This past Friday the City of Hillsboro (along with Washington County, the Port of Portland, TriMet, and Northwest Earthmovers Inc.) cut the ribbon on Veterans Drive, a newly finished road leading to the Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport MAX station.
Veteran’s Drive just happens to feature what many consider to be Washington County’s first true cycle track. (I’ll be sharing more info and photos of the track itself soon.)
I’ll be the first to admit my primary reason for attending the ribbon cutting was to see (and ride on) the cycle track myself.
What I ended up learning is how this cycle track wasn’t installed simply to keep people on bicycles safe; it’s also a crucial part of Hillsboro’s plan to redevelop the Washington County Fair Complex.
The section of road dedicated at the ceremony is just the first phase of a much large project that will eventually include an events center and plaza.
As Chairman Andy Duyck pointed out, the complex already hosts a number of events including one annual four-day event that brings in about 100,000 people. With a new event center the Fair Complex could see events that draw much larger crowds.
Before Veterans Drive opened there was only a single access point to the fair grounds. Building this new access point and providing safe, comfortable, family-friendly facilities for bicycles more than doubles the capacity of the roads traveling to and from the heart of the Fair Complex and MAX station.
Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey (wearing a bright green bike pin) commented on how quickly this project has come together and former Washington County Board Chairman Tom Brian called the road a “key first project” in the Fair Complex’s development. Hillsboro City Council President Aron Carleson also described it as a “catalyst” that will speed growth and transportation improvements in the area.
All of this excitement over what I assumed was “just a cycle track.”
And as I said, stay tuned for more on the cycle track itself…