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Six-week closure of popular River View Cemetery route starts August 12th

Monday, August 5th, 2013
river view cemetery
Take note: Six week closure coming soon.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A popular bicycle route through River View Cemetery is set to close on August 12th and not re-open until September 27th. Multnomah County officials sent out the traffic alert today, saying the closure is necessary so construction crews can build the new entrance to the Cemetery along Highway 43 that's coming with the Sellwood Bridge project.

To make room for this work, the road just above the funeral home will be closed. "Unfortunately," writes County spokesman Mike Pullen, "this work in a very steep area will also close the trail that bicyclists and pedestrians use in the cemetery."
(more...)

Portland's bike-friendly cemetery

Thursday, April 18th, 2013
River View Cemetery-5
Through this gate is a somber and spiritual place — that
also happens to be a very popular and important bike route.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

River View Cemetery, perched in lush green hills above the Willamette River just south of downtown Portland, is just like any other cemetery in America except for one major difference: it's bike-friendly. Even though it's owned and operated as a private business, River View's board of directors and management have gone out of their way to accomodate people who ride through their 350 acre property on bicycles.

It's been almost three years since River View installed bike-specific pavement markings and route signs through their property. I rode through the cemetery myself a few days ago and figured it was time to check in with David Noble, the executive director of the River View Cemetery Association.

Before sharing some thoughts from Noble, here are some photos of how the cemetery accommodates people riding bikes...
(more...)

Trespassing in Riverview Cemetery could lead to loss of access

Monday, October 15th, 2012
Vandalized gate where someone has illegally
trespassed onto River View Cemetery grounds.
(Photo: River View Cemetery)

Once again, bike access through River View Cemetery could be in jeopardy. The cemetery's Executive Director David Noble says he suspects that someone has cut through a gate and is riding on the private property after the 11:00 pm closing time.

The cemetery is on private land which is governed by a Board of Trustees. Its owners are aware of its importance as a bike route, and they tolerate public bicycle access despite years of safety concerns (which we first brought to light in 2006). The route itself provides a very popular connection from Highway 43 near the Sellwood Bridge to many destinations in southwest Portland (map).

In November 2009, after the issue flared up again and there was a public outcry over speed bumps installed to slow riders down, the board ruled to maintain bicycle access. They then worked with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) and the community to raise $5,000 and install a fully-signed bicycle route through the cemetery with the aim of keeping bike traffic on specific roads. That, and a series of other measures, showed that River View had gone out of their way to accommodate people riding through on bicycles.
(more...)

Fundraising success: River View Cemetery bike route coming soon

Friday, May 14th, 2010
Detail of bike route through
River View Cemetery.

It took less than a month for the community to raise $5,000 to fully sign and stripe a new bike route through River View Cemetery.

The route through the privately-owned cemetery is a popular shortcut through Portland's southwest hills. Public access is allowed, but that access has been threatened by inconsiderate riding and safety concerns by the land owners. (more...)

Advisory: River View Cemetery closed to bike traffic Tuesday

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Tomorrow, (Tuesday, 4/27), a road in the lower portion of River View Cemetery will be close all day to all traffic due to a construction project at the mausoleum. Cemetery GM David Noble says bike traffic will not be able to get through:

"A large crane with its outriggers will be completely blocking the road, as well as the shoulders so there is no way for anyone to even walk their bicycle through to slip by (not that we want them to anyway, since it is a very dangerous construction zone)."

(more...)

See the new bike route through River View Cemetery

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

As a follow-up to our story on Monday about a new bike route being signed through River View Cemetery, we've received a map of the route.

View the map below and consider helping River View raise the $5,000 to add signs and pavement markings to the route (details on how to donate here). (On a related note, the folks at River View Cemetery recently counted bike trips and found that over 700 people ride through the property each day.)
(more...)

Cemetery looks to raise $5,000 to sign safe bike route

Monday, April 19th, 2010
Biking through the cemetery.
(Photo: mumblion/Flickr)

A fundraising campaign has begun to pay for signage of a popular bike route through River View Cemetery.

People on bikes prefer the route through River View because it's a safe and pleasant alternative from the high-speed auto traffic on Taylor's Ferry and other major roads nearby.

Cemetery staff have voiced concerns about unsafe bike traffic through their private property for nearly four years. Back in April 2006, they threatened to prohibit bike access if more wasn't done to curtail inconsiderate and dangerous riding.

The issue did not go away and tensions flared up again last fall after cemetery staff installed speed bumps which some riders blamed for crashes that resulted in serious injuries. (more...)

River View Cemetery board rules on bike access

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

An issue that has been simmering since April 2006 has finally reached some resolution. The River View Cemetery Association Board of Trustees has met several times in the last few weeks to address the issue of bicycle traffic going through their property. The issue reached a boiling point in September when the cemetery installed a series of speed bumps that many felt were draconian and unduly severe (they caused several injuries).

After forming a committee to look into the issue further and inviting a representative from the BTA from PBOT out to look at the roads, the non-profit's Executive Director David Noble has announced, "for the time being, no restriction on bicycling has been enacted." (more...)

Cemetery will form committee to address bike access issue

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

"We are formulating a strong core of people who are in leadership positions in the bicycle community... to discuss how our concerns can be mitigated without simply closing the cemetery to bicycle traffic."
-- David Noble, Executive Director of River View Cemetery

David Noble, the executive director of River View Cemetery in Southwest Portland, has planned a meeting with representatives from the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance next week. The meeting will revolve around how to manage bicycle traffic through cemetery grounds.

The cemetery -- which is on private property that provides a popular alternate route for bike traffic -- is concerned with unsafe riding and disrespectful behavior by some riders. The issue has been simmering for years, but came to a head last week after we reported on the installation of three sets of new speed bumps. (more...)

New speed bumps on popular cemetery route: Necessarily dangerous?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
Katelyn Hale learned about the
new speed bumps the hard way.
(Photo courtesy K. Hale)

David Noble, executive director of the non-profit Riverview Cemetery, didn't want to do it, but he felt he had no other choice.

About one week ago, Noble instructed his groundskeepers to install three sets of speed bumps on the property. The reason? He says people on bicycles have been riding too fast and without consideration for cemetery visitors. The bumps were a last-ditch effort to prevent a serious collision and to ingrain into people on bikes that they need to slow down.

And it's far from a new problem. Back in April of 2006 we reported that -- after a near miss between a man on a bike and one of the cemetery's maintenance workers -- Noble considered banning bikes from the ground completely.

But for many people who ride through the cemetery (it's private land, but the roads are open to bicycle traffic to avoid the nasty conditions on adjacent Taylor's Ferry Road), the new bumps are more than just a speed deterrent, they're downright dangerous. (more...)

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