We’re Excited About Washington County’s Transportation System Plan. Here’s Why.

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A Transportation System Plan is a 20-year vision for transportation in a given area, including maps and standards for major roads, freight, bicycling, walking, and transit. Washington County is finishing an update to their TSP through the year 2035, and there is good news for everyone: the plan calls for better, safer bikeways on big streets; outlines safety, economic vitality, livability and the natural environment as guiding principles; and plants a seed for the exploration of a future trail all along the Tualatin-Valley Highway.

We’re especially thrilled that TV Highway has been designated as an “Enhanced Major Street Bikeway” and a “Regional Trail Refinement Area.” A regional trail along TV Highway and physically protected on-street bikeways are two exciting options that would make TV Highway safer and better for everyone.

This new raised cycle track on 231st Avenue in Orenco Station provides a clear, comfortable space for bicycling, walking, and driving.

This new raised cycle track in Orenco Station, Hillsboro provides a clear, comfortable space for bicycling, walking, and driving. Photo: Lisa Frank, 4/9/14.

We are excited to see Washington County propose a network of Enhanced Major Street Bikeways: major roads that have, or will have, “buffered bike lanes or cycle tracks on one or both sides of the road.” These protected bikeways are what’s needed to make big streets safe in Washington County.

Check out our new Protected Bikeways Toolkit to learn more.

The proposed network includes BTA Blueprint priorities like TV Highway and north-south routes across Highway 26 (Murray, 185th Ave, Cornelius Pass Road, and 229th-Century Blvd), as well as many other major streets like Scholls Ferry and Walker. All other major roads are designated as “Major Street Bikeways” which includes a 6′ wide standard bike lane, in some cases with an additional painted buffer separating the bike lane from auto traffic.

Enhanced Major Street Bikeways, like Walker Road, could look like this:

Created using Streetmix.

Image created using Streetmix. Disclaimer: This image was created by BTA staff and is not meant to represent an official Washington County-approved design.

 

You can see a map of proposed Enhanced Major Street Bikeways and regional trails here. The complete filed ordinance is available here.

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Comment

Comments (2)

  1. Larry Permalink  | Jul 02, 2014 09:00pm

    TV Highway is certainly an important east-west route through the Tualatin valley, and improvements are needed, but I still doubt that I’d use that route. Why? Too much noise & traffic; too many driveways and intersections. I believe that more effort should be put into a parallel route designated as bike boulevards. Maybe Millikan and Johnson could be part of that. There are gaps where no suitable “quiet” street currently exists, to be sure. West of Hillsboro, the proposed Council Creek Bikeway may be the best bet for Cornelius and Forest Grove commuters and recreational riders. But TV Highway isn’t as urban there, so it could probably be made workable with some effort and cooperation.

    As for Highway 26 crossings, I was glad to see 229th-Century mentioned above. Currently, the Rock Creek Trail underpass is the only really comfortable crossing of US-26 east of North Plains or west of Sunset TC. I’m really hoping that with the new interchange at Brookwood, a safe bicycle crossing (including a bike+ped-only path onto Meek Road) will be included. Open houses I’ve attended with ODOT and WashCo reps give me some hope that Brookwood will finally be a feasible bike route.

  2. Lisa Frank Permalink  | Jul 08, 2014 04:35pm

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Larry. TV Highway presents many challenges; as you said, in some areas it is the only option and must be improved for biking and walking, whereas in other areas there is potential for a trail parallel to the highway. Neighborhood bikeways are a good interim solution that is being explored by the City of Beaverton and Washington County (you can read more here). However, neighborhood routes do not provide the same connectivity and access to business as our big streets, so it is important that roads like TV Highway are safe for biking too.

    I hope Brookwood becomes more comfortable for bicycling too! The Bicycle Transportation Alliance would also like to see a new bike/ped crossing of Highway 26 at Cornelius Pass Road. You can read more about that here.

    You can sign up for updates on our work on TV Highway, Highway 26 crossings, and more here. We need your support and your voice to make Washington County a better place to bicycle!


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