Ferry Road installed by Washington County.
(Photo: Robin Straughan)

Reader Robin Straughan sent in the news that Washington County has added buffered bike lanes and a sidewalk to a one-mile stretch of SW Boones Ferry Road between Tualatin and Wilsonville (map). (more…)

Washington County will chip seal several popular rural roads this summer

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
Washington County is set to chip seal
27 miles of rural roads this summer.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Washington County road crews are gearing up for several major chip seal projects that will impact popular rural roads during the peak summer riding season.

For the county, chip seal is a way to extend the life of road surface and save them money in repairs and maintenance in the long-run; but to people who love riding on smooth roads, it means more bumps due to the tiny little rocks (chips) that are laid down in the process. The projects also mean that the roads will be closed briefly during and immediately after the work is completed.

Washington County is aware of these issues and they mention bicycling and offer this explanation of the chip seal process on their website: (more…)

Washington County commissioner says adjacent landowners should help pay for sidewalks, bikeways

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Washington County Commissioner Greg Malinowski.

In a ringing reminder that the ballots arriving May 2 in Washington County will offer residents a choice between two very different futures, a county commissioner is calling for what sounds like a big change in the way street infill projects are paid for.

District 2 incumbent Greg Malinowski, who represents northwest Beaverton and the nearby unincorporated areas, suggested in an Oregonian op-ed Monday that the county should be able to bill property owners for at least some of the cost of “sidewalks and bikeways” along their property.

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Washington County election hinges on land use and transportation issues

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Washington County Chair Andy Duyck and
challenger Allen Amabisca.
(Photos from campaign websites)

Two months from today, voters in Oregon’s second-largest county will decide who will have their fingers on the region’s biggest sprawl button.

Though Washington County, which sits on the western third of the Portland metro area, isn’t facing the rocketing housing demand it once was, its political conversation continues to be dominated by issues of land use, real estate development and transportation — and its five-member board is essentially split 3-2 in favor of expanding urban growth boundaries.

Three of those seats, though, are up for grabs, and a trio of candidates — two challengers, one incumbent — are hoping to tip the county’s balance against suburban expansion. Candidates in two of those races faced off at an event covered by the Oregonian Wednesday night.

County Chair Andy Duyck said that the central question of the campaign is whether the county has enough room in its urban areas to continue developing single-family homes.
(more…)

New Washington County bike map worth a look

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

If you haven’t explored the Washington County by bike yet, you’re really missing out. From scenic bikeways to a state park and miles of beautiful rural vistas, the riding is world class.

Now, just in time for the start of spring, the Washington County Visitor’s Association has released a brand new map that puts all the best routes at your fingertips. Sure, GPS devices are swell, but — as we learned recently — there’s no substitute for an accurate printed map that never needs to be recharged.

We got a few copies of the new map here at the office and it’s very nice. The thing that stood out to me was the addition of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, a 50-mile route that starts southeast of downtown Hillsboro and meanders its way up to Vernonia via the Banks-Vernonia State Trail.

Allison George with the WCVA says their map is the only place where you can see the bikeway route overlaid with road characteristics such as traffic volume, presence of bike lanes, and so on. Here are some other upgrades George highlighted in the new map: (more…)

Scofflaws abound on local freeways: Police make 452 stops in five hours

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
traffic on i-5 -1
Many law-breakers among them.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Just how much do people break the law when they drive on local freeways? A lot.

This fact is usually hidden from public eye for one main reason: Local law enforcement agencies simply don’t have the human resources to stop all the people who break the law. They are underfunded and understaffed. Dangerous driving and blatant disregard for Oregon traffic law is so common that police officers are forced to stop only the most egregious violators.

It’s only when law enforcement agencies do targeted enforcement missions that the full picture of lawlessness emerges.
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At current rates, Washington County bike network will take 62 years to finish

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Beaverton to Tualatin ride-3
Jim Parsons of Beaverton (upper left), attempts to join traffic at the corner of Southwest Canyon and Lombard in 2011.
(Photos by J.Maus/BikePortland)

A public meeting in Beaverton Thursday will give Washington County residents a chance for in-person feedback on a 20-year transportation plan currently slated to devote vast amounts of money to widening local streets.

(more…)

Washington County proposes protected bike lane outside Nike HQ

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
The new bike lane would be similar to this one in
Toronto, Washington County Bicycle-Pedestrian
Coordinator Shelley Oylear said.
(Image courtesy Washington County)

The main drag outside Nike’s Washington County headquarters could soon be home to one of the region’s first curb-protected bike lanes.

At an open house tomorrow, the county will present plans to widen 1.8 miles of Walker Road north and west of the fast-growing sportswear giant, making it a five-lane thoroughfare throughout the stretch and adding better sidewalks, storm drainage, street lighting and a low, rounded curb separating bike and auto traffic.

Washington County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Shelley Oylear said the project is part of a growing understanding in county government that it’s impossible to build wider and wider roads forever — as the county gets more dense, there simply won’t be space for almost all trips to involve a car.

“People are going to have to expect that if we build a four or five lane road, that’s it,” Oylear said in an interview last month.

(more…)

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