Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Sellwood street will soon be smoother for cyclists

Posted by on October 31st, 2007 at 3:57 pm

These tracks are being removed.
View intersection on Google Street View

Here’s some good news for anyone that rides SE 9th Avenue in Sellwood.

The old trolley tracks on SE 9th between Linn and Marion Streets (see image below) are being removed by PDOT.

Tipster Paul says, “That’s good news for Sellwood cyclists. Those old trolley tracks were a wheel trap…you really had to zig-zag to avoid them.”

Paul adds that according to a notice he received in the mail, crews will tear up the existing pavement and apply a new layer of asphalt. The project is set to take three weeks and should be finished by the first week in November.

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  • Todd Boulanger October 31, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Is it too late to keep the tracks in case the PDX Streetcar ever makes it down there? :-0

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  • Bicycledave November 1, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Good to see a hazard being removed, but it\’s too bad there\’s no a trolley still running there and all the other places trolleys used to go in this town.

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  • Dabby November 2, 2007 at 1:23 am

    Too many trolleys…

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  • Aaron November 7, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    I second Todd\’s comment. We may soon be unable to install as many tracks. This doesn\’t sound like a worthwhile investment.
    Oil is at nearly $100 a barrel.

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  • Matt M November 7, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Probably the width of those tracks wouldn\’t work with the current street cars. If this track was still in use, it might mean that there would be no springwater trail today heading to the east since that is where a trolly line once went.

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  • Christopher Cotrell November 7, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    Old streetcar tracks like this are rarely useful and often provide good raw material for metal recycling. It\’s sad to see history disappear like this, but maybe they could show the outlines of the tracks in a different color pavement in a few places like this, like they did with the Berlin Wall.

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  • Matt Picio November 12, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Note that it is the tracks in the background, NOT the foreground which are being removed.

    The foreground tracks belong to Oregon Pacific RR, owned by Dick Samuels. Mr. Samuels uses those tracks to run freight from the interchange at OMSI past Oaks Park and down to his customers in Milwaukie. Branches of this line used to run along the current Springwater Trail and through the golf course south of Sellwood and out McLoughlin to Oregon City (along the \”Trolley Trail\” alignment).

    I\’d have to check to be sure, but I don\’t think the tracks being removed were actually trolley tracks – they were part of a spur leading from the mainline to a factory that used to sit where the condos on 9th are now – that factory was removed in 2001 or 2002 and replaced with the condos you see there now. It\’s frequently hard to tell which ones were used for trolleys and which for freight – these lines were all standard gauge track, and were easily used to ship both.

    Having bit it once on those tracks while riding in the rain, part of me is very happy to see them go.

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  • Matt Picio November 12, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Oh, and to answer Matt M – they would work with the current trolleys. Those tracks, the streetcar and the MAX are all standard US railroad gauge.

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