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.

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.
[Read more…]

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…]

Help make biking better in Beaverton via this online open house

by on May 31st, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Beaverton’s bike network will be better if you share your feedback.

The City of Beaverton has opened a virtual open house for their first-ever Active Transportation Plan. The plan, which also includes walking-related infrastructure of course, will help city staff implement the right facilities in the right places.
[Read more…]

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…]