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I-205 path update: Lighting project almost done and a study to make it better

Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on October 27th, 2009 at 10:21 am

Looking north towards SE Division
from I-205 path.
(Photos © J. Maus)

TriMet is close to completion of their $3.8 million, stimulus-funded project to add lighting and other improvements to a seven-mile stretch of the I-205 multi-use path. The path is also the subject of an online survey and study being conducted by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Alta Planning and Design that seeks to identify problem spots and prioritize improvements.

TriMet re-opened a portion of the I-205 path back in July. The final section -- extending south to Clackamas Town Center -- was scheduled to open along with the Green Line MAX last month. However, TriMet now says the path is scheduled to re-open on November 7th.

The new survey, which is open through the end of this month, is part of an ongoing ODOT/Alta study. It asks a short series of open ended questions about what area of the path you ride, what your experience on it is like (e.g. safe, peaceful, too loud, etc.) and what you like and do not like about the path.

The study website acknowledges that some parts of the path can be dangerous and difficult to use, and that wayfinding is less than perfect. A series of community outreach events were held in September. We'll keep you posted on results of this study.

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Comments
  • Nick V October 27, 2009 at 11:02 am

    My wife works near Clackamas Town Center and has considered commuting by bike from where we live at Hawthorne/Division. It's a much longer ride than she is used to and we both worry about her commute as the weather gets darker and nastier.

    I'll be curious to see the comments anyone has about the improved bike path.

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  • Stig3 October 27, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    The 205 path is right by my home yet I don't use it because:

    1. It's interrupted by dangerous crossings. Cars routinely occupy the crosswalk and ignore the pedestrian right of way when making right turns. Nearly been hit several times. Riding on the road is less dangerous. The new Foster/Woodstock crossing is great though and avoids problems.

    2. Doesn't link well with the i84 path (122nd connection is dangerous and where one of the cyclist deaths was this year.)

    3. Path is very narrow in places with blind corners. This makes it a slow route for commuting. There's plenty of room to widen and straighten with a painted centerline. I hate being stuck behind small mobs of pedestrian kids taking up the whole path and heckled when I ask to pass.

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  • kitty October 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I have been using the path a lot this season. By far the worst part are the intersections with Glisan, Washington and Stark St's. I wonder if, when doing MAX around Gateway TC, they screwed this up by relocating the path to the opposite side. It strikes me as supremely poor design. The path seems to go beyond the call of duty to avoid minor crossings but then forces major ones like Sandy and Lombard! Very nonsensical. Also. does anyone know why the bridge over Airport Way is so vast? You could almost land a small plane there!

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  • RonH October 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I'd have to agree that the major street crossings are a major pain.

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  • John Russell October 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    I've ridden the entire length of 205 proper by bike and I have to say it was a more enjoyable experience than riding on the path. Well lit, nice wide shoulders, no sight distance limitations, and no dangerous crosswalks. No pedestrians either. Not entirely legal, but it really should be. It's many times faster too.

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  • Hanmade October 27, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    I wish they would add lighting to the Springwater trail. The section I ride everyday between McLoughlin and Johnson Creek is totally dark. How about some street lights people?

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  • Elaine October 27, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    I rode from PDX to Vancouver and from PDX to Oregon City on I-205 bike path before and the following are the dangerous/tricky parts to me:

    -Very steep downhill turn on I-205 bike path from Vancouver bridge to Marine Drive (almost crashed in that tight corner)
    -NE Gilsan towards Marine Drive (cars turn right & often not check for pedestrian/bicyclist)
    -82nd Dr connection to I-205 bike path towards Gladstone

    Other than that, as long as you ride cautiously & expect not having the "right of way", riding could be safe and fun :)

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  • Elaine October 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Also lighting on any bike paths is very important when riding at night.

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  • glenzedrine October 28, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I agree that the part around Burnside/Stark/Washington is not too useful, and that going over the river into Vancouver is pretty loud (but there aren't really any alternatives there). I rode south from Market down to the Springwater a couple weeks back for the first time, though, and have no complaints. No need to worry about cars, and it is reasonably quiet.

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