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.

WashCo Bikes hires Joe Kurmaskie as first-ever executive director

by on July 3rd, 2018 at 12:12 pm

WashCo Bikes’ new logo and new ED Joe Kurmaskie (as seen at an anti Columbia River Crossing rally in 2009).
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Bike advocacy on the other side of the west hills from Portland has gone through a lot of changes in the past few months.

The nonprofit Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition changed their name to WashCo Bikes back in May and this week they’ve announced their first-ever executive director.
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How to find the Highway 26 bike path from the Sunset Transit Center

by on June 22nd, 2018 at 12:07 pm

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:
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Washington County wants to widen the Walker and Murray intersection

by on May 30th, 2018 at 1:55 pm

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

by on May 14th, 2018 at 2:08 pm

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…
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Love riding gravel? Meet Washington County’s unpaved road “Kahuna” Dan Morgan

by on March 2nd, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Dan Morgan on Smoke Ranch Road, one of his favorites. After riding roads like these for years, he’s now helping make sure they stay unpaved.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s fitting that I first met Dan Morgan on a gravel road.

The 66 year-old former dairy farmer, IBM retiree and Beaverton resident has been riding unpaved country roads his whole life. Now that the activity has become one of the biggest trends in cycling, he’s become an ambassador of sorts. He’s also working to prevent the county from paving over this newly discovered paradise.
[Read more…]

A closer look at cycling on Millikan Way in Beaverton

by on February 26th, 2018 at 3:03 pm

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

by on February 8th, 2018 at 3:16 pm

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.
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Finding heaven on the Hell of the North Plains

by on January 22nd, 2018 at 4:04 pm

And then there was this bright green meadow on our way up to the top of Wildcat Mountain.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Sometimes all it takes to find a good adventure on two wheels is to just look a little harder.

Many of the best roads on Saturday’s Hell of the North Plains ride were in places I’ve ridden or driven near for many years. But somehow, someway, the routefinding raconteurs at Our Mother the Mountain (OMTM) manage to go deeper into (relatively) local backroads than most of us will ever venture on our own.
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Undercover distracted driving sting leads to 107 stops in just 5 hours

by on October 13th, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Like shooting fish in a barrel.
(Photo: Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

Just how rampant is dangerous driving and law-breaking among drivers? Our latest example comes from Washington County where sheriff deputies in Aloha went undercover to help educate the public about Oregon’s new hands-free driving law.

In five hours of work they stopped 73 people for violating the new law, passing out 11 citations and 62 warnings.

The Sheriff’s office called it a “non-traditional enforcement mission” (they prefer “mission” instead of sting) because they used undercover deputies. The plainclothes deputies stood on the sidewalk at intersections as “spotters” and would then tip-off other deputies when they saw violations.

Oregon’s new distracted driving law (HB 2597) went into effect October 1st (we have an in-depth post about it from our legal expert Ray Thomas coming Monday). It covers many more behaviors than the old law (which only focused on cell phones) and also applies when you are stopped in traffic.
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A tour of Washington County’s new ‘bike infrastructure theme park’

by on August 29th, 2017 at 1:47 pm

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…]