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 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.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org