Washington County

Welcome to our coverage of Washington County. Browse posts below and click the headline for the full story. If you have news tips or feedback please get in touch.

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

by on May 17th, 2017 at 10:19 am

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…]

Washington County Board of Commissioners adopts policy preference for protected bikeways

by on January 17th, 2017 at 11:20 am

Beaverton to Tualatin ride-3

A bit of separation would be nice.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Roads in Washington County are notorious for being wide and fast — which is why a new policy to physically separate motor vehicle users from bicycle users is such good news.

Last week the Washington County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to codify their preference for protected bicycle facilities on major County roads.

In a statement about the policy, District 1 Commissioner (and Vice-Chair) Dick Schouten* said, “The board has long recognized the need to not only provide access to bicyclists, but to make sure that access is safe and equitable. Bicycling and other forms of active transportation promotes healthy lifestyles, reduces traffic congestion and improves our quality of life. As a Board, we are committed to doing everything we can to support this by making sure our roadways are safe for all modes of transportation.”

The policy (begins on page 45 of this PDF) that passed at the January 10th meeting not only states the Board’s preference, it also requires County staff to evaluate the feasibility of separated bicycle facilities on all County-funded capital road projects and then present those options to the Board before projects move beyond the 30 percent design stage. Also, when designing new road projects, County staff will be required to evaluate at least two bicycle facility types — including at least one that provides physical separation and/or protection of bicycle users from motor vehicle users.[Read more…]

Forced to steal, a Cedar Hills teen turns in her mom and gets a new bike

by on October 7th, 2016 at 11:45 am

This duo was arrested on multiple charges.(Photos: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

This duo was arrested on multiple charges.
(Photos: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

We’ve covered many bike theft stories over the years; but we’ve never heard of anything quite like what we learned from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office this morning.

A 13-year-old girl in Cedar Hills (seven miles west of Portland) called the police to report a bicycle that she suspected was stolen. The amazing thing is that the bike was given to her by her mother and she told the responding officer it was probably stolen. She was right. She also disclosed that her mom had forced her to steal all sorts of things from apartment complexes and donation drop-off locations.

Deputies investigated and found out that the girl’s mom — 33-year-old Beaverton resident Lara Kent and her partner, 37-year-Jack Harman Jr. from Portland — had a U-haul van and a storage unit stuffed with stolen goods. They tracked down the van and the storage unit and ultimately arrested the duo.

Among the 70 stolen items recovered were jewelry, checks, mail, license plates, new clothing, 10 bicycles and one electric scooter that belonged to Portlander Cheryl Evans.
[Read more…]

Even in suburban Oregon, drive-alone trips are a shrinking share of new commutes

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 17th, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Beaverton to Tualatin ride-2

Bike commuter Jim Parsons in Washington County.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland metro area seems to have already discovered how to slow the growth of traffic congestion, the city’s bicycle planning coordinator said Friday. But it’s not investing in it very quickly.

Between 2000 and 2014, the three Oregon counties in the metro area added 122,000 new commuters. And inside the Metro urban growth boundary, less than half of that net growth came from people driving alone in cars.

[Read more…]

West-side group wants advice about bike parking locations in the burbs

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 8th, 2016 at 9:25 am

The (Epic) Sushi Ride

The suburbanite’s familiar search.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

BikePortland’s bike parking coverage is sponsored by Huntco Site Furnishings.

Suburban parking lots often fail horribly at bike parking — not because it’s expensive but simply because developers weren’t thinking about it.

But as hundreds of Portland retailers can testify, decent bike parking is a big part of making a business district bike-friendly. It’s a key part of making it feel natural and normal to go out for an errand, a beer, a meeting, a movie or a daycare dropoff on a bicycle.

With low-car lifestyles getting more common in Washington County over the last few years, some people in the area are looking to upgrade the bike parking. That’s why the Westside Transportation Alliance is working on a project right now to select the best locations for new bike racks.

[Read more…]

First look: Nike’s new bike path through the woods connects light rail to World HQ

by on March 1st, 2016 at 9:11 am

Nike Woods Adam pics-7

View from the new path looking south at Beaverton Creek MAX light rail station.
(All photos by Adam Herstein)

Nike has just opened a new bike path through a forested parcel adjacent to their world headquarters.
[Read more…]

TriMet to add 200 covered bike parking spots to MAX system

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 29th, 2016 at 3:16 pm

trimet bike parking

Concept art for a new bike-and-ride facility at the Goose Hollow MAX station, due to open by the end of 2016.
(Images: TriMet)

Portland’s regional transit agency expects to add new locked “Bike and Ride” facilities this year to its Goose Hollow, Beaverton Creek and Orenco Station MAX stops, greatly increasing the west side’s capacity for bike-to-transit commuting.

It’s especially welcome news for MAX commuters through the crowded Robertson Tunnel between Portland and Washington County. Job and residential growth in Central Portland and urban Washington County have been leading to more and more people looking to reach those stations by bike.

At at least one of the facilities, there’s even room being set aside specifically for cargo bikes.

[Read more…]

Salmonberry Trail to the coast hits milestone, begins fundraising effort

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on September 30th, 2015 at 9:09 am

The Salmonberry Trail would connect Banks
to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast.
(Map by Oregon State Parks & Rec)

The proposed Salmonberry Trail, a path that would connect Washington County to the Pacific coast through the forest along a defunct rail line, has an official name and is about to get a full-time executive director.

Previously referred to as the “Salmonberry Corridor,” the trail also has an 11-member decision-making body with formal power to start raising the unknown millions that’d be required for the 86-mile proposal.

The Salmonberry Coalition will celebrate those milestones at its annual meeting next month. The public event is 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Oct. 9, at Stub Stewart State Park.

[Read more…]

Man on bike seriously injured in SW Barnes Road collision (updated)

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 22nd, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Screenshot 2015-05-22 at 4.13.49 PM

Southwest Barnes Road at Miller Road.
(Image: Google Street View)

A man reportedly received life-threatening head injuries while biking on Southwest Barnes Road Friday afternoon, just west of the Washington/Multnomah County line on the street that is known, in Multnomah County, as Burnside.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release late Friday that David Garcia, age 43, of Cedar Mill, was pedaling westbound on Barnes, possibly in or near the right turn lane, when an SUV turned left in front of him onto Southwest Miller Road.

[Read more…]

Hillsboro police Tasered and tackled man who biked through stoplight, records show

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 8th, 2015 at 9:22 am

13th tv highway

This is the Tualatin Valley Highway intersection where Jermaine Robinson biked, from right to left, immediately before a police stop that rapidly escalated into a Tasering and takedown.
(Image: Google Street View)

The City of Hillsboro and two of its police officers may head to trial this fall over a largely unreported 2012 incident in which the officers Tasered a 39-year-old Hillsboro man and kneed him into the ground after he allegedly rolled through a “don’t walk” light on his bike and then refused to give his name.

The interaction escalated over the course of three minutes from an evening traffic stop to a Taser-assisted takedown of a man who by all accounts had never attempted to physically harm the officers, though he did pull away from them when they tried to restrain and tackle him without warning.

[Read more…]