Washington County proposes protected bike lane outside Nike HQ

Washington County proposes protected bike lane outside Nike HQ

The new bike lane would be similar to this one in
Toronto, Washington County Bicycle-Pedestrian
Coordinator Shelley Oylear said.
(Image courtesy Washington County)

The main drag outside Nike’s Washington County headquarters could soon be home to one of the region’s first curb-protected bike lanes.

At an open house tomorrow, the county will present plans to widen 1.8 miles of Walker Road north and west of the fast-growing sportswear giant, making it a five-lane thoroughfare throughout the stretch and adding better sidewalks, storm drainage, street lighting and a low, rounded curb separating bike and auto traffic.

Washington County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Shelley Oylear said the project is part of a growing understanding in county government that it’s impossible to build wider and wider roads forever — as the county gets more dense, there simply won’t be space for almost all trips to involve a car.

“People are going to have to expect that if we build a four or five lane road, that’s it,” Oylear said in an interview last month.

That’s part of why the county is looking to build more protected bikeways that could increase the appeal of biking on busy streets.

The $15.7 million project will be paid for by county property taxes. Project manager Matt Costigan said perhaps 5 to 10 percent of that cost will go toward the bikeway.

As of last year, about 8,000 Nike employees worked in Oregon, 2,800 of them inside Beaverton city limits. The company won’t say how many work at the campus itself, which sits just outside city limits, but last year it purchased 18 buildings to expand its campus along Walker Road as far west as 158th Avenue.

Here’s what Walker Road looks like today, looking southeast near Murray Boulevard (images from Google Street View):

And here’s the street further northwest, near the other end of the project at 173rd:

The proposed Walker Road bike lanes wouldn’t be the county’s first. There’s also a much simpler facility on Farmington Road.

The open house for the event will be 5 to 7 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, January 23, at Kaleo (Summit View) Covenant Church, 15900 SW Regatta Lane, Beaverton. There’s no formal program, so you can arrive any time during that window. Staff from Washington County and design consultant David Evans and Associates will be available to answer questions.

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