Vagabond Shark

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Archive for May, 2007

Possible future Beaverton / Portland bike commute route

Posted by Peter W on May 22, 2007

The Red Electric Trail could be a possible future connection between Beaverton and Portland for recreational trail users as well as commuters.

Unfortunately, according to this article in the Portland Tribune, the trail could take $17 million dollars and 20 years to complete.

It would be interesting to compare the cost of this project with other trail and transportation projects. I’m not sure how the $17 million compares, but I know 20 years seems like a long time. I wonder if there is any way to make it happen faster (or cheaper, for that matter).

Another article about it is this one from

The Red Electric Trail Planning Study is available here:


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Rock Creek Bicycle Alliance

Posted by Peter W on May 18, 2007

If anyone from Portland Community College Rock Creek campus, or community members from the Rock Creek / Bethany area is reading this and interested in bicycles, I suggest checking out the Rock Creek Bicycle Alliance. From the website:

The Rock Creek Bicycle Alliance (RCBA) is a group of students, staff, and community members at the PCC Rock Creek campus, working to promote cycling for recreation and transportation.

The RCBA has recreational group bike rides leaving from PCC Rock Creek, offers free mechanic help, and is promoting both racing and commuting.

An important project that the RCBA is going to work on is helping ensure that the new North Bethany development is bike friendly (as bike friendly as a development of 10,000 people can be…), but that is another story.

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May 8th Bicycle Transportation Coalition meeting

Posted by Peter W on May 11, 2007

Jenny and I went to the Washington County BTC (Bicycle Transportation Coalition) meeting on Tuesday night and it was pretty interesting.

Heres the highlights:

We met Dick Schouten, a Washington County Commissioner who is very bike friendly (he commutes by bike in fact). He’ll be a good contact if we need help getting things done in Washington County (for example, getting crosswalks put in near PCC Rock Creek, and along the Rock Creek Trail).

Commissioner Schouten would like to see Washington County more involved in promoting bike tourism related events, such as Cycle Oregon (Day 2 of the Weekend route is partly in Washington County). There is a 2% motel tax which generates funds to promote wineries, ameature sports and nature — all of which fit well with recreational cycling. Currently most travelers in the county are on business trips, so it would be great to increase both tourism and cycling.

Hal Ballard (one of the main BTC leaders) suggested that Commisioner Schouten look into the League of American Bicyclists Bike Friendly Communities award, to see if Washington County could qualify for that. Usually it is given to cities, but Washington County is quite urban and probably does a lot more for cyclists than other counties in the U.S.

On April 19th, 7 members of RROMAC, Tom Tushner (the county’s lead Traffic Engineer) and other traffic engineers attended Hal’s class that covers bicycle information for motorists. It is good to see that the county is educating their traffic engineers about bicycle issues.

The BTC has also convinced the county that when chip-seal is re-applied to rural roads it should not be applied to the shoulders where bicycles travel (because it takes a long time for that stuff to become smooth enough for comfortable riding). Besides improving road conditions for cyclists, that alone will save the county about $40,000 per year. In addition, the county has agreed that when they pave (or was it re-pave?) rural roads, they should add a small amount of extra pavement to the shoulders to make them more safe to ride on (I think it was like a foot).

The BTC does Bike Safety tabling at the Cedar Mills Farmers Market. Also, Hillsboro Farmers Market has asked the BTC to do tabling, but the BTC doesn’t have the people-power (yet!). They are looking for volunteers.

The BTC is working on creating something like the Community Cycling Center, in Beaverton. They’re applying for a small grant from the city which would pay for a company like Alta Planning and Design to help design the facility and figure out how it would operate, and then they’re going to re-apply for a 200K grant to get it started. Pretty cool if you ask me!

Perhaps most exciting to me is that one of the members has access to video recording gear, including a helmet cam. I would like to try one of those some time.

It is a pretty cool group of people. I’m looking forward to riding with them at the Westside Ride of Silence, on Wednesday May 16th. (details).

Posted in bikes, washington county | 1 Comment »