TriMet Corner: Artist J. Shea adds color to Orenco bike and ride facility

Artist J. Shea has added some flair to the new Orenco bike and ride facility.
(Photos: Jeff Owen/TriMet)
Jeff Owen.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Publisher’s note: We’re trying something new. We’ve invited TriMet Senior Planner Jeff Owen to write a guest column (tentatively named “TriMet Corner” unless you have a better idea). Owen was hired by TriMet in 2012 as their active transportation planner and brings a ton of experience to the table. He also happens to be a very nice guy who’s dedicated to his work in making our transit system work better for bicycle users. This is his first article for BikePortland.
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This past June TriMet hired a local artist to breathe life and art into the interior of our new Orenco Station Bike & Ride facility.

TriMet’s Bike & Rides offer an option for secure bike parking on one end of your commute. They eliminate the worry of bringing your bike on-board crowded trains or buses, only to find the spaces filled.

Now, thanks to the TriMet Public Art Program and a very talented local artist, the Orenco Bike & Ride really stands out from the crowd.

“My hope is that this mural catches the public’s eye with its color and movement and inspires folks to hop on their bikes for their own sense of freedom and adventure.”
— J. Shea, artist

Back in May TriMet commissioned local artist J. Shea to create a mural where natural light floods through the windows of 231st Avenue in Hillsboro. While the facility remained open and serving customers, the artist spent three weeks in June transforming the space. His project gives nod to the once prominent orchard sited here, as well as reflects the role that biking plays now and into the future in this community.

“My hope is that this mural catches the public’s eye with its color and movement,” J. Shea shared with us about his work. “And also inspires folks to hop on their bikes for their own sense of freedom and adventure.”

J. Shea’s mural captures the rich character of Hillsboro’s Orenco neighborhood, says Valerie Otani, Hillsboro Public Art Supervisor. “From the recognition of its nursery heritage to the vitality of an urban hub of active transit users. We love seeing art infused in people’s daily life, whether it is catching a glimpse of color at the intersection or getting on your bike and feeling your cares fall away.”

Bike parking is not for everyone all the time, but because transit vehicles have spatial limitations and balance the competing needs of all transit users, secure bike parking remains an important focus for TriMet as we encourage people to combine bike trips with transit trips.

Exterior view.

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The Orenco Bike & Ride has 50 secure parking spaces, loaner tools, e-bike charging capability, an air pump, and a place for oversized cargo bikes.
The artist at work.

While the mural project was underway, Patrick, a regular bike commuter, shared thoughts about his commute. Unfortunately, his bike was stolen about two years ago from an outdoor rack.

“This new facility at Orenco is really what got me thinking about doing the bike and ride commute again,” Patrick said. “Because of my experience [getting my bike stolen], I didn’t want to just lock my bike outside. I have been using the Bike & Ride every day for almost two months and absolutely love it! It’s a great way to get the blood flowing first thing and a nice way to wind down in the afternoon.”

Patrick is a fan.

Patrick has a 10-minute bike ride from his home to the Orenco MAX Station, locks his bike inside the Bike & Ride, then catches the train into downtown Portland. “Riding MAX is another way that I have been able to redeem my time,” he added. “With four kids I don’t get a lot of time to myself, but my daily commute allows me to work on projects I have, write, read, or just relax a bit, and I love it!”

Inside the new Bike & Ride, TriMet supplied bike racks, a repair stand, secure doors, and signage — all paid for with grant funding. The Orenco Bike & Ride is just part of much larger redevelopment efforts occurring around the Orenco MAX Station, which has become a transit-oriented community with a town center, walkable streets, shops, condominiums, row houses and more.

Please join us for a celebration event at the Orenco MAX Bike & Ride on Wednesday, August 16, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Come by for a close look at the mural, meet artist J. Shea and some of the mural selection panel members, and learn more about our Bike & Ride program.

The Orenco Bike & Ride is located at the Orenco MAX Station, facing NW 231st Avenue, accessible by MAX Blue Line, Line 47-Baseline/Evergreen and Line 48-Cornell. Hope to see you there!

Have ideas on improving access to transit by bike? Send them to bikes@trimet.org, contact TriMet Customer Service or add your thoughts to the comments below.

— Jeff Owen, TriMet.org and @jeffreysowen on Twitter

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Annag
Annag
4 years ago

great mural not to mention the bike and ride facility, all major max lines should have these since it hardly ever gets close enough to where most folks could walk home (unlike most bus lines). Are there facilities at the end of the orange, yellow and blue max lines ? if not any plans to build them ?

Joseph E
4 years ago
Reply to  Annag

There is a similar facility at Gresham Transit Center, one stop from the East end of the Blue Line. It wasn’t very busy back when I used to commute to there (in the reverse direction).
But now that there are Niketown bikes available Downtown, I can imagine more people choosing to park their bikes and then get a shared bike to reach their destination Downtown, especially if they don’t have secure bike parking at their destination.
Per Trimet’s website, there are also “Bike & Ride” parking centers at Beaverton TC and Sunset TC (Red/Blue), SE Park (Milwaukie, Orange), and SE Tacoma/Johnson Creek (Orange). https://trimet.org/bikes/bikeandride.htm#locations
I actually think it would be better to add facilities in the close-in stations with high bike theft risk, eg Hollywood, Goose Hollow, since the main reason to use one of these is if the location is too risky to park bikes outside.

Annag
Annag
4 years ago
Reply to  Joseph E

yes , close in stations would be nice too since bike theft seems to be an issue every where. I was specifically thinking yellow line to catch or entice some of the commuters who drive in from WA over the bridge, since who knows when MAX service will extend over the river and traffic only seems to be getting worse. Biking over the I5 bridge is not great but when I commuted that way I quickly got used to it. Taking the MUP through fort Vancouver and the Pearson airfield was the nicest part.

Jeff Beyer
Jeff Beyer
4 years ago
Reply to  Joseph E

There were supposed to be Bike and Ride stations constructed at the Goose Hollow and Beaverton Creek MAX stops by the end of 2016 as well.

https://bikeportland.org/2016/01/29/trimet-prepares-to-add-100-bike-parking-spots-to-system-173737

Last time I spoke with Jeff he mentioned construction at Goose Hollow had been delayed to Summer 2017, so my guess is that has been delayed further :(.

Jeffrey Owen (Contributor)
Jeff Owen
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Beyer

Sorry, but yes – those are still on the way! I hope to provide another update soon.

Dan
Dan
4 years ago

Looks awesome!

emerson
4 years ago

Fun! This looks great.

bikeninja
bikeninja
4 years ago

With the current road and transit infrastructure these types of multi-modal facilities are probably the most cost effective and environmentaly beneficial way to increase the capacity of the moving people in and out of downtown. Even better if coupled with improved cycling collector routes to get less dedicated cyclists to the transit line. Despite what ODOT or the Car-heads may think ,there is no practical way to improve the amount of auto traffic flowing from Washington County in to downtown given geography and real estate patterns.Only tweaking the efficiency of rail, and replacing single occupant cars with buses will do the trick.

Chris I
Chris I
4 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

So many people tell me “I’d love to take MAX to (blank), but I’m 1+miles away from the nearest stop”. These should be at every station that has the space for it. Any station with a surface lot would just need a few converted into a bike cage. There are many opportunities along the green and blue lines, especially.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
4 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

I”d be happy with just a roof to keep the rain off my bike; I don’t even need a cage. The closest MAX stop to my house is ~3 miles away at Merlo. They have a few bike staples that sit out in the rain all day (not this week, of course). Just let me lock up under cover and I’m happy.

Jeffrey Owen (Contributor)
Jeff Owen
4 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

Merlo is definitely on our radar for a potential future project. Demand has been increasing over the last few years around the Merlo MAX station.

Jeffrey Owen (Contributor)
Jeff Owen
4 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

Your note made me realize I forgot to mention the nice cycle track right outside the front door, on NW 231st. Courtesy of City of Hillsboro I believe. Comfortable bike facility connections are a big piece of the puzzle to get riders on bikes to the station.

wsbob
wsbob
4 years ago

I like the art work, the colors and the style. It’s of a type that could be used to illustrate children’s books, but has enough interest to appeal to older people too. So flowing and graceful, has a fantastical quality to it, just the kind of think needed to start people on their day to work, or head home.

Super nice bike park and ride, better than the one at the Beaverton Transit center, which doesn’t have windows; some sort of metal or wire screen instead, not exactly depressing in there, but lacks an upbeat feeling. I think lighting quality is very important for Oregon’s long dark and wet winters. Inside the bike park and ride should have an inviting character.

Spiffy
4 years ago

awesome mural!

how much did it cost?

Jeffrey Owen (Contributor)
Jeff Owen
4 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

I think about $12,000 total, including supplies and labor.

stace
4 years ago

Awesome! I love J Shea’s work and this one is no exception. Also I like the idea of a regular Trimet column too.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin

Thanks for your comments everyone. Just FYI Jeff Owen will respond to your questions as soon as he can. TriMet is dealing with some major issues due to the heat right now!

Randy
Randy
4 years ago