Washington County has given a green light to 12 Pedestrian and Biking Improvement Projects. The $6.6 million worth of sidewalks and enhanced crossings in the Bethany, Cedar Hills, and Beaverton areas are part of a biennial process carried out by their Urban Road Maintenance District (URMD).
Here’s the list of projects that have been approved for funding by the URMD Advisory Committee:
185th Avenue and Pheasant Lane
185th Avenue and Pike Street
Beef Bend Road and Peachtree Drive
Bethany Boulevard and Mitchell Avenue
Garden Home Boulevard and 84th Avenue
Kaiser Road and 147th
Laidlaw Road and Waterhouse Trail
188th Avenue, Kinnaman Road to Blanton Street, east side of the road
195th Avenue, Keena Court to Farmington Road, west side of the road
Ewen Drive/Augusta Lane, 18235 Ewen Drive to 178th Place, north side of the road
Greenwood Drive, 135th Avenue to the fire gate, north side of the road
Huntington Avenue, Cedar Hills Boulevard to Glenhaven Street, both sides of the road
The program that funded these projects is worth paying attention to if you live/ride/work in the area and want to advocate for safer streets. Anyone can suggest a candidate project on the County website and the list is reviewed by the committee every other year. To be eligible for funding, projects must address a specific biking or walking safety concern and/or fill a connectivity gap.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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WashCo is slowly becoming a better place for active transportation than Portland proper and MultCo. I feel much safer biking, walking, and running in the western suburbs than I do almost anywhere in the Portland city limits. Quite a turnaround from 15 years ago.
Even on seven or six lane Brookwood Parkway in Hillsboro? NW Bethany Boulevard which received the opposite of active transportation (mid-block crossing now declared illegal)? MultCo has kicked their Scholls Ferry Road project to the corner even though it could result in TriMet bus reroutes for north and south service.
Can’t say I ever really go far enough west to make it to Brookwood so can’t speak to it.
On Bethany there’s not-great-but-adequate bike lanes, but the parallel Waterhouse Trail about a quarter mile to the west is a great option to avoid it entirely. And frankly there’s no reason why someone would want or need to cross Bethany mid-block; the crossings at the town center near Laidlaw are certainly close enough together, and anywhere else on the road there’s no destinations on either side of the street so nothing to be lost by waiting until the next intersection to cross. But the most important thing is that the infrastructure – even though it still has a long way to go – is consistent, intuitive, and functional, in contrast to the experimental and dangerous designs PBOT keeps throwing at us.
And the Scholls Ferry problem is a MultCo problem, not a WashCo problem (I think MultCo is the worst of all the transportation agencies relevant to the metro area, frankly).
I would say it’s better for recreation, yes. Still extremely difficult to actually live without a car, though. The distances are great, and nearly all of the businesses are located on roads that are very hostile to walking and biking. It’s extremely rare to see someone in Beaverton biking home with kids and a load of groceries.
Frankly, I think single-family zoning should be banned, and more mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods should be forced upon us rather than suburbia. Suburban sprawl is a disgusting scourge. But that’s not a problem for the transportation department there, it’s one for the zoning and planning departments of the government.
Go Shelley O Go!
Any chance of adding a link to the map? Been poking around on the WA CO website and can’t seen to find the map or the dates for specific projects. Thanks
These are all amazing additions. Washco has a unique difference where a ton of it is unincorporated areas vs Multnomah county where city of Portland is the dominant player. Makes for an interesting govt dichotomy.
The thing I still struggle with is the ample space dedicated to sorta sidewalks that could really be MUPs in the suburban areas. There is such ample space to have MUPs everywhere but you have pidley sidewalks that can fit 1.5 people walking.
My wife and I bike about the area and are at 1 moment wowed by the linear parks and paths and then complain about the simple lack of proper curb grade crossings – its so obvious what the improvements are but the prioritization of 45 mph vehicle speeds dominates.
Anyways, Washco doing some good things but they have so many easy fixes we could award them all day.