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City kicks off planning process for North Portland Greenway

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 19th, 2012 at 11:37 am

Bike Fashion Show_ride and afterparty-71
A few pieces of the future
path already exist.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland Parks & Recreation bureau has announced the beginning of the North Portland Greenway Trail Alignment Project — launching a 14 month process similar to the one they're doing for the Sullivan's Gulch Project.
When complete, the process will (hopefully) turn a 10-mile long, non-motorized path that will extend the northern end of the Eastbank Esplanade to the Columbia River, from dream to reality.

This is big news for a big project that has been many years in the making. Over six years ago I recall attending the very first public meeting of this project. It was hosted by citizen volunteers calling themselves, "Friends of the Greenway." That group morphed into the full-fledged non-profit "npGreenway" which is still going strong today. npGreenway did a ton of heavy lifting to advocate for this project and bring it to where it is today.

Detail from trail segment map (PDF here).

Where is it today? Here's how the Parks bureau puts it:

"Over the next 14 months, the committee will help develop a technically feasible and user-friendly trail plan. Committee members will collaborate with the community, stakeholders and property owners to understand and address various needs and concerns going forward."

Deliverables of this process are to include a preferred alignment for the corridor, an aerial and terrain base map of the alignment, cross-sections/design features, a list of "private property impacts" and "right of way needs" and preliminary cost estimates.

Get out your calendars, because they've also nailed down dates for Project Advisory Committee meetings and open house events:

    January 25 PAC meeting- this will be an introductory meeting
    March 14 PAC meeting
    May 16 Open House
    May 23 PAC meeting
    September 12 Open House
    September 19 PAC meeting
    November 28 Open House
    December 5 PAC meeting

All events will be held on Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Chiles Center (Hall of Fame room) on the University of Portland campus (5000 N Willamette Blvd).

It's hard to estimate when we'll be rolling and walking on this new path, but if it has any chance of being funded and built (which I believe it does), this City-led planning process is a crucial step.

Stay tuned to BikePortland for developments. In the mean time, get up to speed via the npGreenway blog and check out the official project website.

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Comments
  • PorterStout January 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    This looks awesome, and an easy convenient route downtown for NoPo bike commuters. Not to mention a nice "long way home" for a lot of us others. Can't wait.

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  • Hart Noecker January 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    "Private property concerns..."

    Watch out, here comes the Crime Path!

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  • Scott January 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    looking forward to it!

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  • Alain January 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Glad to hear the news, though I wish this whole process would move at a quicker pace. It serves a number of neighborhoods, and would be a safe transportation corridor for those going to and from downtown and the inner eastside.

    Question: How will segment 4 be constructed? The portion of asphalt path that exists now near Smith Lake is falling apart. It's marsh, and the ground goes up and down dramatically over the course of a year. Curious how this section will be dealt with?

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  • Joe Adamski January 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Alain, this is a study to determine the best alignment, opportunities and challenges. At best we could hope for about 10% pre-engineering. Once the study is completed, analyzed and digested, then comes the fun part about making it happen. As for that section by Smith Lake, that is Metros existing trail, the Port of Portland trail. I imagine having a conversation with them would be the best course.

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  • Alain January 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks Joe, I realize it's a "study", guess I'm just impatient that way. I lived in St Johns for a couple of years, was going to build a house there, but the NP Greenway time line was so long, and the riding Hwy 30 was so unsafe, that I just picked another part of town to live in, an area that has more options for getting to the central part of the city on a bicycle.

    The NP Greenway could do so much for the people who live in North Portland, as well as the people who just want a sweet "corridor" to ride regardless of what part of town (and country) you hail from. Build it!

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    • Joe Adamski January 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      I agree its long overdue. And the study is more than a study. npgreenway.org members have been working for over 6 years advocating and working toward this trail, knowing its importance to residents and businesses along the route. Once this study is completed, it puts us in place to start seeking funding for sections of the trail. While I doubt it will be done in one fell swoop, getting sections completed ASAP,will increase the value of the whole trail.
      Your statement speaks strongly to the need for npgw. Ridership goals of the 2030 Bike Master Plan will not be met without providing facilities that folks will feel safe riding. The BMP passed by Council identifies the need to build TWO signature trails among the first priority projects. npGreenway should be one of them. Well before 2030.

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  • Tim Davis January 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I wish this would all happen SO much faster. Perhaps npgreenway.org should have a huge DONATE link on their home page; I'd be happy to help. These trails need to get built very, very soon...

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