Washington County commissioner swaps car parking spot for a bike locker

Washington County commissioner swaps car parking spot for a bike locker

Washington County Commissioner Dick Schouten tries out the bike locker.
(Photos courtesy Janna Allgood)

This is a guest article submitted by Washington County Sustainability Program Educator Janna Allgood.

When it comes to amenities for people who ride bikes, Washington County learned that it pays to think strategically about who’s on your bike commuter list.

Rod Rice, Senior Deputy County Administrator and long-time bike commuter, snapped a few photos of the tight bike parking conditions at an August breakfast to kick off the BTA’s Bike Commute Challenge. “Our bike commuter email list has grown from 36 to 49 employees since May,” said Rice.

Martin Granum, Washington County Facilities & Parks Services Superintendent, and fellow bike commuter, jumped on the issue. “I park my bike at another building,” said Granum, “so I didn’t know how bad the parking was getting to be at our main building on First Avenue.” More bike racks, enough for close to 30 more commuters, have been ordered and will be installed this fall.

Not to be outdone, Washington County Commissioner Dick Schouten, another seasoned bike commuter, offered his reserved car parking space for more bike parking. A bike locker, capable of securely storing two bicycles, was recently installed.

Schouten says, “Commuting by bike can save you thousands of dollars every year and improves your physical health.” He also notes that “Washington County has a lot of money tied up in parking lots. The bike locker easily doubles the capacity of my old parking space. That’s good for the County and two commuter bikes are now safely sheltered from the weather.”

Incidentally, Commissioner Schouten returned from Cycle Oregon 2013 last week and followed that by participating in the 50-mile inaugural ride of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway on Monday, September 16.

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