The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is happy to see the Oregonian paying tribute to the great work Washington County staff and Commissioners are doing to create a safe and healthy transportation system for all road users. The steps the County has taken over the last 24 months — such as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Prioritization Process and the Bicycle Facility Design Toolkit — are critical to help create a future where people can safely and comfortably walk and bike in Washington County.
MAX to Market ride. Photo by Will Vanlue / The Prudent Cyclist
Despite all the progress that has been made, the reality is that we are just laying the groundwork and we have a long way to go. Right now, in most communities in Washington County, the only way to get to everyday destinations such as the grocery store, pharmacy, employment centers, and MAX stations is by driving. People who choose to ride bikes are still limited to riding on narrow bike lanes with many gaps, which is unappealing to all but the strongest and bravest riders.
The BTA envisions a Washington County where people truly have a choice of safe ways to get around. It’s time to make bold changes to the norms of funding and policy that doesn’t just allow for bicycle access, but actively encourages people to walk and bicycle for transportation, recreation, and health.
The County Commissioners, the Department of Land Use and Transportation, and the citizens of Washington County need to push forward projects that create healthy and safe transportation choices. We need to build sidewalks, close the gaps in the bicycle network, and build trails that take people to jobs and transit. We need to spend our transportation funding on projects that get people moving instead of creating more congestion that clogs up roads in Washington County. Let’s continue to spend our time, talent, and resources creating a Washington County transportation system that works for everyone.