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TriMet’s largest Bike & Ride opens in Beaverton

Posted by on July 18th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Inside the Beaverton Transit Center Bike & Ride. Officially opened today, it’s the largest such facility in TriMet’s system.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Nearly one year after completing their first new Bike & Ride facility at the Sunset Transit Center, TriMet cut the ribbon on two more this morning: one at the Beaverton Transit Center and other at Gresham Central.

TriMet GM Neil McFarlane-2-7

TriMet GM Neil McFarlane.

A special ribbon-cutting event was held at the Beaverton location, which is the largest Bike & Ride facility in TriMet’s system.

The 100 bike capacity, fully secure, card accessible facility was hailed by a cast of assembled dignitaries which included Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, Washington County Commission Chair Andy Duyck, Bicycle Transportation Alliance Executive Director Rob Sadowsky, and TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.

Prior to the event, I asked McFarlane how this project fits into the ongoing issue of bike capacity (or lack thereof) on MAX trains. “There’s only so much space on the [rail] cars, no matter how many hooks we put on there,” he said, “If we’re really going to have a lot of cycling access to the MAX system we need to have a different way to solve the problem.”

Judging from the $1.4 million in federal stimulus funds TriMet just spent on three Bike & Rides (not to mention the similar facilities on the Portland State University campus), one way they plan to solve that problem is to encourage people to leave their bikes behind and take the train for the last leg of their trip.

The facility sits at the western edge of the Beaverton Transit Center along SW Lombard Avenue.

They picked the Beaverton Transit Center because it’s the number one access point for bike-riding MAX customers, with a total of 12% of all MAX riders at this location bringing their bikes, according to TriMet’s Carolyn Young.

“This is where the biggest demand is,” Young explained to me, “This is close enough to a lot of big employers out here that we’re really hopeful people will leave their bikes.”

For Young, a self-described “older woman cyclist,” the new Bike & Ride also beats out lugging her bike onto the train. “I don’t like lifting my street bike with packs up onto the hooks on the train. It’s heavy and I’d never try it during rush hour.”

Bike and Ride facility -20-19

Barbara Chapnick using
the card access system.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Barbara Chapnick. Chapnick is the Chair of the City of Beaverton Bicycle Advisory Committee. During a speech this morning she described how she works in downtown Portland and the new Bike & Ride gives her more choices.

“Up until now,” she told the crowd of onlookers, media, and assorted bureaucrats, “I did not feel comfortable in leaving my bike at this transit center to MAX to Downtown.”

Chapnick was the honorary first customer of the new facility. She walked up to the gated entry with her bike in one hand and BikeLink access card in the other. She put her card in, pushed a button, and in she went.

The facility itself if nicely designed. Inside the cage is light and airy, yet it feels completely secure (it’s also got video surveillance). Outside the cage, TriMet smartly added a row of standard bike staple racks, which require no special card to use and are sheltered from the rain (although being away from the main bus/train station area could make them a target for thieves).

A big bonus at the Beaverton Bike & Ride is the new bike repair station unveiled by TriMet this morning. Made by Dero Racks, the “Fixit” bike repair stand, a good selection of basic tools, and an air pump. (I’d love to see these repair stands pop up at bike corrals citywide.)

Bike and Ride facility -15-14

Bike and Ride facility -18-17

Bike and Ride facility -17-16

Another topic of conversation at the event this morning is how this large and attractive bike parking facility might spur new bike connections in the surrounding area. Besides the new bike lanes on Lombard leading into the Beaverton Transit Center, Washington County Commission Chair Andy Duyck mentioned that this gives added urgency to “Crescent Connection Project.” That project envisions a 12 mile, $12 million trail that would connect the Fanno Creek Trail in Tigard with the transit center.

Duyck, during his speech today, commented that the new Bike & Ride is indicative of a “sea change” in Washington County transportation culture. “It’s different way of looking at things than we’ve looked at them in the past… to realize that bike and pedestrian facilities are part of the overall transportation system.”

With more “small investments,” like this one, Duyck said, it means the County “doesn’t have to put in a much larger investment in more and wider roads.”

Funding and technicalities aside, for citizen activist Barbara Chapnick, it’s what this new facility symbolizes that makes it so important. “It certainly makes a profound statement about the City of Beaverton,” she said, “You are valued, your bike property is valued and your bike does belong!”

—See more photos in the gallery. Learn more about TriMet’s Bike & Ride facilities on their website.

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Scott Mizée
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Scott Mizée

YAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!

Andrew Seger
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Andrew Seger

This is awesome. Really ought to have one at gateway too. Now we just need bike share in downtown portland to complement it.

On a slight side note I think it’s kinda odd that Beaverton is going for a $12m Fanno creek trail extension when a cheap portland style bikeway on King and Alger with a nice two way cycletrack on that short stretch of Denny would do the same job for way less money.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Website does say it will be accessible 24/7.

I had this nasty feeling that it would be “secured” after dark because no one legitimate would be riding a bicycle after daylight hours; glad to be wrong.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

This is great! No one in their right mind would leave their bike there any other way. It’s been a few years since I biked there, but seems like they used to have very little in the way of bike parking so this is a great addition.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh
Skid
Guest
Skid

Cool. I’m still taking my bike with me on the train.

EngineerScotty
Guest

Good news!

Of course, as I ask over at Portland Transport, why do bike riders need to pay a fee (even if its a measly 30c per day) when cars get to park for free at MAX stations?

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Surrounding this ‘bike and ride’, there are many residences within a 10–15 minute travel time by bike. Most of the terrain within that radius is flat. So, those simple non-racing type bikes like the wallyworld ‘Dutch’ OPA bike featured last week in a bikeportland story could be adequate for regular Trimet customers living within this radius.

I’m hoping people will use this facility instead of driving to, or being driven to and dropped off at the Beaverton transit center. Hang around a bit there, and a lot of the drop-off activity can be seen.

Any optimism associated with those hopes would probably be taken with caution though. For awhile last winter, going into spring, I did some periodic checking of how many people were using the racks outside the Beaverton Library(the Beaverton Library is situated amidst extensive residential neighborhoods.). In the forums, I created a thread to keep a record of this informal observation. Wherever those people that do ride to the library are riding from, it quickly became clear that very few people are willing to ride to the library rather than drive.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

This is awesome. It’s great that Trimet is doing this, however, they need to start charging for car parking. Garage spots like the ones at Sunset TC cost $10,000 to $20,000 to build, and are given away for free. This is a subsidy to auto users, and it’s ridiculous that bikes have to pay, while cars take up much more space and park for free.

meh
Guest
meh

Let’s hope for better usage than the Bike & Ride at the Sunset Transit Center.

Since opening in November the average number of bikes per day is……. 1.2.

Total days where the cage has sat completely empty, equals 4 months.

captainkarma
Guest
captainkarma

Probbly will be used as an excuse why we don’t need more on-board space for bikes.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Forgot… here’s the photos I took of the Bike & Ride being Built.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157626107526011

EngineerScotty
Guest

Sunset TC is probably a bad place for dedicated bike infrastructure, given that it isn’t all that easy to reach on a bike. Beaverton TC should be much better.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

I went over to the bike and ride facility to look at it first hand. It’s a great looking, simply constructed building…very nice, open interior space to park bikes in.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, the Beaverton Transit Center is surrounded by many residents that could very conveniently use the ‘bike and ride’ to save some time and effort walking, or from having someone drive them over to the MAX or WES. Whether they’ll seriously give it a try though, is a big question. Especially during Oregon’s dark, cold months.

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

I see this as a good thing, even with the charge, as long as it isn’t used as an excuse to reduce on-train bicycle facilities.

Barbara Chapnick
Guest
Barbara Chapnick

TriMet needs to increase person capacity that’s for sure. In China, they just have a person outside with white gloves shoving folks into Train cars. I get off work at 5 or 5:30pm and trying to get on a car at Pioneer Square is challenging let alone w/bike. I choose not to clutter the cars with my bike unless I really have to.

So the issue is INCREASING CAPACITY for everyone on those trains. Or increase the number of trains.

I think they are trying to reduce the # of bikes on the trains now but honestly, I can understand why.

But really, they should have a car JUST for bikes.

But then we are not in a perfect world. SO for me, I dont need the bike when I get downtown to work. Now I can park it at BTC Bike and Ride facility. One less bike in the TRAIN. It is fine with me 🙂

PorterStout
Guest
PorterStout

Nicely done. Kudos to TriMet for having the foresight to build facilities for the future rather than remaining stuck in the past.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Skid
Cool. I’m still taking my bike with me on the train.

me too, but way cool to have.

marshmallow
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marshmallow

Sunset bike and ride users should be allowed to bus and max for free to promote usage. I rode up there from the new Beaverton bike and ride and sure as hell wouldn’t want to climb that hill everyday, especially in office attire. Riding downhill would be fun. I counted 6 bikes in the cage.

Trimet should promote 4 wheeled folding scooters — four wheels because of stability and rain, cheap, faster than walking, and no costly infrastructure.

SteveD
Guest
SteveD

I like how they say its “totally secure.” There is no such thing. Someone will buy an access card using a stolen credit card, then enter and go shopping. Cameras don’t mean much to most thieves. Neat idea, but I still think individual lockers are better, and probably cheaper, too.

Bikesalot
Guest
Bikesalot

Neat feature that the access card can be used in many different cities, anywhere an affiliated Bike & Ride is located. Assuming one ever leaves the Portland area, of course…..

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Beaverton TC will be MUCH better than Sunset TC for a bike-and-ride. I’m sure it will be many times more successful.

Bike capacity on the trains will always be a problem, but I am disappointed TriMet’s response is that since adding capacity will never COMPLETELY solve the problem we shouldn’t bother adding any capacity. Still, I’m glad for this baby step.

I love the idea of a bike car on the train, but I think it would generate a political firestorm. As a commuter who does need to get over the West Hills daily, what I’d really like to see is someone other than TriMet run a bike-oriented van shuttle between downtown Portland and Beaverton. All you’d need is a van, a trailer with racks, and parking lots on each end where the thing could stop to let people on and off. I might even pay 5 bucks for it.

JohnO
Guest

It looks like a good facility, but my commute would be a half-hour on the downtown end without my bike. But there are some other issues with the Beaverton Transit Center. I blogged about them:

http://johnochwat.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/a-humble-suggestion-to-improve-beaverton-transit-center/

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

The great idea about installing the bike stand, tools, and bike pump outside the cage is that it allows everyone an opportunity(poor people) to maintain their bikes too. There’s a headset wrench and even a star socket allen wrench for god knows what since I’ve never encountered that type of nut on a bicycle. Also the bike racks outside the cage are under overhead cover and cameras are trained on the whole lot. This is where the magnas, x-mart schwinns, hollandias and nexts are stored. The cage doubles as pet storage since Tri-met hates those too.

Bikesalot
Guest
Bikesalot

The star socket allen wrench is for disc brake rotors. I learned the hard way back in the day about them loosening up….

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Dabby
Is it not true that when Tri Met first spoke of building facilities like this, it was a step (by them) towards less bikes on trains and transit?
I recall encouragement of having a bike at each end of transit, etc……
So here now there is a charge to not take your bike on the train, where as it does not cost extra to take it with you……….
I smell fish…

Is that a fair summary of considerations leading up to exploring use of the ‘bike and ride’ idea? Simple fact is, that in a confined space such as the interior of a train car, bikes take up a lot space, and they’re awkward to weave in and out of a crowded train. If bikes posed no more challenge to accommodate than rolling luggage carry-ons, the trains could probably meet other customers needs and carry lots of bikes too.

Actually, that’s why I kind of wish more people would get themselves set up with folding bikes. Last winter, performance bicycle had the Dahon Curve on sale for $300 (basically, half price.).

http://bikeportland.org/forum/showpost.php?p=26279&postcount=7

People needing to ride short distances…with Beaverton’s mostly flat terrain within the 10-15 minute radius…could probably do o.k. on such a bike.

JR
Guest
JR

I appreciate the desire to have a bike on both ends of the commute, but it’s just not practical to have that ability during the peak hour in the peak direction. Community pressure alone should be reason enough not to force your bike on a crowded train. No one wants to have a bike squeeze next to them when they are dressed for work and it’s extremely rude to force one on a crowded train. While some may choose to force their bikes on a crowded train, I think the rest of the population who have more sensible social skills would find this useful. I don’t even force myself on a crowded train, let alone a full size bike. If I lived or worked further from a station, I’d definitely use a bike and ride. But for now, I’m just one of those walk access people on a crowded train in the way of someone’s bike.

G
Guest
G

Kudos to TriMet for the new bike park at Beaverton Transit Center. It’s high time they made such a bold step, and not easy to do in today’s political / economic climate.

In my very humble opinion, the Beaverton area has a LONG way to go to make cycling safe & attractive for riders. The west-side bike path that runs parallel to the Sunset Highway was a huge step, creating a viable, safe thoroughfare for riders.

But the biggest glaring holes in Beaverton’s plan relates to the lack of bike lanes on both Canyon Road and Beaverton Hillsdale Highway. Noted: both roads are state highways, and fall (mostly) under the auspices of the State of Oregon, but geezus…has anyone tried to ride (or even WALK) on portions of Canyon Road lately??

Heading south/southwest from the traffic light at Canyon Lane (just south of Hwy 26) after the exit off the Sunset Hwy, say goodbye to the bike lane AND sidewalks. Sidewalks recommence from the Goodwill store to the Infinity dealership, then disappear for a good stretch where walking/running becomes a survival crapshoot.

Riding? From the Canyon Lane light onward into the heart of Beaverton, may the force be with you, because the traffic gods will not be with you! Shame on you, State of Oregon, and cities of Portland/Beaverton for failing to address this issue. I’ll repeat: Much of this was addressed by the west-side bike lane, but tell that to someone who lives south of Canyon and north of Beaverton Hillsdale…what’s the most efficient and time effective way to say, ride to the Beaverton Transit Center to use the park & ride? Canyon Road, which is highly dangerous to ride upon.

Beaverton/Hillsdale is another situation altogether. From the crazy Scholls/Olsen intersection, bike lanes appear, disappear, and the massively high travel speeds of vehicular traffic (not always, but usually in excess of posted limits) make it another crapshoot. BHH has better sidewalks for pedestrians than Canyon, but riding it (try navigating even short stretches with your kids on bikes some day!) will make you think twice about buying extra life insurance.

Apologies for the long rant. Again, kudos to TriMet…shame, shame for Beaverton’s/Oregon’s lack of initiative on the Canyon/BHH issue.

Barbara Chapnick
Guest
Barbara Chapnick

Today is the 4th day I have ridden my bicycle to the new Bike n Ride Facility in Beaverton and I can say that I feel very comfortable so far with my bike being locked inside the structure. The first day, I locked my helmet but took the mirror and computer off. The 2nd day I just left mirror and computer on. Every day I have been able to just ride with my “street clothes” and helmet 1 mile to transit, lock bike and MAX to work.

So far, it has been easy to use the access but I wish I would see more bikes parked there. We need the word to get out its useful and a good idea.

For now, I am enjoying leaving the CAR parked in the garage.

NP
Guest
NP

I’m glad to see that TriMet is doing something to alleviate the problem. I personally got fed up of trying to take my bike on the MAX, and when I got fed up of the 20 minute walk between the MAX and work, I stopped taking it altogether. I live downtown, and if I could leave my bike overnight at the work end of my trip, I would love that.

I think that there needs to be several more of these facilities in order for “critical mass” to be reached. The one at STC is a bit of a joke, for terrain and location reasons. BTC is a bit better, but many people here mentioned how unfriendly the roads are around BTC. It’s not until you have a few downtown locations, and locations near major employers (Nike, Intel) that you’ll really see people make use of this.