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-   -   Busted Bike Path (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3877)

lacorota 04-09-2011 06:42 PM

Busted Bike Path
1 Attachment(s)
There's a bike path running along the entrance / perimeter of the sewage treatment plant out on Columbia Blvd. The path is quite handy for connecting N. Portland neighborhoods with the Columbia River region. The path used to cross the railroad tracks with a superb crossing. About a year ago they busted the tracks up, barred the crossing and it's never been fixed!

It's not a show-stopper as cyclists may opt for the gravel strewn pavement and muddy adjacent lawn as a bypass. Problem is, why is the appropriate crossing still in disrepair? I emailed our mayor to see if he has any connections that might expedite fixing it. I could see a month or so, but nearly a year? It appears they've shelved it and figured cyclists can just go to hell. Who's responsible for maintaining that path?


Alan 04-10-2011 10:50 AM

Is that this path near N Fiske Ave? It looks from that aerial view that there might be a couple other entrances to it from Columbia. I don't know who's responsible for maintaining that but there are several contacts (phone and e-mail) for PBOT in the "One Less Bump" article and comments, last week.

edki 04-10-2011 12:02 PM

path less taken
Yes, that's the one. The trouble lies in crossing Columbia when there are high traffic volumes. Portsmouth is a signalized intersection but then you have to ride across the grass or carry across the tracks. Fiske is not signalized so you get to risk your life instead.
I ride out there regularly and I've occassionally riden across the grass, but usually just carry the bike over the tracks.
Since the crossing is on Union Pacific land I wouldn't expect to see it fixed any time soon. Maybe the BES folks will pave the shortcut instead?

dmc 04-10-2011 03:46 PM

I remember my first experience riding from Vancouver to the beautiful Cathedral Park! I was a little disorientated from seeing this issue after having such a pleasant M.U.P. experience for several miles.

I was worried about crossing and whether or not it was safe or legal. I quickly picked up my bike and ran across. I figured that it was a maintenance issue and that I had just showed up at the wrong time. That is.... until a month later when I came through.

I have taken a couple sat. images of the area for visual representation.




The routes listed in the image were for the rider intent on connecting to Portsmouth and/or Fessenden

Hopefully my time invested helped someone. <3

lacorota 04-10-2011 10:57 PM

Strangely, it was busted, then patched, then permanently busted again. It's been nearly a year in its current state. There are always "alternative" routes but then why have a path at all if we can't depend on what's there? If a public road were left in similar condition I'm guessing it'd get attention sooner than a year.

I've witnessed lots of newcomers confused by the big slabs of concrete and tape across the path. My method is plowing across the grass / mud and calling it good. I hope bikers wear a substantial trench on the lawn and perhaps then the prix will fix the crossing. That, or someone will trip and get injured trying to negotiate around their messy crossing.

The only legitimate excuse for Union Pacific or collective responsible parties is l-a-z-y.

It's another example of shifted priorities. I bet the bank the CEO's at Union Pacific could care less about public relations and prompt maintenance on some silly bike path crossing.

jeff 04-13-2011 10:55 AM

I asked the Bureau of Environmental Services wif they knew what was going on, and here's the response from their public info person:
Thanks for your inquiry. I contacted staff at the Columbia Blvd Treatment Plant and learned that Union Pacific RR is involved in a rail upgrade project that has impacted both the pedestrian crossing and the main plant entrance road. According to our staff, construction has been occurring for over 6 months; however, our staff do not have further information about the project's schedule.

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Megan Callahan

so it's a question for Union Pacific, assuming you can find someone to ask, let alone respond.

dmc 04-14-2011 05:48 PM

Taken from: http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/reference/whotocall.shtml


"Who to Call

To Report Emergencies, contact UP Police at 1-888-877-7267.

Reporting Unusual or Suspicious Occurrences
Please call 1-888-UPRRCOP (877-7267) to report any of the following:

Hazardous materials releases
Personal injuries
Criminal activities
Illegal dumping
Vehicles stuck / stalled on the tracks, or other track obstructions
Other environmental issues, such as:
Petroleum Spills
Idling locomotives
Engines with excessive smoke
Reporting Rough or Damaged Grade Crossings
To report emergency grade crossing blockages or damage, please call 1-800-848-8715.
To report rough crossings, or crossings blocked or obscured by vegetation (non-emergency situations only):
within the state of California, please call (916) 789-6114
for all other states, please call (888) 877-7267.


lovely 1800 numbers.

lacorota 04-16-2011 10:46 PM

Union Pacific contacts
Thanks for the contact info.! For a week now, I've emailed and left messages with UP. They've got all manner of self-promoting propaganda on their website and Twitter page such as quarterly earnings statements and weekly dispatches about spending $millions on various projects.

Any guesses how much $ it might take to fix the path? I doubt it'd be even a fraction of their online self-promoting bs. If they responded with a token form message I'd be impressed, but I doubt bike path crossings rank worthy of engaging their corporate radar.

zpl 04-17-2011 09:58 AM

Maybe someone here has some contacts with Warren Buffet? He's been buying up railroads recently and owns quite a few shares of UP. ;)


Alan 04-17-2011 11:02 AM


Originally Posted by lacorota (Post 26203)
Any guesses how much $ it might take to fix the path? I doubt it'd be even a fraction of their online self-promoting bs. If they responded with a token form message I'd be impressed, but I doubt bike path crossings rank worthy of engaging their corporate radar.

Looking at the satellite photos of that crossing before it was torn up and the nearby driveway, UPRR uses a three-piece precast concrete crossing pad. Placing that should be quite fast, but probably needs a small crane. Besides that pad it looks like a few cubic feet of crushed rock and a few sacks of cold-patch asphalt would finish the job. Crew of three for a day, boom truck, materials... what? 1-2 grand?

As I understand things, Portland Parks and Rec (PPR) and PBOT share MUP responsibilities. In the recent BikePortland blogs about a Sullivan's Gulch MUP it mentions that PPR and UPRR are in contact regarding that big, long-term development project. I wonder if PPR could nudge UPRR along to fix this tiny little bit of existing pathway?

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