I have no problem because I'm confident that I can repel any attack. But it really bothers me that people won't use such a great trail because of the perception of a lack of safety. I've said this before, but I ride the trail every morning between 6 and 6:30 am and again between 6 and 6:30 pm, and, for what it's worth, I will intervene in any situation if I feel someone is being hurt or threatened. But, whatever, there's no guarantee I'll be there.
But it begs the question for me: Is the Springwater really unsafe? I know of only the one incident, posted above, that I regard as one of those proverbial "could have happened anywhere" things. Other than that, is it just fear? I'm not sure.
Also, what would it take to feel safe? More lighting? It seems to me that the really dark stretch on the big bend along the Holgate Slough (where I hit the possum) is isolated no matter whether it's well-lit.
People should not be afraid to ride bikes in Portland. Idealistic yes, but an achievable and worthwhile goal, IMHO.