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Safety concerns may close popular cemetery route

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[Slow down or lose access.]

The tranquil roads inside the Riverview Cemetery (Google map) are a popular daily route for hundreds of Portland cyclists. Commuters prefer the cemetery because alternate routes like Barbur Blvd. and Terwilliger Blvd. are full of high-speed motorists. Recreational cyclists like the scenery and access to the Waterfront Trail and many competitive cyclists use the cemetery’s hilly roads for training sessions.

However, a recent episode between a cyclist and maintenance workers has led to a discussion with the cemetery’s management about safety concerns that may lead to a future prohibition of bikes inside the cemetery.

Local cyclist Jeff Tedder is the one talking with cemetery management and he brought this issue to my attention. Here’s an excerpt from an email Jeff sent to a local email list:

“I had a long talk with David Noble from the head office on Tuesday and there has been talk of stopping the cyclists from riding this route, this would be a blow to hundreds of cyclists that commute and train in the cemetery. There has been several close misses lately he said and they do not want any accidents. So please slow the speed going down through the cemetery, especially around the areas that I talked about. I would hate to see us loose the privledge of using these roads, they are nice enought to allow us access so lets not screw it up.”

Riverview manager David Noble loves that the cemetery is used by cyclists, and doesn’t want to prohibit access, but he’s worried about the danger posed by cyclists riding at unsafe speeds down the many narrow roads with blind corners. He doesn’t want to see cemetery visitors or cyclists get hurt and he is wary that an accident could lead to an ugly lawsuit. Noble has also noticed an increasing amount of complaints from his maintenence crew and from cemetery visitors about cyclists unsafely speeding through the property.

From talking with Jeff, it is clear that David Noble and the Riverview Cemetery are great friends of cycling. They tolerate hundreds of us riding through their private property every day. They have no obligation to be so nice and we owe it them to take it upon ourselves to ride with caution and consideration through their property. Please help spread the word about this situation and hopefully we can show Riverview management our appreciation by riding more safely in the future.

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