Springwater attack raises security questions

Three Bridges opening celebration

Springwater Corridor Trail
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

KATU has the story of a man who was attacked on Wednesday night while riding on the Springwater Corridor Trail in Clackamas County.

“Dave Miller said the suspects (about 10 of them) stepped out of the darkness, robbing and punching him and even stomping on his face…they also stole his Specialized mountain bike…”

In the story, Miller said he thinks security on the trail should be improved.

KATU also interviewed Bike Gallery employee Dennis Wyman. In their video report he said, “I know that if somebody’s gonna’ try to take my bike from me, they’re gonna hurt as much as I get hurt.”

The issue of personal safety on the Springwater Corridor (especially after dark) has come up before. Last November, someone started a thread titled, “Springwater Corridor After Dark” in the Women’s section of the Portland Bike Forums.

The poster wrote that she felt “it’s kind of creepy out there when it’s dark.” Other people in the forums told her to find a bike commuting buddy.

I’m curious about your experiences and thoughts. Have you ever had a sketchy encounter on the Springwater (and/or other trail)? Do you think a lack of security on trails like this is a big issue? Do we need more lights? Or more police bike patrols in certain areas?


UPDATE, 8/26/07: Ironically, the Springwater is featured on the front of the Oregonian’s Destination Gresham feature in today’s paper.

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john q public
john q public
14 years ago

More lights are needed. There are a lot of great ambush spots in the dark on both the Spingwater and the 205 path. Bike patrols would be great, but expensive and in practice, impractical. Increase trail users\’ visibility with lights and decreasing areas where users can be ambushed.

peder horner
14 years ago

I was thinking about this the last time I rode the trail. It seemed like the trail afforded many places and opportunities for malevolence, especially during the late evening and night.

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

I just don\’t ever ride MUPs at night unless I\’m in a large group. There would have to be a lot of changes for me to be willing to do it. Thank you to the Dropouts for having part of their ride on the Willamette Springwater week before last. That was a rare treat.

beth h
14 years ago

I concur with Donna. I simply don\’t ride the Springwater after around 7 pm, EVER. Same with the Esplanade. A friend of mine who has recently taken up bike commuting after many years of driving is terrified of riding on the I-205 bike path, even in the middle of the day. She tells me there are too many places where people can and do hide. Twice in the last week she has encountered people camping out in bushes near the path, sometimes drinking, sometimes yelling at each other or passers-by.

The truth is that we have many more homeless people in Portland than ever before, and many of them are mentally ill, drug-addicted, or both. Enough fear, depression and anger with no help in sight can make a person desperate enough to lash out at anyone who\’s handy.

We can talk about making the paths safer, but until we do something REAL about the multitudes of people with mental health and drug issues who live outdoors (like affordable housing, treatment, education and employment) we\’re not really solving any of the root problems.

Tweety
Tweety
14 years ago

I had an encounter on the Springwater in broad daylight with a group of youths who had bikes (weren\’t on them) and were deliberately blocking the trail in both directions. I would not DREAM of riding that trail at night unless I had a junk-yard dog with me and a big electric stock prod.

I\’m a 58 year-old woman and they were all young, buff dudes in their teens. I called out to them firmly, but politely: \”Please share the trail!\” and they moved – GRUDGINGLY and slowily, giving me glowering, dirty looks all the while. I felt very threatened as they could have taken me down off of my recumbent bike in a heartbeat. There were \”racial overtones\” in this event, too – via the slurs I took as I passed. I was returning from a camping trip in Welches, pulling a heavily loaded trailer and could never have out-pedaled them. I had nothing on me to use in defense of an attack. This happened about 4-5 miles west of where the gravel trail begins in Boring around noon. I think the only reason nothing happened was that another returning camper, with trailer AND dog, was only the equivalent of a block behind me.

Patrols of some sort should be on that trial and lighting is needed for those brave enough to be out there at night.

Victor
Victor
14 years ago

Good morning,

I have been on the springwater corridor since they first removed the railway ties. I can\’t even remember for sure how long ago that was, but suspect some 12-15 years.
The recent attack of a cyclist is very concerning.

I have seen drug related activity, mostly between the Bell street station and 82nd avenue, and around Foster. Several other concerning areas are Tideman park, and the trail that leads up the hill to Milwaukee avenue from the area along the river where the trail dips down. The latter is 1/2 way between Oaks Park and the Ross Island Cement factory.

Having the entire trail lit would make a huge difference, particularly in the winter months for those of us who commute to work. The other option is to increase patrols. I have not seen police bike patrols, but have in past years seen police on 4 wheel ATVs on the trail.

Victor

Duncan
Duncan
14 years ago

I have never had a problem on a MUP yet (knock wood) but I also realize that my size and sex allows me a certain amount of latitude in determining what I think is safe. This does indeed bumm me out- I feel badly for the women who posted here that they are in fact less free to chose where they go then I am, but as one person what can I do?

I think that bike police potrols on the springwater would be an excellent idea- not that they would be likely to catch anyone in the act of doing anything violent, but in terms of what is reffered to as \”broken Windows Policing\” it would do a lot to help people feel safer.

The thing is that this can be a seld fufliing prophecy- the less safe people feel on the te springwater, the lless they will use it, the less safe it will become.

I also think that group bike rides on the trail (especially in the evening) are a great idea. I dont have time to organize one, but if i wasnt working when it happened id be sure to be there.

JE
JE
14 years ago

You are all addressing the symptoms and not the disease. The city should be for those who obey the law living within it and not parasites who feed off it. Criminals need to be locked up and in some cases locked up for good.

In Portland today, anyone can camp out anywhere. They can beg, threaten, assault, rob, do and deal drugs throughout the city without fear. If a police officer happens by, they will be cited and realeased. In the rare occurence of a trip to jail, they\’ll be released within hours. There is no need to show up to court. The judge will issue a Failure to Appear warrant and if a police officer happens by again, an FTA citation is issued at the scene.

I\’m not sure if crime pays in Portland. But there sure as hell are no punishments or consequences. Until there are, you are on your own.

Deb
Deb
14 years ago

I stopped riding the Springwater east of Johnson Creek several years ago, even in the daylight. I just don\’t feel safe out there. Too many of the homeless blocking the path, stepping out in front of me, shattered glass on the trail. The possibility of having a flat and being vulnerable.

I ride to work each morning on the Clinton/Ladd route in the dark. I won\’t stop at the lights and stop signs, there again, if I\’m stopped I\’ve placed myself in a vulnerable position. There are strange people out at 5am.

Betty
Betty
14 years ago

I used the springwater trail several years ago as part of my commute home. It was usually around 11pm or later. I quickly learned to FIND ANOTHER ROUTE because so many transient types hung out there. One time this guy, who was so drunk he could barely balance himself tried to go around me so we kind of ended up doing a dance. He was pretty harmless and well intentioned but that was all it took for me to skedaddle out there as fast as I could.

These days I commute home around 2am. The real threat are other bicyclists. After a certain hour – perhaps 10 or 11pm all the little punk kids come out. The breed of cyclist changes. I see them looking into car windows – checking out houses. I don\’t know how some of them can ride with their pants below their crack on those teeny bikes. Nevertheless, I have a very SAFE route and when I see something that looks like a miniature person rolling along (no lights or helmet – obviously) at that time of the morning I quickly get out of the area. On two occasions in the last 8 or so years I actually had to find safe haven behind a building and turn my lights off and ditch the neon coat. Solution – some parenting for one and better police patrol during the dark hours. I suspect the cops are patroling known crime areas or areas that they\’re pretty \’crime\’ familiar with but they should be pulling some of the little punks over and asking them what they\’re doing out after dark. Isn\’t there a curfew?

pdxrunner
pdxrunner
14 years ago

I used to live out by Powell Butte and I never rode out there at night. Is anyone really suprised that this happened in Clackamas County? I can\’t remember ever seeing a police patrol on the Springwater. Just a bunch of meth addicts and trash. My friend rode with me one time and he couldn\’t believe the number of used needles on the road/bike lane. No thanks, I\’ll live close-in for now on.

Bill Stites
14 years ago

I ride the Springwater Trail at night about 2x a month, from about I205 to the Powell Butte area. My feelings of security vary with my confidence that day, but if I were a woman – I would not ride it after dark ever.
The reality is that you are simply very vulnerable, with an easy ambush – kicking or pushing you to make you crash – and no escape.
Perhaps I\’ve been lucky; and I have been told many times in my life that I look like a cop. Maybe a faux badge … 😉

More cops on bikes would be good, and better lighting is a no-brainer.

I used have a nice little blackjack from my NYC days … it\’s not a bad idea to have some means of defense. Pepper spray may be a better idea.
Almost always, Flight is better than Fight.

P Finn
14 years ago

It\’s ridiculous how much worse Springwater can be vs. 205 or Eastbank>Sellwood. One night/day, I rode the entire loop. Only the Springwater had rampant broken glass, debris, and of course that lovely massage-effect pavement washboarding.

As a taxpayer, it makes me sick that we are not funding maintenance and upkeep (including measures to improve security) on such a valuable resource.

At the very least, the amount of traffic on MUP\’s warrants minimum of two daily ride-throughs by authorities inspecting for security as well as maintenance.

2ndaveflyer
2ndaveflyer
14 years ago

I agree with the comments left by Beth H(#4). There are often potentially dangerous people on the SW corridor; even on a Sunday afternoon.

I think additional lights are a waste of money in terms of improving security. (It makes about as much sense as building a wall between the US and Mexico.)

I have seen ATV patrols on the trail and I thought the officers were doing a good job. They weren\’t just joy riding, they were stopping to check out and talk with the many drunk and homeless people along the trail. I think regular patrols like these can have a positive impact. Right now a single rider of either sex is taking a calculated risk riding some portions of the trail at any hour of the day. The people living out on the trail know they have a pretty good chance of slipping away from any crime they might choose to commit.

BeerdedOne
BeerdedOne
14 years ago

While I realize that some people have had threatening encounters with mentally ill individuals (on bikes!) on the MUPs around town, is it really the homeless on the Springwater trail that are causing the problem under discussion here?

The recent attack, and the accounts in these comments don\’t sound like they were perpetrated by homeless and/or mentally ill people to me, just thugs and thieves.

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
14 years ago

The people who camp out along the riverside Springwater Trail may be homeless, but they are far from dangerous. I am sorry the destitute and dirty look dangerous to you, they are not. The ones you need to worry about are on the other end of the trail-the young \”gangsta\” wannabees. They are the ones who tagged the bridges before they were even opened. They are likely the ones who perpetrated the attack. It\’s their \”turf\”.

Mike
Mike
14 years ago

It\’s a shame that you have such nice facilities and yet are afraid to use them because of the actions of a few people.

Matt Picio
14 years ago

I haven\’t had any problems on the trail, but then again I\’m male, 242 lbs and 6\’ tall. This incident disturbs me, and I\’m very curious as to exactly where on the trail it took place.

I also happen to sit on the Clackamas County Enhanced Law Enforcement District Citizen\’s Advisory Committee (yeah, that\’s a mouthful), which advises the Clackamas County Sheriff on patrol-related matters. If anyone has concerns or additional information on specific incidents along the trail in Clackamas County, please contact me at \”matt\” \”dot\” \”picio\” \”at\” \”gmail.com\” and I will see what I can do to bring this to Sheriff Roberts\’ attention.

Matt Picio
14 years ago

2ndaveflyer said:

\”I think additional lights are a waste of money in terms of improving security.\”

Then you haven\’t ridden the Springwater through Milwaukie at night. East of 2 bridges, there is a canyon where the trail passes underneath Tacoma/Tenino/32nd Avenue. That canyon is exceptionally dark at night, and not safe. Even with a 10W halogen, you can\’t see a lot when riding through there – lighting would make a BIG difference.

Andy
Andy
14 years ago

Sketchy Things on the SWC:

Last year I saw a guy masterbating. He was standing on the trail between it\’s start and utmantila around 1300.

Also have seen creepy guys with 5 foot long sharp sticks past felony flats.

Groups of drunk/high homeless siting in the bushes. One time two of these guys put an arm out (Trying to touch) towards my girlfriend as we rode by.

Personally I think you\’ve got some BIG brass balls to ride the trail at night. Especially near Felony Flats.

Tankagnolo Bob
14 years ago

Travel in groups of two to a few hundred, and carry a bit of mace. That way you can protect yourself without permanent injury to another. Also, keep an eye out, know when to sprint, or even turn around and sprint.

Mr. Viddy
14 years ago

The local government is not going to fund bike patrols and they are not going to light the trail. However, perhaps some sort of volunteer patrol like neighborhood watch? I\’d certainly volunteer my time for such an endeavor. I think this is a situation that won\’t get much attention, even if a cyclist gets killed out there.

Matt Picio
14 years ago

\”The local government is not going to fund bike patrols and they are not going to light the trail\”

Certainly not with *that* attitude.

You\’d be surprised what can happen if you raise a big enough fuss. The question isn\’t whether *they* care enough – the question is whether *we* do.

Im already putting my money where my mouth is – I offered to put this before the Clackamas County Sheriff (and the Milwaukie police chief, if we\’re talking inside their city limits). Anyone who wants to help, or has other examples of trail danger / harassment / assault in Clackamas County – email me: \”matt\” \”dot\” \”picio\” \”at\” \”gmail.com\”

Matt Picio
14 years ago

Mr. Viddy – I do believe that volunteer patrol has merit, and we should talk to Ardenwald / Johnson Creek or the other neighborhood associations about neighborhood cooperation.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
14 years ago

RE: volunteer bike patrols. I am still working with the Office of N\’hood Involvement on this. we have officially dropped the \”Bike Patrols\” moniker and it is now a Bike Ambassador program.

We are looking to have a citywide meeting/info session mid-Sept.. stay tuned for more info.

eli bishop
eli bishop
14 years ago

i love riding the springwater corridor trail at night; i bike between 92nd and eastman parkway. i\’d be sad if they lit the whole trail, thought that area where it meets foster often has some scary peoples just off the trail. does anyone know what mile marker the attack happened at?

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
14 years ago

I am going to venture a wild guess and say somewhere near 182nd St. as the thugs said \”Don\’t mess with 182nd.\”

Todd B
Todd B
14 years ago

Yes do be well lit and with a buddy when you ride isolated areas. And do not hang around isolated areas – just keep moving unless in a group.

Please be selective with the lighting and do not turn these MUPs into a new over lit 205 highway. It would be best to have more bike traffic to keep the bad element away. It is nice to see the stars and moon in the city on most nights while riding.

I have been riding the I-5 corridor for many years and have only gotten a bad vibe once. (2 guys doing oush ups on an isloated portion of the trial.) Generally those living and working along the trail want to be left alone.

wsbob
wsbob
14 years ago

I live out in the Beav, so I haven\’t ridden the Springwater. I\’ve got to do it. That top photo of it looks great.

Incidents with moron thugs that decide public property is their turf, are distressing but really are probably a predictable consequence of an amenity like the Springwater. It seems like lights in some places, like the dark underpass mentioned above, would be reasonable and sensible, but lighting the whole thing…well, like I said, haven\’t ridden it, but it seems a shame. Missing out on the good parts of the night experience is quite a price to pay.

Citizen patrols are exactly the thing that could most effectively cinch continued safe use of this trail, or corridor as it seems to be called. Real people rather than selfish thugs, recognizing that this resource is theirs, and worth protecting, resulting in an increase of citizen presence is what will make gangsta morons feel far less comfortable foolin\’ around looking for 10 to 1 odds favoring them against vulnerable people.

Seth
Seth
14 years ago

I routinely rode the springwater this past fall/winter/spring at night alone from out around Boring to Foster. I would say that 99% of the time I saw nobody out there. There was one time that 2-3 teens were blocking the path on BMX bikes. I just slowed down and they moved out of the way. I\’m usually moving fairly quickly so maybe less of a target? My headlight might also tend to make people scramble out of sight – maybe they think I\’m popo because it is a light and motion HID light that is crazy bright.

All that being said, I advise my wife not to run down on the springwater by herself. There are definitely some unsavory characters along the way. Bike patrols would help.

woogie
woogie
14 years ago

The issue with any police coverage of the trail is a return on investment. If you remove one officer from a patrol car and put them on the path what is the return on safety to the public?

The problem with any patrolling on the path is the length. How many patrols would you need to make the path safe? As we saw in this case the perpetrators sat in the bushes and jumped out. How hard is it to wait for the patrol go go by and pick on the next rider?

Also look at how inaccessible the trail is to any help not on a bike? Who has the key to remove the pole in the middle of each street crossing? How can police, fire or ambulances get down the trail in the remote areas?

As for lights, just what do they do to dissuade a thug? The remoteness of the path and lack of easy access to the police negate any benefit of lighting the path, other than to make it easier to ride at night without a light.

Frankly I am surprised at how little crime has been committed on the trail to date, but that could be changing with more and more people commuting and using the path at night.

Stephanie
Stephanie
14 years ago

Can anyone tell me what the event was on Sunday with all the bicyclists going up the Springwater trail. They had numbers and such.

I\’d like to contact the organizers and complain about the behaviour of some of the bicyclists. They were riding two and three abreast and nearly hitting people who were walking in the opposite direction. One man had the audacity to scream \”MOVE!\” to someone instead of getting in front of or behind his friend.

Apparently, it\’s not only transient people who are jerks on the path; the bicyclists can be too.

Kristen
Kristen
14 years ago

As a woman cyclist, I won\’t ride on any MUP alone, unless I absolutely have to. And, I won\’t ride alone at night.

Does this cut into my commute-by-bike time? Yup. But I\’ll drive in the darker months for my safety, any day.

That said, Springwater is still a good path. You can go from downtown Portland all the way out to Boring, it\’s gorgeous, and there aren\’t any cars on the path. The minuses? Lots of swervy pedestrians, swervy kids on bikes, swervy adults on bikes, dogs on or off leashes, and yes, the homeless and \”Gangsta\” youth elements. That, and the surface isn\’t the best (chip seal) and at least close in to town, there\’s too many roads to cross.

Lighting the sketchy areas would be a good thing. But it won\’t make me ride on it.

Meghan
Meghan
14 years ago

Frankly, as a bicyclist, I don\’t feel too vulnerable out riding there in the daytime. I often wonder about the people who walk/jog there and how they feel there. There are certainly sketchy characters along the trail, but I think this could be said of many parts of Portland, not just along the Springwater Corridor. But I agree, one takes a risk riding there alone at night, regardless of gender.

I rode it yesterday as part of the Portland Century — that was the event #32 above was asking about. I feel terrible if there were people out there being harassed by Century riders. As a slow-ish rider in my category, I too noticed the \”macho\” vibe coming from some of the racer types. No one person is more \”entitled\” than anyone else to the use of a multi-use path, and we all need to remember that.

suurban
suurban
14 years ago

The Tidman Johnson natural area is a natural area without electric lights for a reason. Other sections of the trail can get lit up like a mall, and likely become safer, I dont care. I do crank on the trail every day and enjoy the freak scene, horses, healthnuts, heavy metal enthusiasts. No bone has a right to hurt others, but they do have a right to hang about and be sketchy, they are the fringe of our society, but in our society and they think our shorts are amusingly revealing.

Matt Picio
14 years ago

woogie (#32) said:

\”The issue with any police coverage of the trail is a return on investment.\”

The biggest issue isn\’t ROI, nor the length of the trail (also commented on in that post) – the biggest issue is jurisdiction.

The Springwater Trail starts at SE 4th & Caruthers and ends in Boring. It\’s paved from Portland out past Gresham to the Clackamas County line way the heck out east. The trail is also split partway by the \”Sellwood Gap\”. Along its length, the trail passes through Portland, Milwaukie, Gresham, Boring, and multiple locations in unincorporated Clackamas County and unincorporated Multnomah County. That means depending on where on the trail you\’re having issues, it could be in the jurisdiction of 3 police departments and 2 sheriff\’s offices.

A lot of the problems can be addressed by cutting back portions of the vegetation more frequently and by lighting problem segments of the trail – assuming the neighborhood associations don\’t oppose the lighting.

Of course, any solution is going to involve money (other than volunteer patrols / ambassadors)

Matt Picio
14 years ago

#36 \”The Tidman Johnson natural area is a natural area without electric lights for a reason\”

Tideman Johnson is east of 36th Ave and the problem area extends at least 8 blocks west and 6 blocks east (3/4 mile and 1/2 mile respectively) of the natural area. Parts of that could be lit without adversely affecting the natural area (which really isn\’t – they completely nuked the entire thing when they did the sewer work, and the \”new\” Tideman Johnson isn\’t anything like the old one). Whether public safety trumps other concerns is probably a decision for the Ardenwald/JC neighborhood association.

Spencer
Spencer
14 years ago

Squeak the wheel guys,

I don\’t know what the solution is, but when people see stuff (youth gangs menacing, masturbation, broken glass, drunks, dogs off leash, drug use, etc.) start calling it in and making reports. Speaking as a bureaucrat, nothing gets administrators attention faster than statistics. If you quantify the issue, more resources will be dedicated towards it. Even if your individual complaint doesn\’t get addressed, it still shows up as a report, and the more reports in an area starts to get more attention. The law really is on your side, use it.

Ron
Ron
14 years ago

I do not live in Portland but I have ridden several sections of Springwater Corridor. It is a fantastic resource. I would think that random night patrols by a group of bicyclists could have a positive effect. The law abiding taxpayers need to take back the night and not allow their freedom to be taken by a small number of hoodlums. I would not hesitate to come to the aid of another bicyclist. The liberties of the law abiding cannot be dictated by the lawless.

Resident
Resident
14 years ago

Bottom like…If you put a trail through garbage neighborhoods, thats what its going to attract. Until gentrification occurs in SE (another 20 years), this is what you will have. Unfortuanately, the ghetto train (MAX) is headed that direction too, so look out for more problems along the 205 trail and where Max will cross springwater when they put in the milwaukie line. I have lived near 162 and Burnside for nearly 30 years and watched the train destroy my neighborhood. Those low income / subsidized housing apartments look real fancy when they first put them in, but the trash they attract quickly make the neighborhood their own…

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
14 years ago

I will also say that the beauty of a bike path is that it is carless AND copless.

BURR
BURR
14 years ago
woogie
woogie
14 years ago

Matt #37,

The length of the trail is the issue. The fact it crosses many jurisdictions is a result of the length of the trail.

Lighting alone is not going to solve the issue without the presence of law enforcement. If the police cannot respond to an incident on the trail the trail will be used more and more as a convenient place to commit crime.

How many ambassadors do you think are needed to drive away the thugs? What about in this case where 10 people swarmed one person on a bike? Would a two person patrol be able to fend off these people? They might become a target themselves.

The fact that crime is becoming more prevalent on the trail may be an indication that criminals have been driven off the streets to an area that presents a better opportunity.

heather andrews
heather andrews
14 years ago

From the close-up photo on the KATU website, and knowing what I do about the area, it looks like it probably happened between Linwood and Bell Avenue. A few blocks away from my house!

A little further east, between JCB and Luther, is where a transient guy was found murdered a few years ago, which caused a bit of a stir. About a year before that, a senior woman was found dead in Johnson Creek, near the trail in Gresham around Eastman Parkway. At least in the second case, no foul play was suspected.

A few thoughts:
-Generally all Portland Parks and Rec properties such as the Springwater, have posted hours of operation. My philosophy is that if you\’re in the park outside of those hours, you\’re there at your own risk. That having been said, the Parks site doesn\’t list hours for the Springwater, although there used to be a sign indicating trail hours located at the Johnson Creek trailhead at JCB and SE 45th Place. Perhaps this ambiguity is something that needs to be addressed?

-Depending on what those park hours are supposed to be, I have to echo Matt\’s sentiment about the need for at least a little lighting in the canyon area that runs through Milwaukie at about SE 32nd. The one time I rode home this way after dark (last November), I couldn\’t see 20 feet in front of me, despite having a rather bright light. However, adding lights doesn\’t necessarily solve the crime problem–there\’s a great article in [i]The New Yorker[/i] this week that touches upon this (unfortunately not available online).

-Although I\’m female, I\’ve never been afraid of the Springwater or anyone on it. After not being able to see very well during my one trip in the dark, I discovered an alternative route to get home from downtown. Perhaps my lack of fear makes me stupid. Or maybe it\’s because all the \”scary\” people live in my neighborhood anyway, so I\’m used to sharing space with them and take them with a grain of salt. The \”permanently peeved\” look I tend to get with strangers probably helps too.

Bjorn
Bjorn
14 years ago

Realistically I think if you compared number of car miles driven to car jackings and looked at number of bike miles ridden to bike jackings in this city you might find you are not as much safer in your car as you thought… One bike jacking per year is not many, although I agree it sucks if it happens to you. There are 20 car jackings per 100000 adults in the US each year, bike jacking statistics seem a little harder to come by…

Bjorn

BURR
BURR
14 years ago

re. \’hours of operation\’. I think the argument was made, at least for the eastside esplanade, that it is a transportation corridor and not solely a recreational facility, and therefore must remain open for 24-hour access. I believe this is tied to the source of the funding used to construct the trail(s).

amanda
amanda
14 years ago

I hope this doesn\’t get double-posted, my apologies if so:

Some of you seem to be conflating all sorts of issues. The issue is that a group of thugs has found a really convenient place to jump out, knock someone off their bike and kick them in the face.

As far as I know, that place is a narrow pathway with no exits, in a canyon of sorts which at night is pitch black. There are no hayfields and horses and pretty stars. The edge of the path is overgrown and there is not even white reflective striping along the edge of the path (at least not visible as far as I can tell).

This is a pathway paid for with tax dollars that is intended to provide a safe route through the city. Of course lighting would help. Lighting helps me see if there\’s a group of thugs up ahead so that I can stop, turn around and peddle my ass out of there. Carrying mace or any kind of weapon really does me no good when I am completely ambushed from the side by multiple assailants.

There are ways to make the path safer which would not detract from the path, I hope everyone recognizes that we all benefit when more bikers and walkers feel that they can do those things safely in our city.

cs
cs
14 years ago

Wow. I am amazed at all the bold generalizations and liberal usage of words like, \”trash\” and \”thugs\” in these responses. And the assumptions that homeless people are mentally ill drug addicts. Just because an individual looks \”sketchy\” to you does not make him or her dangerous… particularly the homeless, who are probably more vulnerable camping out than you are zooming by.

I am a woman and have ridden both the 205 path and the Springwater at night with no problems. I have never had anyone bother me, not the teenagers or the people camping out.

It is really sad and concerning that this incident happened and I definatly understand how one can feel vulnerable biking on the trail because it is remote and often quiet. But that is no reason to jump to conclusions and judge people by how they look or to avoid the trail all together. I agree that what will make people more comfortable on the trail is more bike traffic and I am certainly not going to stop biking on it!

Matt Picio
14 years ago

woogie,

the length of the trail is irrelevant. The whole trail isn\’t the issue, only some parts of it. The Springwater could be 2 miles long, and if it was centered on 45th Avenue, it would still encompass 3 disparate jurisdictions. Length is not the issue, it\’s merely tenuously related.

Matt Picio
14 years ago

Pardon one part of the last post – the length *is* relevant, it\’s just of lesser importance.

Also, the Springwater at SE 32nd Avenue has always been a focus of crime since it was first opened – it\’s frequently mentioned at Ardenwald/JC Neighborhood Assn meetings.