My Trip: Cycling in the Burbs

It seems like a lot of the long trips I make these days have to do with medical care (happily not too often). Either I’m seeing a specialist who is located somewhere in the burbs, or in the case of my annual physical, I’m trekking out to Washington County. Few of my Portland friends know that when I first moved to the region, I settled in Beaverton (in my defense, I was working at the Tektronix plant at Walker Rd. and 185th when I arrived – a few years later and after a transfer to the Wilsonville plant, I made the decision to live in NW Portland). But as a result, my primary care physician is still out near Tanasbourne.

Anyway, to make the trip, I threw my bike onto MAX, since the medical office is only about two miles from the Quatama station. It was a nice, sunny day and I enjoyed the round trip.

What’s notable is that during the 4-mile loop, going past both OGI and the Amberglen business park, two large employment sites, I saw not one other cyclist. And the facilities were not the issue. While the first road I tried was not very bike friendly and I opted for the sidewalk, the parallel route I found on the way back had bike lanes.

While the area certainly is not as dense as Portland, there are relatively dense clusters of housing, employment and retail, all within a few miles of light rail. What else do we have to add to make cycling a regular transportation mode in this kind of area?

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