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State grant helps TriMet upgrade bike connections

TriMet has been awarded a $1.5 million state grant to enhance bicycle parking and make other improvements at two stations heavily used by bikers.

The ConnectOregon V will be spent at MAX stations at two ends of the Robertson Tunnel that connects light rail service between Portland and Washington County. Robertson Tunnel is the westside MAX connection named after the late civic leader William Robertson.

Among other things, the grant will allow TriMet to build enhanced and secure bike parking at Beaverton Creek MAX station along with a new trail crossing to better connect workers with nearby jobs, including Nike and other employers.

TriMet will also build enhanced bike parking at the Goose Hollow/SW Jefferson St Station on the eastern edge of the Robertson Tunnel. Riders with bikes frequently board at this station to avoid pedaling up and over the west hills and Washington Park. It is one of the busiest stations where riders board MAX with bikes.

The grant is part of the Oregon Transportation Commission’s $40.4 million program that awarded 36 multimodal projects from around the state. TriMet worked closely with Washington County to secure the grant and also help provide additional funding to complete the two projects.

The total project costs $1.9 million, with the grant providing $1.5 million; Washington County is contributing $250,000 and TriMet is providing $150,000.

“Securing this grant demonstrates how critical transit and bike connections are throughout the region. Plus, Washington County’s contribution was instrumental in the success of securing the grant, and highlights the value of partnerships across the region,” says TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane says

According to Washington County Commissioner Roy Rogers, “We are happy to support enhanced multimodal access to jobs in Washington County, especially to one of our largest employers.”

And Jeff Owen, TriMet’s Active Transportation Planner, says, “Targeted multimodal projects help riders combine biking and transit on both ends of their trip,” said “With limited space on MAX, especially during peak periods, these investments will help with first and last mile connections.”

ConnectOregon is a lottery-bond based initiative to invest in air, rail, marine, transit and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure to ensure Oregon’s transportation system is strong, diverse and efficient.

In addition to these two projects, TriMet continues to make annual improvements to bike parking at stations throughout the system based on need and demand. This includes replacing aging bike racks and lockers, as well as increasing bike parking capacity when possible. Improvements for bike parking being made this summer include: NE 82nd Ave, Gateway/NE 99th Ave TC, E 122nd Ave, Gresham City Hall, Gresham Central TC, Oregon City TC, Beaverton Creek, Quatama/NW 205th Ave and Providence Park.