""I Hate Beaverton" and Yet A Few Small Jewels Here" Beaverton by glabah
Beaverton Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 83 photos
First, I will tell you about the "I Hate Beaverton" part: a huge portion of people who live in Oregon do not like Beaverton. The city grew far too fast with little planning, and much too late realized that it needed to annex surrounding land to accomodate growth. The area that should be the core of downtown Beaverton is instead a horrible tangle of busy streets that are unpleasant and difficult to drive on due to the amount of traffic, and yet it is almost impossible to get around in it any other way as the traffic makes it difficult to get around on foot. Using transit is possible but getting to and from anything on transit requires wading through many busy intersections and tangled parking lots.
Virtually everything is separated from everything else in Beaverton by extremely busy streets and large, wide parking lots through which only occasional sidewalks run, if at all.
The horrible mess that these mistakes created means that Beaverton in recent years became held up as an example of how NOT to plan a city, and what no other city wanted to become.
Wilsonville? It supported creating a commuter railroad line between Wilsonville and Beaverton to try to reduce traffic, because "We don't want to become just another miserable Beaverton" (exact words from a Wilsonville city council member!).
Tualatin? Hillsboro? Portland? Salem? I have all heard, or seen quoted in the newspaper, local politicians from those cities publicly state similar sentiments quite publicly. It just isn't considered a good place due to the terrible mess that is perceived to be there.
The thing of it is: while these sentiments may be true, the fact is that most of these sentiments are based on a small segment of roads just north of Beaverton's old downtown which are horribly congested with people trying to get somewhere else. Some parts of Beaverton aren't that bad because they are not on a major through route, and in fact there are some real (but relatively small!) jewels here that few people mention.
For example, Fanno Creek Trail is partly in Beaverton. The Tualatin Hills Nature Park is one of the best examples in Portland of a regional park that interprets nature for visitors (take a look if you don't believe me), with many plants labeled, a diverse ecology program, and a nature center that is worthy of one of the state parks. It connects to the much smaller Beaverton Creek Wetlands to the south. The downtown core of Beaverton (not the suburban mess on the north side, but the old downtown that is south of Farmington Road) also has some nice surprises. For example, City Park has a really nice picnic area and in the summer a fountain bubbles to the enjoyment of children.
So, while I still very much consider myself part of the "I Hate Beaverton" crowd, I have also come to recognize that there are a few places there that are at least mildly interesting to visit - at least interesting enough for me to be willing to brave the traffic nightmare that sometimes exists in downtown Beaverton in order to get to those places.
- Pros:? (A few small jewels scattered here and there might be interesting)
- Cons:Horrible Traffic in Downtown Core, No Major Travel Attractions
- In a nutshell:If you are a tourist, you could do much better elsewhere.
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