(Image from Connect Oregon materials)
One of the Portland neighborhoods with the lowest rates of car ownership might surprise snooty east-siders: Goose Hollow.
The dense urban neighborhood immediately west of downtown also enjoys terrific access to Washington County thanks to TriMet’s MAX tunnel — and that combination gave a major new bike parking facility proposed there a boost into a list of transportation projects that are about to be funded by coveted state lottery revenue.
The Goose Hollow project will hold 20 to 50 bikes in either a covered or walled-in bike parking facility, vastly increasing bike parking in the area. Today, the station is served by a single bike rack, which probably contributes to the number of people who bring their bikes on the MAX, reducing passenger capacity through the busy tunnel. Too many bikes on MAX has been a tough issue at TriMet for many years. A survey they completed in 2008 said that due to various constraints, their strategy would be to improve bike parking at stations, rather than try and fit more bikes on trains.
As part of the same $1.9 million project, TriMet would add secure parking for 75 bikes at the Beaverton Creek MAX station (the same one where new open-air bike staples were just added) as well as a new trail crossing of the MAX tracks “to connect to a future east-west trail by Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District and a future north-south Nike trail through the Nike woods property to directly connect to its main campus on SW Jenkins Road.”
That’s according to the official project description on page 163 of the advance materials (PDF) for this Thursday’s meeting in Salem of the Oregon Transportation Commission. The governor-appointed commission is expected to approve the lottery-funded grant awards, including this one.
The lottery-funded transportation program, known as Connect Oregon, is now in its fifth round of awards. This year, for the first time, bike and pedestrian projects were eligible as well as projects for other modes — a substantial legislative victory for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.
The Goose Hollow and Beaverton Creek bike improvements actually fall in the “transit” category of the grants. As we reported last month, the other likely winner among Portland-area bike/ped projects is a stretch of the Tualatin River Greenway. (Some local activists are crying foul at several Connect Oregon projects they say are aiding oil train shipments in Oregon. We’re looking into that story now.)
The Goose Hollow project was similar to a recent Portland State University student capstone project (PDF) that envisioned a 45-bike structure at the MAX station there. But TriMet Active Transportation Planner Jeff Owen said Tuesday that the final design might differ from that proposal because it would ultimately be up to the First United Methodist Church, on whose land the new bike parking area would sit.
“We’re just early on in that conversation now,” Owen said. “We don’t know if it’ll be a building with a door that you can walk into or covered parking that you can see through.”
If TriMet, the church and the City of Portland settle on a covered open-air facility, Owen said, TriMet is likely to install security cameras to improve the bikes’ safety.
Asked for a possible date of completion, TriMet’s Owen said they aren’t exactly sure yet. Stay tuned for updates.