The issue of bicycle access on the RiverPlace path/Willamette Greenway Trail was on the agenda of the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee last night. I was unable to attend but I have tracked down comments from four people who where there in order to provide you with an update.
In addition to the regular committee members, in attendance were; Karen Stiles, owner of Waterfront Bicycle Rentals; and Bob Downing, district manager for Portland Parks and Rec (they manage the path).
Chair of the Committee, Mark Ginsberg, said both Downing and Stiles “agree that the security people are violating the law by trying to enforce things that are not laws on property that they do no have jurisdiction over.” He also added that Downing now plans to take the issue to the condo owners association and that Stiles “seemed happy” that things are no “going in the right direction.”
Bike shop owner Karen Stiles is the one who initially contacted me about this issue. After the meeting, she reported that, “all in all I felt it was a good discussion… The committee stressed the need to exhaust every avenue before ever considering removing cyclists from the path.”
As for potential new signage, Stiles says Downing (with the Parks Bureau) expressed that he was, “taking it slow” and wanted to come up “appropriate signage.” She added that Downing, “acknowledged our concerns over the strong tactics of the hired security guards towards cyclists and said he would speak with the security company.”
these (on the Hawthorne Bridge)
on the RiverPlace path.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)
Stiles remains concerned that Downing continues to speak about “looking at language that Metro has regarding diverting traffic in congested areas.” Stiles does not want any discouragement of cyclists from using the esplanade path. At the meeting, she suggested similar marking to the ones used to separate bikes and pedestrians on the Hawthorne Bridge.
At least two citizens attended the meeting. Both are regular BikePortland readers.
Matt Picio said that someone at the meeting (he forgets who) pointed out that if the city argues for re-routing cyclists away from the path (there’s an existing, on-street bike route) it will look like they’re “taking both sides of the issue” due to their stance against re-routing away from the river on the SK Northwest case.
Another reader, Jeff Hadley shared this handy summary of the meeting:
- Parks has agreed to ensure the restaurants are in compliance with the permits that allow them to place tables on the Esplanade, generally tables and signs should be placed to allow a 15 feet width.
- Parks is also working on more appropriate signage that does not discriminate against bicyclists, but encourages all users to use caution during times of congestion.
- Parks has agreed to instruct the Condo association-hired security guards to stop enforcing a non-existent no bicycle riding ordinance.
- BAC strongly advised Parks to exhaust all possible solutions before even considering restrictions on bicycles.
- The issue was also raised concerning how potential bicycle restrictions at the Riverplace Esplanade could affect other portions of the Willamette River Greenway.
I’ll continue to follow this story and report on any developments.