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Show your support for Lake Oswego – Portland bike trail

Posted by on September 20th, 2006 at 8:20 am

[Future site of a bike trail?]

This just in from Jessica Roberts (formerly of the BTA, now with Alta Planning):

I’m sure you know all too well how dangerous and unpleasant it is to ride a bike on Highway 43 between Lake Oswego and Portland. In fact, the BTA listed this project as one of the primary barriers to bicycling in our region in the Blueprint for Better Biking report we released last year.


Now, on Tuesday, October 3rd, you have the chance to speak up for a better option: a trail on the old rail line paralleling the Willamette. For years now, BTA has joined with many community members to ask for a great trail alternative to Hwy 43. Just think what it’ll be like to bike between Lake O and Portland on a beautiful, quiet, safe and attractive corridor! This meeting will discuss specific trail design options.

A BTA representative has been attending meetings about the possibility of a trail between Lake Oswego and the Sellwood Bridge; also under discussion are rail and bus options, so the trail is not yet a done deal.

Please show up and demonstrate how important the trail is to our community!

Your support can make a real difference!

What: Lake Oswego to Portland Transit & Trail Study
Community Design Workshop

When: October 3, 2006
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. (drop in any time)

Where: Adult Community Center, Alder Room
505 G Avenue, Lake Oswego

If you live or ride in this area, please attend this community meeting. To learn more about this trail gap, review this PDF file from the BTA’s Blueprint for Better Biking.

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Comments
  • Dave September 20, 2006 at 9:11 am

    Oh please! Oh please!

    I once tried riding down that rail line to see if it was a viable shortcut for my commute (Foster-Powell to Carmen Drive), but finally got scared off by some extra stern no trespassing signs. A route that skips the terror of 43, the hills of Terwilliger, and the fugly of Barbur would be oh-so-welcome.

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  • Doug September 20, 2006 at 9:29 am

    Isn’t Metro still planning on using that rail line for a Streetcar from PDX to LO? I’d very much like to have a streetcar line AND bike path along this route (similar to the portion of the Springwater Corridor trail along the Willamette that runs next to the rails).

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to scrap the rail line altogether. My goal, and hopefully our goal as a community, is to get as many people out of their cars as possible. I think that if the BTA were to work with transit activists in order to build a nice bike/pedestrian path alongside the streetcar line we’d have a better chance of it coming to fruition, and we’d have a win for the cycling community and the rest of the region. My fear is that they’ll work against each other and it’ll be an either/or or neither proposition.

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  • Doug September 20, 2006 at 9:42 am

    I just took a look at the PDF and see that the plan is for a rail/trail alignment, which puts a smile on my face. Sorry for doubting you BTA.

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  • Sam September 20, 2006 at 1:05 pm

    I ride from NE to Lake O (off Kruse Way) around once a week and usually go Terwilliger, then down Capitol Highway. I have taken this railroad bridge a couple of times and it is quite a pain (not to mention illegal). You have to walk your bike about 100 yards on the rocks till you get to the metal grating walkway next to the tracks. Then, cautiously ride across (making sure to stay balanced so you don’t crash into the river), ride across, then dismount. On the other side, you have another 100 yards or so walk to get to the roadway. Currently, this route is NOT for those afraid of heights. It would be incredible for this to become a viable bike/pedestrian pathway. There will be plenty of opposed and they opposition could include:

    * Neighbors on both sides putting up arguments about homeless and “miscreants”
    * Property rights of the bridge
    * Concern from the railroad regarding safety, liability
    * Cost vs. benefit

    Some ideas I have to help this become reality:
    * Proactively work with neighbors on both sides of the bridge and promote the project.
    * Write letters to local press, such as the Milwaukie local paper(s) and Lake O local papers.
    * Get the support of the Lake O business community (after all, with pedestrian access, there could be a business opportunity for those on the Milwaukie side)
    * Secure funding through creative methods

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  • Dave September 20, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    I think you’re thinking of the old rail bridge across the Willamette? This is the old right-of-way down the west bank from Macadam ave to near where that bridge lands in Lake O. There’s an old electric streetcar they run up and down it every so often, but it’s otherwise fallow, unlike the willamette bridge. Property owners along the right-of-way don’t like the idea of it becoming widely used though – it cuts through the middle of several residential lots.

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  • Dave September 20, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    Some background on the trolley line:
    http://www.trainweb.org/oerhs/history/wsthist.htm

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  • Ethan September 20, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    I’d bet there’s a lot of wealthy folks with property bisected by the rail line that will do everything they can to stop development of anything along there . . . detracting as it would from their back yards and their view.

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  • Scott Bricker September 20, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    You can view a 2-page white paper on the project at http://bta4bikes.org/at_work/blueprint.php , scroll down and click on Hwy 43

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  • James September 26, 2006 at 1:20 am

    Good luck on your endeavors i hope they do change it, it will be good to have a nice new safe trail. Sorry i cannot make it.

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