Harvest Century September 22nd

Nike building paved path to connect headquarters to MAX station

Posted by on November 11th, 2015 at 10:00 am

Map from internal Nike employee email showing location of Nike Woods Connector Trail. The MAX station is on the bottom and the Nike campus is on top.

Nike is building a new paved path that will make it easier to bike, walk, and take transit to their World Headquarters in Beaverton.

The new one-third mile long path goes through “Nike Woods” and connects the Beaverton Creek MAX Station to the entrance of Nike’s Headquarters on SW Jenkins Road through a parcel owned by Nike. The path will be paved and lit to “allow for easy pedestrian and bike travel.” There’s already a painted crosswalk and signal at Jenkins Road where the path will come out of the woods.

Here’s a Google Streetview image of the Jenkins/Nike Woods intersection:

The path would come out at the left. Nike’s Jenkins Road entrance is on the right.

The new path would bisect the existing Hollister Trail, which is a dirt running loop on a parcel bound by Jenkins, Murray Blvd, the MAX line, and 153rd Drive. Nike Woods and the running path is currently only open to Nike employees (something not everyone is thrilled about) and cycling isn’t allowed on the Hollister Trail. In the internal email we received, Nike says once the new paved path is built, people running on the Hollister Trail will have the right-of-way because, “we are a running company after all.”

We first covered the possibility of this path in July 2014 when we reported on a $1.9 million Oregon State Lottery grant won by TriMet. That grant included a new crossing of the Beaver Creek station 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.” At that time Nike was mum about details of the path.

That east-west trail mentioned in the grant application is the Beaver Creek Trail. Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec has not started building it yet but sources say it’s coming soon. Once completed it will run along the south edge of the Nike Woods parcel. TriMet has already built a new crossing of the MAX tracks but it’s fenced off because there’s nothing to connect to yet.

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TriMet map drawing shows the Beaver Creek Max station, the Hollister running trail, the future Beaver Creek trail and new Nike path.

Now that we’ve confirmed construction of the Nike path, the question remains: Will the company allow public access? Or will it be open only to employees like the existing Hollister Trail?

We’ve requested comment from Nike but have yet to hear back. Our best guess is that they would be forced to allow public access in some form because the crossing and connection from the Nike-owned path to the MAX station was paid for with public (state) dollars. Also, with Tualatin Hills’ Beaver Creek Trail not being open for at least a year or so, the new crossing currently doesn’t have anything to connect to. When the new Nike path opens it will be very difficult, barring a gate or presence of security personnel, to prevent the public from using it.

This path comes 17 months after Nike launched a bikeshare system on campus that quickly overwhelmed available bike parking at the Beaver Creek MAX station (thankfully TriMet added more a few months later). Washington County is also eyeing additional bikeway improvements on roads around the Nike campus.

As Nike grows, they face transportation challenges unless they start to put a higher priority on bicycling and transit use. As we shared in an employee comment back in December, the company isn’t doing enough to get employees to do something other than drive to campus.

As of last year only about 3 percent of Nike’s 8,000 employees walk or bike to work and about 6 percent take bus or MAX, according to the company’s transporation plan covered in The Oregonian. 78 percent of Nike employees drive alone to work.

Work began on the Nike path in September and is expected to take several months to complete. We’ll update this story when/if we hear back from Nike.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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34 Comments
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    q`Tzal November 11, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I used to live near this stop and take it daily in the wee dark hours o’ tha mornin’.

    It really is about time.

    I often saw people emerging from the woods in the general area of this proposed paved path. Making it official would decrease the number of Nike shuttle vans continuously cluttering the lot and local traffic.

    Hopefully they make it wide enough to safely accommodate 2 way bike & ped traffic.

    Maybe have some dirt pull outs with nature info kiosks like in the nearby Tualatin Hills Nature Park.

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    Middle of the Road guy November 11, 2015 at 10:22 am

    How dare they use pavement!

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      q`Tzal November 11, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      Yeah, they should lay down ground unicorn horn.

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    wsbob November 11, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I expect that north-south access from the light rail stop, through the ‘Nike Woods’ directly to the Nike Campus main entrance, would be great for people walking.

    Not so necessary for people biking, due to their being a decent road, 153rd Dr to ride on to the west, and a short stretch to the campus entrance along Jenkins. It’s a bit of a round-a-bout route to the campus, but may be a good idea to some of the commuter traffic through the woods.

    People in this area regularly, very likely have been watching with some interest, how Nike would decide to use land it owns to the north of Jenkins and east of 158th. Huge areas of it have been until the last six months or so, big open fields with some trees, draining down into a more or less north-south flowing creek.

    It was disappointing to say the least, that Nike decided to replace those fields area with…surface parking lots..rather than an above ground parking structure, or a below ground parking facility, both of which would have minimized the area of surface land used to park cars. Remains to be seen what Nike will use the rest of the former open field land for. Partly will be seen that is, because Nike has continued it’s use on both 158th and Jenkins, of the huge berms adjacent to those roads.

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      Brad November 11, 2015 at 11:41 am

      They are building a brand new design center on that property as part of their campus expansion.

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      canuck November 11, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      From what I understand the surface lots are temporary while the major construction goes on. Access to what was parking is now cut off due to the construction. The new buildup does include parking structures.

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        wsbob November 11, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        Thank you both for that info. Upon seeing the surface parking lots, I wondered if they might be temporary, but considering that even surface parking lots are expensive to build, I thought they might not be temporary.
        Glad to hear there eventually will be parking structures instead. Still, it’s a loss to no longer have the natural setting that formerly was there. So much can get built over, so fast.

        I wonder what more Nike could be doing to encourage development of better biking infrastructure on the roads in its surrounding neighborhood. Beyond standard bike lanes, there’s not much. Definitely no cycle track routes, distanced significantly from roads used primarily with motor vehicles…though sometime in the next couple years, a protected bike lane on Walker Rd. part of which would be immediately adjacent to Nike’s campus, is scheduled to be constructed.

        That little bit of infrastructure is scarcely a drop in the bucket in terms of what should be happening in terms of infrastructure for biking in the neighborhoods Nike is located within. All of those neighborhoods are popping with more places to live, and with stores and recreational opportunities people will want and need to go to. Maybe not as many people as should be, but some of them will likely be Nike employees. They should be able to safely and comfortably get to the campus on a bike, or on foot, if they choose to. Or Freddy’s a mile or so away.

        It seems to me it would be to Nike’s great benefit, and the neighborhoods’, for the company to be actively exploring and supporting the development of a system of bike routes throughout surrounding neighborhoods to the campus and to stores, that would be at least somewhat as practical and comfortable as strolling or biking within the campus itself.

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          Chris I November 11, 2015 at 2:18 pm

          Nike doesn’t care. Look at a map of Beaverton some time. It looks like swiss cheese because Nike wants to stay in an unincorporated area to avoid taxes. We all know they have the money to lay down gold-plated bike infrastructure around their facility. They just don’t care.

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            canuck November 11, 2015 at 2:58 pm

            Do you lay down gold plated bike infrastructure adjacent to your house? Nike can do what it wants on its property. Whether they are in Beaverton or not, it is not the property owners responsibility to build out infrastructure past their property line. Blame Washington County for the problems. They get Nike’s tax dollars.

            And Nike’s campus is one very small part of the swiss cheese that is unincorporated by Beaverton.

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          Tom Hardy November 12, 2015 at 11:59 am

          Personally I think the MUP/Bike path subsidy is so that Nike would not need to pay for a sidewalk through their New construction complex. Many Nike gates on either side with no access to anyone without a badge.

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      q`Tzal November 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      153rd is a road and it does have some bike lanes.
      The problem here is that, despite the poor site lines through the S-curve, people try to drive through here like they are auditioning for a street racing club.

      The only thing I can see that would make the painted bike lanes marginally safe would be those 3″ tall concrete turtles on the painted lines of the inside curves.

      Actually go look at the paint wear pattern from hundreds of drivers daily doing dangerous maneuvers and you’ll see why Nike employees aren’t using this road now. They might be athletic but fearless riders they are not.

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        AIC November 11, 2015 at 3:23 pm

        Auditioning for a street racing club? That made me laugh. Thank you.

        “Umm yeah, I am here to audition for the part of ‘angry loner’ your street racing club was advertising..? Yes, I did send in my head shots, about a week ago. Whats that? No, I dont have any experience driving a car. But I can ad-lib very well. OK, I will see you on 153rd at rush hour.”

        “The audition went very well and Ricky “Snake” Santiago is going to making the call backs this weekend, I am so excited. I totally nailed my part! They even gave me lines to rehearse:
        ‘Yeah, whatever.’
        ‘Run- Cops!’
        ‘NOS is for losers’
        ‘Lay off the throttle until AFTER the apex bro!’
        ‘F’in bikers!’

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          q`Tzal November 12, 2015 at 11:30 am

          This… quaint… verbiage was chosen for its lack of profanity and specifically stereotyping insults.

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        GlowBoy November 12, 2015 at 11:01 am

        I used to ride 153rd all the time, and never felt uncomfortable despite the curves and the (occasionally!) fast drivers.

        Millikan Way, on the other hand, is a nightmare where it meets 153rd. It has bike lanes east of Murray but not to the west. It’s nearly a stroad at this point, 2 lanes each way, no bike lanes, curvy with way more high-speed cut-through traffic (avoiding congestion on TV Hwy) than 153rd.

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      Andy K November 11, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      I completely disagree. This could be a crucial and necessary connection for many new or cautious riders. Many employees (80% drive alone?) who’ve been steel-caging it to work for years and years might feel they need lights, helmet, and skills and/or confidence to ride alongside cars on 153rd and occupy a “car” turning lane once they are eastbound on Jenkins. There is a huge number of people who identify as cyclists but desperately crave separated bikeways.

      This path makes the last mile a much speedier and comfortable trip than before….and if they let people use it without showing an employee badge, AWESOME.

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    Chris I November 11, 2015 at 11:49 am

    This should have been mandated when westside MAX went in. I have mentioned the need for this path before, and many people brush it off by stating that there are parallel routes. Well, the parallel routes kind of suck, and are roughly double the walking time. It seems crazy that Nike has taken so long to build this.

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      Allan November 11, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      this!

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      Alex Reed November 12, 2015 at 9:04 am

      Seriously. It’s like building a gigantic freeway interchange to serve a major employer, then the employer doesn’t even connect its parking lot to the interchange. What would have happened if Trimet had told Nike, “if you don’t build this connection, we won’t build the station?”

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. January 25, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      I will absolutely not ride on any of the roads surrounding the Nike campus. They all have unprotected 3 foot gutter bike lanes next to 45 MPH motor traffic. This new trail will be car-free, well-lit, and provide a safe and direct route to Nike’s campus. This new path will be a game-changer and hopefully get more people to commute via bike/public transport.

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    Peter W November 11, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    ” the company isn’t doing enough to get employees to do something other than drive to campus.”

    Nike can’t get employees out of their cars?

    Did they try saying, “Just do it”?

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      AIC November 11, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Nike doesn’t have a cycling line. So encouraging biking offers no marketing benefit.

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        Andy K November 11, 2015 at 5:05 pm

        Nike sells fitness and health, not shoes and apparel.
        The multi-use path, the hundreds of employees who ride to work, and even this news article provide a marketing benefit.

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        q`Tzal November 12, 2015 at 11:35 am

        And this is a real shame not just because the sport is filled with people who have more money than sense but…

        … NIKE’s WORLDWIDE HEADQUARTERS IS IN FRACKIN PORTLAND OREGON!
        Every day Nike executives and product designers are surrounded by a very high number of potential customers they are flatly ignoring.

        It would seem to be a rather… DENSE… marketing decision.

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    Mark S November 11, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Instead of unicorn horn, how about shredded Nike sneakers.

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      Elle November 12, 2015 at 12:02 am

      Nike Grind is a thing, actually… http://nikegrind.com/ . And it would make a lot of sense to have it used for the path.

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        q`Tzal November 12, 2015 at 9:30 pm

        That website doesn’t mention the Nikegrind surfaces for anything other than foot traffic.

        I’m not so much worried about excess wear to such a soft surface by a bicycle tires’ focused contact patch… though it would very likely be an issue.

        My concern would be traction and surface slipperiness.
        With no weight rubber vs rubber traction is not much better than rubber vs metal.
        Under weight even solid rubber wheels conform to surface irregularities of solid concrete and asphalt surfaces.
        A flexible soft rubber road surface will deform at nearly the same rate as tires or even less so as tire rubber is a higher durometer than shoe sole rubber.

        My concern is that when wet this stuff might be only marginally less treacherous than a smooth steel plate.

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      q`Tzal November 12, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Don’t those go in to running tracks?

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    Champs November 12, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Bikes, shuttles, Uber pools, etc. Now a (possibly) exclusive trail. If these are convenient things, then perhaps they are alarming? Public transportation needs a lot of private assist these days…

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    mark November 12, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    How many years did it take to get to this point?

    Very, very forward thinking.

    Like…GM needs a new Hummer model forward thinking.

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      rick July 5, 2016 at 10:32 am

      ask Washington County

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    mark November 12, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Just curious, how wide will the path be? I would hope it is 20…but guessing it will be 6.

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    Justin Gast November 12, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    It’s not on that aerial shot, but, to the far left a huge concrete pad was recently laid, which I believe will be used to build a cage for Nike bike share bikes. A similar cage is supposed to be built at the Willow Creek TC, too, as many folks complain about all the bike racks at MAX stops being taken by Nike’s orange bike share bikes.

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    Sean July 4, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I live at the apartments next to this stop. Since the crossing tons of Nike employees think they can just ride their bikes right through the Max platform in complete disregard for transit passengers safety etc. Please walk you bikes on side walks and Max stations. Please show pedestrians the same respect you expect from car drivers. Also it would be nice if non-Nike employees can use the Hollister trail since we paid for your special max crossing.

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      wsbob July 5, 2016 at 10:24 am

      “…Also it would be nice if non-Nike employees can use the Hollister trail since we paid for your special max crossing. …” sean

      I’m not a nike employee, but from reading about the hollister trail here on bikeportland in a past story, I understand the trail is open for use by the public at least through some months to come. If, at the north and south entrances to the trail, there are any signs inviting the public to use the hollister, I must not have noticed them, even though I have ridden the trail several times.

      The trail isn’t bad for people together, walking and biking…it’s 8′ wide, I think, maybe a little more. It has nice overhead lights, though as of a month ago, I’ve never seen them on, even though dusk was near, and it was kind of dark on the trail. Though it doesn’t go all the way to Millikan Way, with its big, tall trees to either side of the trail, it’s a nice north south route alternative to 153rd, for going directly to the light rail station.

      I think the thoughts you express about conflicts between people riding, and people on foot waiting for the train at the light rail station just south of the trail’s southern entrance, bring up a good point about the design of the trails’ entrance relative to the station platform. As a straight through rider, coming off the trail and negotiating the platform to a point, best for proceeding towards 153rd, seemed to me to be awkward. Not exactly sure about this though, so I’ll ride through and check it again to be more certain whether some improvement for straight through routing might be something to try doing.

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