About Naomi Fast (Washington County Correspondent)

Ms. Fast is a former Portlander who now lives on the West Side. Read her posts for on-the-ground insights about the projects and policies that impact Washington County road users.


Naomi Fast (Washington County Correspondent) Posts

How to find the Highway 26 bike path from the Sunset Transit Center

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

The more you know.
(Click for larger view)

Naomi Fast is our Washington County correspondent. She previously wrote about plans to widen the Walker and Murray intersection in Beaverton.

Ever been on a MAX Blue Line train to Hillsboro with your bike comfortably resting on the hook and caught a glimpse of a person pedaling behind a sound wall over on the south side of Highway 26? This sight can give way to imagining there’s a well-marked bike route connecting Portland to Washington County. How long is that bike path behind the freeway wall? Does it go the whole way between Beaverton and Portland? Where’s the entrance?

The goal of this short, ride-along-style post is to locate the westside entrance to the bike path that runs alongside Highway 26, for which there are — unfortunately and inexplicably — zero wayfinding signs. It may seem like a short stretch, but one missed turn and it’s possible to get lost. Then a short stretch becomes a lot longer, which is no fun when late to work.

Here we go:
[Read more…]

Washington County wants to widen the Walker and Murray intersection

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Looking north on Murray at Walker during rush hour.
(Photos: Naomi Fast)

When I first began riding a bicycle for transportation I focused on things like getting used to car noise, figuring out how to keep the bottom of my pants from ripping on one side, and choosing the best bike bags for my shopping needs.[Read more…]

Westside update: Beaverton’s hunt for gold, activism opportunities, future of Western Ave, and more

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Humble brag: We have pretty sweet bike parking at Beaverton City Hall.
(Photos: Naomi Fast)


Naomi Fast is our Washington County correspondent. Her last report took a closer look at Millikan Way.

A smorgasbord of newsworthy items brings me to my Washington County Updates desk, with these nuggets to share…
[Read more…]

A closer look at cycling on Millikan Way in Beaverton

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Millikan looking east toward Hocken and City Hall.
(Photos by Naomi Fast)

A former Portlander who now lives on the West Side, Naomi Fast is our Washington County correspondent.

In Beaverton, Millikan Way is a useful route to be acquainted with for visits to — or through — the city on a bike. If you’re new to this area of Washington County, or if you haven’t ventured out on a bike much yet, here are a few things to know.
[Read more…]

Beaverton City Council needs to hear about how auto parking decisions impact cycling

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Lloyd northbound toward Millikan, where cars could soon line both sides of the street.
(Photos by Naomi Fast for BikePortland)

This story is from our Washington County correspondent, Naomi Fast.

We need to talk about on-street auto parking in Beaverton.

A big picture glance at Beaverton Traffic Commission meeting agendas shows that over the past couple years, on-street car parking is a consuming and intersectional problem. Residents have been asking the city to lower speed limits rather than rely on parked cars for traffic calming, as well as further restrict on-street car parking. But the parking restriction requests are coming in for two different reasons: some are concerned about safety while traveling on car-cluttered roads, while others are concerned about people sleeping overnight in vehicles on the street.

Biking as transportation is — thankfully — being acknowledged somewhat in the search for solutions. However, some advocates are concerned certain proposed bike lanes (on a section of 5th, specifically, which the Bicycle Advisory Committee endorsed) were being used by the city to justify a new ordinance that would, in effect, evict houseless people from staying overnight in vehicles on the street. Washington County just enacted their own ordinance prohibiting camping on-street in RVs. Like Portland, Beaverton is struggling to house all its residents. The city has even decided to apply for an Urban Growth Boundary expansion.

But today, I’d like to outline a seemingly small detail of the bigger parking problem. It’s an example of the kind of mundane traffic decision that should be considered from a carfree person’s perspective, as part of the equity consideration.

And I think it’s worth a call-to-action for people whose preferred or primary mode of travel in Beaverton is a bicycle.
[Read more…]

A tour of Washington County’s new ‘bike infrastructure theme park’

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Looking north toward Highway 26.
(Photos: Naomi Fast)

– Words and photos by BP Subscriber and Washington County Correspondent Naomi Fast

I took a tour of some of Washington County’s hot-off-the-asphalt-truck bicycle infrastructure, and my verdict is in: it’s worthy of inviting guests from Portland to come check it out.

So come take a virtual ride with me!
[Read more…]

The impact of fear on ‘bike safety’ in car-centric Beaverton — UPDATED

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Beaverton to Tualatin ride-3

What would make streets like this “safer” for bicycling? Fear-mongering? Or perhaps a bit more encouragement and reassurance?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Ms. Fast is BikePortland’s Washington County correspondent.

Sometimes I wonder if a well-intentioned “bike safety” presentation can do more harm than good.

At May’s meeting of the Beaverton Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC), Ben Howard, committee rep and a member of the Beaverton Police Bicycle Patrol unit, gave the committee a flawlessly organized but somewhat chilling presentation on bicycle safety. He introduced it as the same presentation he and police partners regularly give at community events and at companies like Nike, providing audiences with:

— Top five bike safety tips (my paraphrase, in no particular order, is: helmet, defensive riding, defensive riding, helmet, helmet)
— Summary of commonly asked bike law questions
— A warning about being “dead right”

Not included as program bullet points were safety concerns like:
— What is being done by the city to halt traffic violations by drivers?
— To whom—exactly—riders should report unsafe bike lane obstructions?
[Read more…]

Guest article: Why I perservere on the west side’s mean streets

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
Ride Along with Ali Reis-36

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Note: This article is by BikePortland subscriber and Beaverton resident Naomi Fast. Naomi’s perspective is formed in part by the fact that she doesn’t own a car and she’s lived and worked in both Portland and Beaverton.]

In my first subscriber post, I wrote about Beaverton, where I moved in 2013 after a decade in Portland. It occurs to me a few people might wonder how I live without a car in the suburbs. Sometimes it’s not easy! But living without a car is not all that rare, and bike commuting infrastructure is becoming a more vocal priority as Washington County looks to the future.

But challenges in the here-and-now are plentiful, and sometimes I feel frustrated.

For example: Recently, I was riding in dangerous gravel in the SW Murray Blvd bike lane near the Nike Woods, and had to move into the main traffic lane at times to avoid skidding. At the red light, a woman holding her phone in one hand, deep in conversation, drove up on my left. I motioned her to roll down her window. I let her know I was needing to take the lane at times, so please keep an eye out for me! She said she’d drive more to her left to give me room, so that was nice.
[Read more…]

From Bronze to Silver to Gold? A dispatch from Beaverton

Monday, January 16th, 2017

[Note: This post was submitted by BikePortland Subscriber Ms. Fast through our Subscriber Post system. We think it deserves a wider reach so we’ve posted it here on the Front Page. Remember, if you are a subscriber you are also a contributor! We would love to amplify your voice and share your experiences with a wider audience. Sign up here. – Jonathan]

After a decade of living and biking in Portland, I moved to Beaverton in 2013. As I get to know my new city, I’m more and more glad to be here.

Just in the last couple of years, Beaverton:

– Adopted a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan” (2015)
– Was recognized as the safest city in Oregon, followed by Hillsboro (2015)
– Joined the National Welcoming Cities and Counties Initiative, becoming the first city in Oregon to nationally declare itself a Welcoming City (2015)
– Tied with Cupertino, CA for a first-place City Cultural Diversity Award by The National League of Cities (2015)
– Unanimously passed a “Resolution to Declare Support for the Muslim Community & Reaffirm Beaverton as a Welcoming City” (2016)
– and in the first days of 2017, Beaverton became a Sanctuary City and opened its first severe weather shelter

Yes, we’ve got solid leadership in Beaverton! But what about the biking? [Read more…]