Spotlight on Washington County

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Much is happening in Washington County these days around walking and bicycling improvements. Check out some current activities:

Neighborhood Bikeway Plan
Until June 22, the County is collecting feedback on their Neighborhood Bikeway Plan. What is a neighborhood bikeway? It’s a low-traffic, low-speed street that provides bicyclists — especially those who are not comfortable riding on busy streets — a safer and more relaxing place to ride. Nationally, there are successful examples (see here and here) of how to build or retrofit streets that can be safely, comfortably, and easily used by all: walkers, bicyclists, older adults, and those using mobility devices. Creating these routes can sometimes be a challenge, especially in a suburban context, and we applaud Washington County’s efforts to make these connections that will in turn help make our streets useful for people of all ages and abilities. Key goals of the Neighborhood Bikeway Plan include:

  •     Provide a network that is logical, easy to use, well marked and distinctively signed.
  •     Provide bicyclists efficient and convenient access to desired destinations and connectivity to other bike facilities.
  •     Improve comfort and safety for bicyclists of all ages and abilities.

Help Washington County evaluate their proposed neighborhood bikeway routes & let them know if you think they’re on the right track.

Speaking of tracks, looks like new buffered bike lanes are already going in. Read more at BikePortland.

Safe Routes to School in Washington County
In September 2013, Washington County was awarded a $150,000 non-infrastructure grant from the Oregon’s Safe Routes to School Program to fund a Safe Routes to School coordinator for three years. This coordinator will help boost the number of Safe Routes to School programs and activities throughout the County while building valuable Safe Routes to School partnerships among city and county agencies, schools, community organizations, and neighborhoods. The Safe Routes to School coordinator will lead these partners in coordination efforts and leverage expertise, resources and program elements that consider the “5 E’s of Safe Routes to School.”

Washington County’s Safe Routes to School program relies on many partners working together to improve safety and encourage walking and biking to school, including students, parents, teachers, school officials, community officials (police, engineers, health experts), bike and pedestrian advocates and neighborhood groups. Get updates with the Washington County Safe Routes to School activities, get in touch or get involved! More information here.

Aloha-Reedville Plan
The communities of Reedville and Aloha, located between Hillsdale and Beaverton in Washington County, have some unfortunate statistics behind them, in that close to 20 percent of children in the area live below the poverty line, compared to 13 percent countywide; lower incomes and fewer residents employed than the county average. For the first time in decades, though, they now also have a plan for development and a vision for the future: the Aloha-Reedville Plan.

Among topic areas identified by the community, the first one is Getting Around Safely – actions to respond to walking and biking improvements, plans to address at least one sidewalk or accessway improvement around each of the 11 schools in the study area, and working with our partner Trimet on transit improvements. Also on the list: Healthy and Active Living – actions to improve active ways to get around like neighborhood bikeways.

Read the complete report on the Aloha-Reedville Plan.

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