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Nike building paved path to connect headquarters to MAX station

Nike building paved path to connect headquarters to MAX station

nikepathlead

Map from internal Nike employee email showing location of Nike Woods Connector Trail. The MAX station is on the bottom and the Nike campus is on top.

Nike is building a new paved path that will make it easier to bike, walk, and take transit to their World Headquarters in Beaverton.

The new one-third mile long path goes through “Nike Woods” and connects the Beaverton Creek MAX Station to the entrance of Nike’s Headquarters on SW Jenkins Road through a parcel owned by Nike. The path will be paved and lit to “allow for easy pedestrian and bike travel.” There’s already a painted crosswalk and signal at Jenkins Road where the path will come out of the woods.

Here’s a Google Streetview image of the Jenkins/Nike Woods intersection:

nikestreetviewjenkins

The path would come out at the left. Nike’s Jenkins Road entrance is on the right.

The new path would bisect the existing Hollister Trail, which is a dirt running loop on a parcel bound by Jenkins, Murray Blvd, the MAX line, and 153rd Drive. Nike Woods and the running path is currently only open to Nike employees (something not everyone is thrilled about) and cycling isn’t allowed on the Hollister Trail. In the internal email we received, Nike says once the new paved path is built, people running on the Hollister Trail will have the right-of-way because, “we are a running company after all.”

We first covered the possibility of this path in July 2014 when we reported on a $1.9 million Oregon State Lottery grant won by TriMet. That grant included a new crossing of the Beaver Creek station MAX tracks, “to connect to a future east-west trail by Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District and a future north-south Nike trail through the ‘Nike Woods’ property to directly connect to its main campus on SW Jenkins Road.” At that time Nike was mum about details of the path.

That east-west trail mentioned in the grant application is the Beaver Creek Trail. Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec has not started building it yet but sources say it’s coming soon. Once completed it will run along the south edge of the Nike Woods parcel. TriMet has already built a new crossing of the MAX tracks but it’s fenced off because there’s nothing to connect to yet.

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beav creek map

TriMet map drawing shows the Beaver Creek Max station, the Hollister running trail, the future Beaver Creek trail and new Nike path.

Now that we’ve confirmed construction of the Nike path, the question remains: Will the company allow public access? Or will it be open only to employees like the existing Hollister Trail?

We’ve requested comment from Nike but have yet to hear back. Our best guess is that they would be forced to allow public access in some form because the crossing and connection from the Nike-owned path to the MAX station was paid for with public (state) dollars. Also, with Tualatin Hills’ Beaver Creek Trail not being open for at least a year or so, the new crossing currently doesn’t have anything to connect to. When the new Nike path opens it will be very difficult, barring a gate or presence of security personnel, to prevent the public from using it.

This path comes 17 months after Nike launched a bikeshare system on campus that quickly overwhelmed available bike parking at the Beaver Creek MAX station (thankfully TriMet added more a few months later). Washington County is also eyeing additional bikeway improvements on roads around the Nike campus.

As Nike grows, they face transportation challenges unless they start to put a higher priority on bicycling and transit use. As we shared in an employee comment back in December, the company isn’t doing enough to get employees to do something other than drive to campus.

As of last year only about 3 percent of Nike’s 8,000 employees walk or bike to work and about 6 percent take bus or MAX, according to the company’s transporation plan covered in The Oregonian. 78 percent of Nike employees drive alone to work.

Work began on the Nike path in September and is expected to take several months to complete. We’ll update this story when/if we hear back from Nike.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org


The post Nike building paved path to connect headquarters to MAX station appeared first on BikePortland.org.

The Friday Profile: Portland’s idea man has a big plan for eastside biking

The Friday Profile: Portland’s idea man has a big plan for eastside biking

This is veteran transportation activist Jim Howell’s new concept for the central east side: a bike-rail corridor and second-story commercial district running over the Union Pacific railroad tracks and across three bridge landings.

Welcome to the first of a new feature on BikePortland: a brief look at the life or work of an extraordinary local person.

Jim Howell.
(Photo by J.Maus)

When Jim Howell was 37, he organized the first demonstrations that eventually turned Harbor Drive into Waterfront Park. At 40, working as an independent architect, he drew up the design for Northeast Portland’s Woodlawn Park. At 41, he sat on the citizens’ committee that recommended Portland’s first MAX line. At 48, while working for TriMet, he engineered the west-side bus node now known as Beaverton Transit Center. At 51, he co-founded a private van service between Portland and the Oregon coast, a predecessor to today’s Wave bus. At 77, he co-created the plan that became the most prominent alternative to the Columbia River Crossing.

Now, two months before his 80th birthday, Howell has designed his first transportation concept that puts bikes front and center.

It’s a double-decker rail/bike corridor that would, Howell says, dramatically improve transportation through Portland’s central east side while literally creating a car-free second-story commercial district out of thin air.

And as usual, he’s got the renderings to explain it, handbuilt in PowerPoint on his Windows Vista laptop.

“Are you familiar with the High Line in New York?” Howell asks in his soft, thin voice. “We could call this our own High Line.”

“The idea here is to combine light rail and an express bikeway… My off-the-cuff guess is that you’re looking at a $200 million project, which is roughly half what they want to spend to add another damn lane to the freeway.”
— Jim Howell

In an interview Thursday in the kitchen of the Beaumont house he bought for $8,000 after returning from Army service in postwar Germany, Howell sipped Hefeweizen and explained the details of his latest audacious plan.

“I call it ISE-BREW,” he said. He chuckled. “Inner SouthEast Bike-Rail ExpressWay, you see?”

It’s a play on ISTEA, the 1991 federal transportation bill.

Howell likes acronyms. A lot. In 1971, he coined one that stuck: Sensible Transportation Options for People, the group Ron Buel formed with him, Betty Merten and a few friends. Over the next five years, they stopped the proposed Mount Hood Freeway from bulldozing Division Street.

Howell’s new concept isn’t so different: instead of widening Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter for $400 million, it’d find cheaper ways to move people quickly through the area.

“The idea here is to combine light rail and an express bikeway,” Howell said. “From the Springwater Corridor, it’ll take you directly, fast, right up to the Rose Quarter.”

The most interesting trick: for 12 blocks, from Stark to Clay streets, Howell’s light rail line and bikeway would run directly above the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

“These are just conceptual – nothing engineering about them,” Howell said as he flipped through the glossy renderings he’s prepared. “But I know they can be done.”

A few years ago, when TriMet was making plans for its Orange Line, Howell conspired with a friend at TriMet to survey whether a raised platform like this could thread through the Rose Quarter’s bramble of overpasses. It could.

At its north end, the bikeway and light rail line would connect directly to Wheeler Avenue, then run between Interstate 5 and the railroad line until just north of the Burnside Bridge:

At the rapidly developing Burnside Bridgehead, ramps and maybe elevators would connect the bikeway and a new Burnside Street MAX stop to the bridge and bus lines above:

South of the Burnside, the bike path and light rail would climb at a 3 percent grade to above the Morrison and Belmont viaducts, then descend again to the level of the Hawthorne-Madison viaducts and finally connect to the new Orange Line light rail bridge.

The adjoining buildings, Howell said, would then be able to open storefronts that open onto the new bike-rail path and the bridges themselves.

The result would be a connected loop of criscrossing rail, bus and bikeways that Howell says could move at least 2,000 people an hour — about as many as a freeway lane can carry.

“My off-the-cuff guess is that you’re looking at a $200 million project, which is roughly half what they want to spend to add another damn lane to the freeway,” Howell said. “It will reduce the traffic demand on I-5, MLK and Grand and it would provide a true north-south, traffic-free cycle track. And it would also provide a north-south rapid transit line from Vancouver south to Tualatin, which is sorely needed because there is no south leg to that. And it provides far better connections between MAX and buses. The heaviest ridership in the system is on the east side.”

I asked Howell how this would be different from the nearby Eastbank Esplanade, along the river.

Jim Howell

Howell at a 2010 rally against bus cuts.
(Photo by M.Andersen)

“Its purpose is not recreation, just like the purpose of the freeway is not recreation — this is a bicycle freeway,” he said. “The Esplanade suffers from its popularity. It’s such a great thing that there are so many people using it in their wheelchairs, their strollers, their kids. Think back in the 60s when we started putting freeways in because roadways got clogged up. You might say this is kind of a parallel situation. It becomes so popular that we need an alternative.”

Howell said he hasn’t been able to ride a bike himself for 40 years, when he developed chest pains during a long ride and wound up in bypass surgery. Today he gets around by transit, car and foot. He moves with a stoop, his shoulders pushed forward by years of leaning over sketches, keyboards and committee tables.

Howell said he spends maybe 10 hours a week on his transportation advocacy. It’s been volunteer-only since he left his TriMet job in 1985, sick of working inside a bureaucracy. His only official title these days, which he can’t remember without looking at his business card, is “director, strategic planning” for AORTA, a volunteer citizens’ rail and transit advocacy group.

“My wife thinks I’m crazy, and my kids,” he said.

It hasn’t stopped him.

“There’s always a project,” Howell said quietly, finishing his beer. “You can’t be too impatient, because it takes 10 years to get anything done. That’s been my theory, anyway.”

Corrections 11/25: An earlier version of this post inaccurately described the line’s proposed crossing of the Morrison Bridge and the quadrant of Woodlawn Park.

Via Reddit, man shares account of being hit by MAX train

Via Reddit, man shares account of being hit by MAX train

max and bike (old shot from archives)

A man posted on Reddit this morning about his harrowing experience of being struck by a MAX train. He said it happened at a station somewhere near the northeast Portland/Gresham border and that his use of headphones directly contributed to the collision. Here’s “fehu’s” post:

I was on my way to work, and got off at my stop in Northeast Portland/Gresham. I had my headphones in like a dumb ass, and went to cross the intersection before my train had left.

I mounted my bike, like I do every day, and went to cross the intersection. When I noticed the train, it was about 20 feet away, and my body was dead in the center of the tracks. I turned a sharp left, because I knew I couldn’t push past it in time. My front wheel got caught in the track. I unclipped from my pedal, put my foot down, and pushed myself and the bike about six inches back.

At that moment, the left front corner of the train hit my ass, shoulder, and back wheel. It threw me from the cross walk to the center of the intersection. I landed on my ass, which is rather sore. But I’m fine. Emergency personnel and TriMet authorities responded immediately, and told me I was very, very lucky. Reports were filed, and as I have no injury aside from a bruised ass, I went home for the day.

NEVER. Never fucking ever. Wear headphones while crossing a MAX intersection.

I almost lost my life today out of complacence.

TriMet public information officer Roberta Altstadt replied to “fehu” on Reddit to say, “We at TriMet are also happy you were not seriously hurt and appreciate your safety message for others. It is extremely valuable for others to hear a first-hand account.”

Another TriMet spokesperson, Mary Fetsch, said they’ve tried to contact fehu in hopes he will share his story with the local media. Being attentive around MAX trains — and especially not wearing headphones — is a major concern for the agency and has been a subject of their safety marketing for years.

As for fehu, he knows how lucky he is and he also knows what a huge mistake he made. “The police asked the value of the damage to my bike so I could make a claim with TriMet to get it fixed,” he wrote in the Reddit thread, “I declined and told them that It was my fault and that I’m happy to be walking away with a broken bike and a life.”

Via Reddit, man shares account of being hit by MAX train

Via Reddit, man shares account of being hit by MAX train

TriMet released this image of the man who was hit and
the operator who came to his aid.

A man posted on Reddit this morning about his harrowing experience of being struck by a MAX train. He said it happened at a station somewhere near the northeast Portland/Gresham border and that his use of headphones directly contributed to the collision. Here’s “fehu’s” post:

I was on my way to work, and got off at my stop in Northeast Portland/Gresham. I had my headphones in like a dumb ass, and went to cross the intersection before my train had left.

I mounted my bike, like I do every day, and went to cross the intersection. When I noticed the train, it was about 20 feet away, and my body was dead in the center of the tracks. I turned a sharp left, because I knew I couldn’t push past it in time. My front wheel got caught in the track. I unclipped from my pedal, put my foot down, and pushed myself and the bike about six inches back.

At that moment, the left front corner of the train hit my ass, shoulder, and back wheel. It threw me from the cross walk to the center of the intersection. I landed on my ass, which is rather sore. But I’m fine. Emergency personnel and TriMet authorities responded immediately, and told me I was very, very lucky. Reports were filed, and as I have no injury aside from a bruised ass, I went home for the day.

NEVER. Never fucking ever. Wear headphones while crossing a MAX intersection.

I almost lost my life today out of complacence.

TriMet public information officer Roberta Altstadt replied to “fehu” on Reddit to say, “We at TriMet are also happy you were not seriously hurt and appreciate your safety message for others. It is extremely valuable for others to hear a first-hand account.”

Another TriMet spokesperson, Mary Fetsch, said they’ve tried to contact fehu in hopes he will share his story with the local media. Being attentive around MAX trains — and especially not wearing headphones — is a major concern for the agency and has been a subject of their safety marketing for years.

As for fehu, he knows how lucky he is and he also knows what a huge mistake he made. “The police asked the value of the damage to my bike so I could make a claim with TriMet to get it fixed,” he wrote in the Reddit thread, “I declined and told them that It was my fault and that I’m happy to be walking away with a broken bike and a life.”