Beaverton, located in the heart of Oregon’s Tualatin Valley, is midway between Mount Hood and the Oregon coast, and is home to 98,567 people. Beaverton is Oregon’s sixth largest city and is just seven miles west of downtown Portland. As part of the heart of “Oregon’s Silicon Forest,” Beaverton prides itself on innovation and entrepreneurship as it cultivates start-up businesses and established companies in a diverse range of industries.
West Five, an industrial neighborhood within the city’s Urban Renewal District, is a major hub of employment. Mayor Beaty attended a special session of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design in 2022, seeking advice on building on this employment center while improving its connectivity to downtown and the neighborhoods nearby.
Within West Five, train and bike options are somewhat limited, and there are gaps in safety for people hoping to bike or walk to work. City staff have been asking, “How do we get more people into the area to work, without bringing in more car traffic?”
One year after attending MICD, Mayor Beaty brought together more than twenty elected officials and staff for an e-bike tour around West Five, an industrial neighborhood within the city’s Urban Renewal District. Conversations on the tour revolved around redevelopment, trail connections, transportation, and, most importantly, how to work together to deliver big wins for the Beaverton community. Many staff members shared that biking to work is something they would love to be able to do. The mayor partnered with Forth Mobility, who demonstrated the benefits and barriers of micro-mobility, electrification, and what it will take to get Beaverton moving with electricity.
Their friends at the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District discussed how trail usage changed throughout and after the pandemic, where the trail is safest to bike today, and how the city will need to work together to complete missing links in the trail to connect their employment zones to the greater region.
Beaverton officials have been looking at cities in the Netherlands and Vancouver, WA as examples for preserving industrial land uses while investing in a safe public realm for pedestrians and cyclists alike.
Mayor Beaty traveled to Vancouver, WA for a field trip with a few of her city council members. Hosted by Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle and senior staff, the group learned how Vancouver developed its vibrant Waterfront District. The conversations were a reminder about the power and importance of partnerships, early planning and visioning, and staying committed to City goals across election cycles. The tour of Vancouver underscored the importance of planning and long-term developments as tools for council members to make positive changes and create a legacy of investing in a safe, future-forward public realm for Beaverton.