Comment of the Week: A review of riding in Beaverton

It’s nice to get out of Portland once in a while, and BikePortland’s new Washington County contributor, Tina Ricks, let us do that last week with her post about a policy ride with elected officials from Beaverton and Tigard.

Given the volume and quality of comments her post got, many of you enjoyed trekking along too.

“Free-agent” wrote in with a couple of observations about riding in the area, from someone who is new to it. It’s the kind of comment which sometimes gets crowded out by the fireworks of policy discussions and politics, but its calm, matter-of-fact tone seemed just right as we move into summer.

Here’s what Free-agent wrote:

This article is spot-on with what I have observed and noted from others during conversations, including my high school students. I recently moved to South Beaverton after having lived in inner SE Portland for almost 25 years. I see many people riding trails like the Fanno Creek Trail (we live two blocks away), but far less on actual streets. I see people often park their cars and pull their bikes off to ride them, rather than ride to them. I am hopeful for the future based on what I have observed over the past two years.

One positive I have noticed is that drivers are much more respectful here. I rarely encounter angry drivers.

One critique I have is the serious lack of off-road riding opportunities; it’s far worse than Portland and that’s saying something. The city is really missing out on having off-road opportunities sprinkled throughout the community that riders of all ages can access by paved trails and bike routes. There are plenty of areas around the city for things like skills parks, and other spaces that would make for linear off-road opportunities for riders of all ability levels (adjacent to the Westside Trail comes to mind). There is basically one place to ride off-road, Eichler Park, and it is in major need of an upgrade. I skimmed the most recent Tualatin Parks Trail Plan and it seems like mountain biking had yet to be invented when writing it.

Thank you Free-agent! You can read Free-agent’s comment in the context of everyone else who had something to say about riding in Washington County at the bottom of the original post.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero is on the board of SWTrails PDX, and was the chair of her neighborhood association's transportation committee. A proud graduate of the PBOT/PSU transportation class, she got interested in local transportation issues because of service cuts to her bus, the 51. Lisa has lived in Portland for 23 years and can be reached at

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1 month ago

There is a reason I’ve clicked on BikePortland only twice in the 20yrs I’ve lived and biked in PDX and its because of the brain-dead happy, happy suburban homeowner BS perspective like this:”One positive I have noticed is that drivers are much more respectful here. I rarely encounter angry drivers.” No bicycle magazine should ever publish a sentence like that; it’s a total insult to anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle.

I understand the owner and editors don’t want to go back to regular work (not at all hating on that) so you need to maintain a non-confrontational and brain-dead tone for the site, as if we’re all white, male and never ever encounter hostility navigating the city on bikes. But creating then publishing a blog entry from such a clearly limited perspective then heralding it as the comment of the week is simply not suitable for a bicycle-focused site.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Reply to  anon

Hi anon. Sorry to hear your sour take on bikeportland. But if you took time to click on this site more than twice in the past 20 years you’d see that we share a very very wide variety of opinions here. Thanks.

1 month ago
Reply to  anon

You isolated the one, most positive sentence out of that whole comment. The whole rest of it was criticizing that people in Beaverton don’t ride much except to drive their bikes to certain spots to ride for recreation, and how limited the off-road biking opportunities are.

Even that one isolated sentence isn’t all positive–saying “drivers are much more respectful here” means they were much LESS respectful where the author came from.

So there was plenty of negativity available if that’s what you’re seeking.

And calling this the perspective of a “brain-dead happy, happy suburban homeowner BS perspective” is weird and inaccurate as well as rude. The author just moved to Beaverton (and may or may not be a homeowner) after living 25 years in inner SE Portland. Their perspective is that of a urban neighborhood dweller who’s just move to the suburbs–not that hearing the perspectives of homeowners who’ve lived their whole lives in suburbs isn’t valuable as well.

1 month ago
Reply to  anon

I’ve been a mostly regular bike commuter from SE PDX to teach in Beaverton for 25 years, prior to moving closer to where I teach. I also spend a lot of time riding the road for fun/training, as well.
At the start of my commuting career, riding in Beaverton was definitely the concern. Now the reverse is true.
Heading out for a ride, have a great day!