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First look: Nike’s new bike path through the woods connects light rail to World HQ

Posted by on March 1st, 2016 at 9:11 am

View from the new path looking south at Beaverton Creek MAX light rail station.
(All photos by Adam Herstein)

Nike has just opened a new bike path through a forested parcel adjacent to their world headquarters.

The path, which we first reported on back in November, is formally known as the Nike Woods Connector Trail. BikePortland reader Adam Herstein rode the path yesterday and provided us with his thoughts and photos:

The path has lighting throughout to improve visibility and safety during the dark winter months. The path connects directly to the MAX platform on the south end and to Jenkins Road on the north. Unfortunately, there is no cycle-specific signaling to cross Jenkins into Nike; people cycling are expected to use the pedestrian signal.

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Overall, the ride is nice. The path is all paved asphalt. There’s a few feet of gravel at the north end before reaching the paved portion. There is also a grouping of bike parking staples adjacent to the MAX. Overall a vast improvement for people who take MAX to Nike and bike the last mile. The new multi-use path offers a much safer ride than on the substandard bike lanes along Washington County arterials surrounding the Nike campus

Looking north from the Beaverton Creek MAX light rail platform.

Looking south from the path toward the MAX platform.

Looking south towards MAX platform.

A closer look at the bike parking that’s been built near the MAX station.

The junction of the Hollister Trail running path and the new bike path.

Looking north at entrance to the woods.

Where the path spills out onto SW Jenkins road. An entrance to the Nike World HQ is in the background.

The path is about one-third of a mile long and it bisects a wooded parcel that’s ringed with a dirt running trail open only to Nike employees. While this parcel was previously closed to the general public, a source within TriMet has confirmed for us that the new path is open to everyone. At least for now. There’s a new path being built near the Beaverton Creek MAX light rail station on the south end of the parcel. Once Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec finish that path, it’s likely that Nike will close this new Woods Connector Trail to the public.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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  • Tad March 1, 2016 at 9:24 am

    This is huge. The Hollister Trail has been runners-only, and there’s be no fantastic way to get directly from the MAX station to WHQ without taking the big detour around the woods.

    Frankly, though, I hope this (along with the Portland Bike Share initiative) is a sign that Nike will get themselves back into cycling. It was so bizarre to me, when I worked for Nike, that I had no choice but to wear all my Pearl Izumi stuff to work as Nike currently sells precisely zero cycling gear anymore.

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    • Dave March 1, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Good for Nike on this path! About their product lines, I worked at Bike Gallery through at least two of their attempts in the cycling market and they never seemed to have their heart in it. Maybe an office full of bike commuters in Pearl, Rapha, Showers Pass, and Novara gear will light the right fire under the right butt this time.

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  • John Rees March 1, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Looks good, and also like a lot of money spent. Which is the only reason why I wonder why the parking corral was not covered?

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  • J_R March 1, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Let me be the first to comment that this is not a world class facility. It is too narrow, does not segregate bicyclists from other users, lacks a grade separated crossing of the running path, and it actually INTERSECTS with both roads and the MAX line. Gigantic fail.

    Disclaimer: I have owned Nike shoes in the past.

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    • Mark S March 1, 2016 at 10:00 am

      So, J_R. What is your definition of a “world class facility?”

      Disclaimer: I own lots of Nike common stock & numerous pairs of Nike sneakers.

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      • J_R March 1, 2016 at 10:38 am

        A facility shall be considered a world class bicycle facility when:

        The facility provides for exclusive use by bicyclists with separation of bicyclists by speed, skill level, and commonality of purpose for use.

        The facility shall be designed and operated such that there will be no intrusion by non-bicycle traffic, including but not restricted to pedestrians, skateboarders, Segways, etc.

        The facility protects the users from dangerous events such as meteor strikes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. and from undesirable elements such as headwinds, rain, and sun glare.

        Finally, the jurisdiction responsible for the world class facility shall annually certify that “No motor vehicle was used during the conception, design, construction, or maintenance of the facility and no motor vehicle, including emergency response vehicles, traversed the facility during the past year.”

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        • Granpa March 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

          On what world are these world class facilities found?

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        • soren March 1, 2016 at 11:14 am

          Under norse bridges.

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        • nuovorecord March 1, 2016 at 5:30 pm

          Uhh, you forgot “paved with a mixture of fairy dust and unicorn farts.”

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    • Brad March 1, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Those safety gates are sub-standard. Where are the fingerprint readers, retinal scanners, passcode keypads, and a note from Mommy to activate the gate? Where are the 150 db warning sirens and strobe lights? My goodness! Some poor unattentive rider might get hit by a MAX train without those safety protocols. Won’t anyone think of the children?!

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      • Jason H March 1, 2016 at 12:16 pm

        I think the infrastructure is more than adequate, I’m just not sure why there’s a barrier right at the same place as the “Rollthrough Rapidly” crossing. Seems contradictory.

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        • John O. March 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

          Seems pretty obvious, frankly. Slow down, look both ways, then cross quickly. Forcing users to come to a stop (with the barrier) forces them to treat the crossing with at least a modicum of respect, even if they have headphones in and are completely distracted. It’s a simple, effective solution to prevent casualties.

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          • Jason H March 1, 2016 at 4:03 pm

            Gee, thanks for the clarification John. Glad you took my concerns “seriously”.


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            • GlowBoy March 4, 2016 at 1:52 pm

              Here’s an idea: how about flashing lights and audible warnings at the track crossings, just like cars get? I bet that would eliminate most of the fatalities and close calls.

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    • Alex Reed March 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks for the laugh!

      I think the agitators (myself included) on here calling the facilities we want “world-class” is both inaccurate and bad branding. Some wise commenter (El Biciclero?) remarked that, if TriMet/City of Portland had just scoped the Tilikum bridge & approaches bike facility as if it were a car lane, then made it a little narrower, that would have been great infrastructure. We’re not asking for special treatment, kid gloves, or gold-plated bike lanes. We’re just asking for something that provides a similar level of comfort, routefinding ease, and avoidance of excess delay to the ubiquitous motor vehicle infrastructure around town. That’s not special treatment, and asking for it isn’t whining. It’s fair treatment, and asking for it is appropriate advocacy.

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    • jered March 2, 2016 at 6:09 am

      Compared to ZERO path it is world class. Given that overall this is a semi-private path I’m pretty confident it will be OK. I’ll buy you a beer when I’m proven wrong and some oblivious fred takes out an olympic runner training on the hollister trail.

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  • Chris I March 1, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Big improvement, and I think this is a great example of an effective bike/pedestrian railroad crossing. The barrier requires users to slow down as they approach the crossing, but does not require the burden of opening a gate. The only thing I would improve would be to paint the barrier with reflective high-viz paint.

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  • SilkySlim March 1, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Love that “Cross Traffic is Faster Than They Appear!” No joke there, you will stumble across pro runners all the time on Hollister.

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    • Tad March 1, 2016 at 10:32 am

      No kidding. I almost don’t want to go out for runs there, as I don’t find the talent differential between myself and the other runners there “inspiring”. After I got lapped by both Olympic-looking kids as well as a mid-60’s lady, I figured I should go take my chubby self elsewhere.

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      • SilkySlim March 1, 2016 at 1:35 pm

        Well, if it was Joan Benoit, don’t feel bad! I’ve seen her running in PDX, including on the waterfront.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. March 1, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Thanks for posting this, Jonathan!

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  • Joe March 1, 2016 at 10:10 am

    yay shared path, just hope its welcomed with all users. MUP struggles

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  • bikeninja March 1, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Finally, I was wondering when they were going to build something in Uncle Phil’s haunted woods.

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  • Munkey77 March 1, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Now if they could the city/county to build protected bike lanes on the streets around the campus for the rest of us that would be go a long way in making it world class campus

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  • Jack G. March 1, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Can anyone provide a link to the new THPR trail that’s getting built? My Google-Fu is failing me at the moment.

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  • Bradwagon March 1, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    As a runner that lives to the south of here I am looking forward to quicker access to the Hollister Trail via the Max Stop.

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  • Brian E March 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Oh the memories, in 1976 that property was a nature preserve. My Jr. High Biology class went there on a field trip.

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  • Todd Boulanger March 1, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    This reminded me of the bike leadership HP brought to Vancouver in the 80s/ early 90s…when they built their office campus in what is now East Vancouver…they built the first modern bike lanes in the City.

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  • wsbob March 1, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    “…There’s a new path being built near the Beaverton Creek MAX light rail station on the south end of the parcel. Once Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec finish that path, it’s likely that Nike will close this new Woods Connector Trail to the public. …” bikeportland

    The new path described, sounds like the east-west running Creekside Development path that the city of Beaverton is working on. THPRD may be involved in its construction. The Westside Trail sections to the west of Nike’s campus, are nearly complete. Just a short distance through the nature park leads to a turn to the east onto the continuation of the Westside.

    Nice gesture on the part of Nike, to have opened to the public, this short north-south connector trail through Nike’s woods, even if the public will have access to it only temporarily. The woods are a beautiful departure from the busy traffic outside of them.

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  • Mark Smith March 1, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    No swing gates?

    Shocked. Shocked!

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  • Mike Sanders March 2, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    But tgey DJ’d install railroad crossing signs, and yield signs at a place where they make sense. Directional signage would help. Maybe Nime should donate some money to Metro’s trail signage program. That would be a start!

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