Washington Park shuttle drivers concerned about unsafe behaviors from bicycle riders

When you see purple, slow down and chill out.

It’s peak season at Washington Park. That means about 1.2 million people will visit the Oregon Zoo, the Rose Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, the Japanese Garden and many other attractions between now and September.

The good news is that about one-quarter of visitors opt to get around the park via the free shuttle. The bad news is that according to shuttle operators, some people who ride bicycles in the park are not being as safe as they should be.

Washington Park’s free shuttle service is the fastest growing mode of transportation in the park. 120,000 people used it last season, a 40 percent increase from 2015. This year the park is encouraging even more people to take the shuttle due to the reservoir construction project.

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Westside transportation pro will lead new Washington Park access group

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Heather McCarey

The director of one of the region’s older transportation nonprofits is moving to one of the region’s newest.

Heather McCarey announced Wednesday that she’ll be leaving the Westside Transportation Alliance to become executive director of the newly formed Washington Park Transportation Management Association, which will focus on improving bike, transit and carpool travel options to Washington Park.

Both organizations are chartered by local governments to reduce auto travel by making it easier for people to reach their destinations by walking, biking, or taking public transportation.

The Westside TMA seeks to improve non-auto travel options throughout Washington County and is funded by a federally funded grant administered by Metro and voluntary dues from Washington County employers. The new Washington Park TMA will be funded by a similar Metro grant plus auto parking fees from people who bring autos to visit the park and its tenants: the Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Center, Portland Children’s Museum, Portland Japanese Garden and Hoyt Arboretum.

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