All posts by Jeff Owen

I’m TriMet’s active transportation planner. I work with our regional partners to improve conditions for combining transit trips with walking and biking, including sidewalks, crossings, trails, bikeways, and bike parking. Away from work, I can be found walking, riding my bike, hiking or cheering in the Timbers Army.

BIKETOWN is coming

We know from our work creating the TriMet Bike Plan that our riders care about and rely on bike access. When BIKETOWN, Portland’s public bike share system, makes its debut tomorrow, many riders will have a new option for connecting to transit. That it’s healthy, fun and convenient is icing on the cake.

How does BIKETOWN work?

Ride for a single trip ($2.50), an entire day ($12) or for a whole year with an annual membership ($12/month).

Unlock a ride at the station using the computer and keypad on the back of the bike, and you’re on your way.

When you’re done, lock up at the station — the smart bike will know that you’ve finished your ride.

We like bike share because it extends the reach of transit, making trips by bus or train more accessible to more people. It also helps to make one-way bike trips possible and reduces barriers to biking like ownership, storage, maintenance and concerns about theft.

BIKETOWN

I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing how riders combine trips between BIKETOWN and TriMet. Personally, I’m excited to use bike share for short trips, connections to daytime meetings, getting out of the office for lunch and running errands after work.

BIKETOWN

A few things about BIKETOWN I’d like to point out:

  • If you ride on the Transit Mall (5th and 6th avenues) in Downtown Portland, be sure to stay on the left side of the roadway in the shared lanes and bike lane on portions of SW 5th. Please stay out of the transit lane(s) on the right side of the roadway, as these spaces are only for buses and trains.
  • Don’t bring the bikes on board. One of the best things about bike share is that you only use it when you need it — just park or pick up a bike wherever you’re connecting to the bus or train. (Plus, it doesn’t make sense to pay for bike share time on top of your transit fare.)
  • When you end your ride, if the BIKETOWN station closest to your destination is full, you can lock your bike at a public bike rack close to the station marked with an orange sticker for no additional charge. If you lock your bike at a public bike rack further from a station, a $2 fee applies.
  • The bikes don’t come with helmets, so bring your own if you want one and you plan on riding that day. Keeping a helmet at the office might be a good idea if you plan on riding during the day.
  • Cross tracks straight on. Crossing tracks at an angle or turning across tracks is risky — your wheel can slip into the trackbed and result in a crash. When in doubt, walk your bike across the tracks and check out these safety tips for riding a bike around transit vehicles.
  • You can make money using BIKETOWN. A little bit, anyway: Members who spot bike share bikes locked at public racks will be rewarded with a $1 account credit for returning them to a station.
  • Sneaker Bikes!

BIKETOWN

There are 100 BIKETOWN stations, which means lots of overlap with transit in Portland — take a look at the service area and station map to see what your next trip might look like.

As BIKETOWN establishes itself, we’ll continue working with our partners to encourage smooth connections for transit and bike riders. We hope to see you on a bright orange bike soon!

Learn more about BIKETOWN

Jeff Owen

Jeff Owen

I’m TriMet’s active transportation planner. I work with our regional partners to improve conditions for combining transit trips with walking and biking, including sidewalks, crossings, trails, bikeways, and bike parking. Away from work, I can be found walking, riding my bike, hiking or cheering in the Timbers Army.

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What do you think of our Draft Bike Plan?

We’re currently creating the TriMet Bike Plan, a roadmap that will help guide future investments in biking infrastructure and amenities. This includes improving bike access to transit stops, expanding parking options, and accommodating bikes onboard buses and trains. The goal of the plan is to make bike+transit trips easier, safer and more convenient for more people.

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Biking helps to extend the reach of transit, making transit trips more accessible to more people. As the region grows and changes, we know our riders’ interest in connecting to transit by bike will grow.

This plan serves as a companion to our pedestrian access analysis from 2011. Though we don’t have direct control over sidewalks and bikeways, we recognize that if you can’t get to our bus stops and rail stations, you can’t benefit from our service, so good walking and biking connections are essential for our riders.

Weigh in: Whether you connect to bus, MAX or WES, or if you bike all the way to your destination, we want your feedback

With help from outside experts, we’ve drafted a plan that includes guidance from partners, including city and county leaders. This includes feedback from open houses, online outreach and rider comments. Of course, we also got input from our drivers. All of this was taken into account as we studied existing conditions, analyzed access to transit stations and stops, and studied best practices from other agencies around the country.

Feedback on a map at a Bike Plan open house

The plan includes recommendations for how to improve access to stations and stops, invest in bike parking improvements, and connect people with their community — all while easing traffic congestion and reducing air pollution. In the end, the goal is to make the Portland area a better place to live.

We’ll be taking your feedback through the end of the month and then finalizing the plan in June. So take a look at the plan, available for the next two weeks, and let us know what you think!

Jeff Owen

Jeff Owen

I’m TriMet’s active transportation planner. I work with our regional partners to improve conditions for combining transit trips with walking and biking, including sidewalks, crossings, trails, bikeways, and bike parking. Away from work, I can be found walking, riding my bike, hiking or cheering in the Timbers Army.

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Combining biking and transit: One rider’s story

As Bike Month continues, we’d like to introduce Brian, a daily TriMet rider who combines biking with transit trips:

Brian combines biking with transit on his commute.
Brian combines biking with transit on his commute.

Brian recently told us about his commute options from southwest Beaverton to Downtown Portland, where he works as an architect. All of them combine biking with some form of transit, whether bus, MAX or WES.

At the start of his daily commute, Brian chooses between walking to a stop along Line 92 or Line 62, biking to WES or driving to Sunset Transit Center to park and hop on MAX to get into Downtown Portland.

Bike & Ride facility at Sunset Transit Center
Bike & Ride facility at Beaverton Transit Center

Brian says he benefits in many ways from his typical commute:

“Here’s the obvious great thing about my bike-WES-MAX commute: exercise, riding through Fanno Creek Greenway and not having to bring a bike on MAX,” he says. “Instead, I lock it up dry and safe for the day.”

He takes advantage of secure enclosed bike parking at Sunset TC, accessible with a BikeLink card.

Bike & Ride facilities can be accessed with a BikeLink card.
Bike & Ride facilities can be accessed with a BikeLink card.

Although many riders choose to bring their bike on transit so they can ride to their destination, Brian points out that it can be nice to leave your bike behind, knowing it’s safe and secure.

Safe, secure and dry!
Safe, secure and dry!

We want riding to transit to be an option for anyone who’s interested. We’ll continue to add bike parking when we can, and we always appreciate riders like Brian who share their stories encouraging others to saddle up.

It’s great to hear from riders who combine biking and transit trips, whether for commuting or for recreation. If you’d like to share your ride with us, email bikes@trimet.org.

Jeff Owen

Jeff Owen

I’m TriMet’s active transportation planner. I work with our regional partners to improve conditions for combining transit trips with walking and biking, including sidewalks, crossings, trails, bikeways, and bike parking. Away from work, I can be found walking, riding my bike, hiking or cheering in the Timbers Army.

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It’s easy to combine bike and transit trips

In honor of Bike Month, we’d like to highlight a commute that combines biking with TriMet.

Matthew Hampton starts his commute in the Boring area, southeast of Gresham, and after a short stretch riding on Highway 212’s wide shoulder, he joins the trailhead for the Springwater Corridor in Downtown Boring.

After the “best 8-mile ride you can imagine,” which is slightly downhill, he rolls into the recently renovated Gresham Main City Park and grabs coffee and a freshly made bagel from Jazzy Bagels.

Typical shot from the Springwater Trail, linking Boring to Gresham.
Typical shot from the Springwater Trail, linking Boring to Gresham.

Then it’s a little hop over to the Gresham Central MAX Station where he checks his bike into the secure BikeLink parking room, then boards MAX to enjoy a nice ride to Portland without the hassle of dealing with hanging and un-hanging his bike. Matthew works in the Lloyd District so he walks only a couple of blocks from the MAX station.

His favorite part of the commute is seeing the variety of folks on the trail in the morning: “Everyone has a smile and it’s like we have this little secret. I feel incredibly grateful this path is still providing mobility for the region’s population and it fits in my commute.”

“Everyone has a smile and it’s like we have this little secret. I feel incredibly grateful this path is still providing mobility for the region’s population and it fits in my commute.”

Matthew’s favorite spot along his commute. He calls it “Clackanoma Park.”
Matthew’s favorite spot along his commute. He calls it “Clackanoma Park.”

Other things Matthew likes about his commute? The physically separated biking paths and the locked bicycle storage. He can even get supplies or repairs from the Gresham Bicycle Center which is conveniently located in the same structure as the TriMet BikeLink parking room.

Keep enjoying the ride, Matthew. We’ll keep an eye out for you both on the trail and on MAX. Happy Bike Month to you!

TriMet resources for cyclists:

Bikes and TriMet: How to get there by bike, bus and train

Plan a bike/transit trip at trimet.org

Park & Ride Locations: Free 24-hour parking for riders

Get your own “I ride” TriMet bicycle messenger bag

 

TriMet does not endorse and is not responsible for any business, product or services mentioned in this blog article.

 

Jeff Owen

Jeff Owen

I’m TriMet’s active transportation planner. I work with our regional partners to improve conditions for combining transit trips with walking and biking, including sidewalks, crossings, trails, bikeways, and bike parking. Away from work, I can be found walking, riding my bike, hiking or cheering in the Timbers Army.

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Forest Grove makes investments to improve bike access to transit

Forest Grove bike shelters at 19th and Pacific U
Covered bike parking keeps your bike dry during the rainy season while you hop on the bus or train to finish your trip. Pictured here is the sheltered bike parking near Pacific University on Line 57.

If you live, work, or study just a little too far away from the bus stop or train station to walk, biking to transit is a great option to consider. If there’s room, you can bring your bike with you on board, but often demand is high and bike parking comes to the rescue. Parking your bike at the stop or station allows you to complete the rest of your trip on transit hassle-free without always watching after or worrying about your bike.

Forest Grove bike shelters 19th and B
Covered bike parking at 19th Avenue and B Street

We are very happy to highlight the city of Forest Grove’s efforts in providing high quality covered bike parking at three locations along Line 57-TV Hwy/Forest Grove in Forest Grove.

Forest Grove applied for grant funding for these three bike parking installations through Metro’s Regional Travel Options (RTO) grant program. This program aims to increase the awareness of non-single occupancy vehicle travel options such as biking, walking, transit, ridesharing, telecommuting or working compressed work weeks.

To accomplish these goals, the RTO program provides strategic investments that contribute to economic, environmental and socio-economic health and prosperity for the region. Through this successful grant award, costs for the project were shared between Metro and the city of Forest Grove.

Covered bike parking at 19th Avenue and 19th Street
Covered bike parking at 19th Avenue and 19th Street

We love to see our regional partners making investments in improving access to transit, which helps us to build a better system and allows safe and convenient connections for riders.

 
   
 
 

Jeff Owen

Jeff Owen

I’m TriMet’s active transportation planner. I work with our regional partners to improve conditions for combining transit trips with walking and biking, including sidewalks, crossings, trails, bikeways, and bike parking. Away from work, I can be found walking, riding my bike, hiking or cheering in the Timbers Army.

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I-205 bike/ped path undercrossing at Division Street improves transit access

Jeff Owen riding on the new I-205 bike/ped path undercrossing at Division Street
Me trying out the new undercrossing below SE Division Street on the I-205 multi-use path. (I approve!)

Like many Portland-area residents, I enjoy riding on the many bike paths and trails around town, for fun and for commuting or connecting with buses and trains.

Now, thanks to a partnership between TriMet and the Oregon Department of Transportation, one of the most popular paths—the I-205 multi-use path—is even safer for cyclists and pedestrians. (The I-205 path runs 16.5 miles from the Clackamas River in Gladstone north to Vancouver, linking five cities and 10 different neighborhoods.)

Line 4 bus stop at Division
The new undercrossing at Division Street makes for easy transit connections between Line 4-Division and the MAX Green Line station.

Recently, I was among a group celebrating with ODOT as it opened the I-205 path’s new undercrossing below SE Division Street. The undercrossing is faster and safer for cyclists and pedestrians traveling north-south, and it makes for easy transit connections between Line 4-Division and the MAX Green Line station.

The undercrossing is one of many upgrades made to the I-205 path over the last few years. In 2010-11, TriMet and ODOT partnered to add lighting along portions of the corridor between Lents and Gladstone. During the construction of the MAX Green Line, we built a new elevated crossing over Foster and Woodstock, improved bus connections and crossings, added direct access and bike parking at every MAX station, and widened the path at several locations.

Recently, we collaborated with the City of Portland to install an enhanced crossing with flashing beacons and audible warning for pedestrians where the path crosses SE Division (just east of SE 92nd Avenue). This is particularly helpful for transit riders making connections between the Line 4-Division and MAX.

The I-205 path is an excellent example of how pedestrian and bike access can improve the transit experience. Whether you are walking or cycling to the bus or MAX, you need safe crossings!

Regional partnerships like the ones that are improving the I-205 path are vital in our effort to build a better transit system. Here’s to looking forward to more great alliances in the future, to improve our communities and our region.

Related: See how we’re helping cities and counties improve sidewalks and crossings

Jeff Owen

Jeff Owen

I’m TriMet’s active transportation planner. I work with our regional partners to improve conditions for combining transit trips with walking and biking, including sidewalks, crossings, trails, bikeways, and bike parking. Away from work, I can be found walking, riding my bike, hiking or cheering in the Timbers Army.

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