About Naomi Fast (Washington County Correspondent)
Naomi Fast (Washington County Correspondent) Posts
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.
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.
– 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!
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?
[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.
[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…]