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

Posted by on April 19th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

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.

Thankfully, the River View Cemetery Board of Trustees decided to continue to allow bike traffic through their property. Since November, Cemetery staff has been working with representatives from the City of Portland, Lewis and Clark College (which sits atop the cemetery), and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance to see what could be done to facilitate safer riding.

The ad hoc coalition developed a route that all parties feel will result in a safer experience for riders, cemetery staff, and visitors. Now they need to raise an estimated $5,000 to properly sign and mark that route.

River View’s executive director David Noble says Lewis and Clark College has pledged to match 4 to 1 for each dollar raised toward the project. For instance, a $10 donation will result in $50 toward the project. “Now it is time to help make the route a reality… With your help, we hope to meet our goal and open the route in time for summer.”

Once the route is physically in existence, Noble says, they’ll encourage bikes to stay within the “designated bicycling areas”. He also says, if the majority of people use the prescribed bike route, they’ll be able to remove two of the three “speed bumps” that we reported on last fall.

Here’s how to donate money for a safer, signed route through River View Cemetery:

    Checks should be mailed to:
    River View Cemetery Foundation Fund
    8421 SW Macadam Ave
    Portland, Oregon 97219

You can also stop into the cemetery office next time you’re riding through. Noble says just make sure to indicate your donation is for the “bicycle fund”.

Read more about this issue via our River View Cemetery tag. I’ll keep you posted on progress.

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SE Cyclist
Guest
SE Cyclist

I rarely use this route, but appreciate the cemetery keeping it open. I intend to send a check.

Given the cemetery’s obvious good will I think it would be more accurate to say the installation of the speed bumps “is alleged to have contributed to some crashes.” The O seeks to sensationalize. You can do better.

That’s helpful feedback. Thanks. I’ve edited that line. –Jonathan

jw
Guest
jw

This is great news. Do you know if there is a way to donate online?

Rex Marx
Guest
Rex Marx

“Speed Bumps?” They are more like “Death Bumps!” Those bumps are dangerous even at slow speed.
– I think this is a positive move in the right direction as this is the safest route from my house to downtown.

matt picio
Guest

One of the injured riders last year is a member of a county bike/ped committee and a very safe and responsible rider – unfortunately the installed speed bumps were… a little too effective. I’m glad to hear that the cemetary will remove 2 of them if the majority of cyclists respect the route. hopefully they will also alter the design of the remaining bump to be a little less hazardous.

In any case, I hope that those who use the cemetary as a route will respect the signed route and obey the wishes and restrictions of the property owner. It’s an excellent route, and the cemetary has no obligation to keep it open – the fact that they have chosen to work with the city and the community is a gesture in good faith, and I hope that the community at-large chooses to recognize and work with it.

trail user
Guest
trail user

If I were dead, I’d appreciate all the cyclists passing by keeping me company. I can’t wait to die and be buried in River View.

Gerik
Guest

It has been fantastic to work with David Noble at the cemetery, Roger Geller at PBOT, and Matthew West at Lewis & Clark. We have been working together to ensure access, designate the route, create a plan for signs, and build more partnerships in support. Now is the time to raise some money and Lewis & Clark has stepped up in a major way. It is not often we get to turn a $10 donation into $50. Hats off to all involved and if cyclists pitch in the funds, hopefully we can get signs installed this summer.

Gerik
BTA

cyclist
Guest
cyclist

Jonathan:

Thanks for the update. This route is pretty critical for LC students and anybody else that lives or works in that neck of the woods. Do you think you could check in some time in the future (a month or two) to see how the fundraising effort is going? I’m sure there are enough of us here and around town to raise the $1000 necessary to get to $5000 total, but I think it’d help people here to know what sort of progress is being made in that effort.

And yes, I will be sending a check.

Joe
Guest
Joe

As for the riders, if you can’t take those bumps at a safe speed, good luck avoiding the squirrels, fallen branches, etc.

Maybe you should not ride bike, or should slow your speed.

The person who crashed 3 times must have been drunk.

As to what this stuff is supposed to address, young males have a tendency to be asshats, and neither the bumps nor signs will change that.

I say leave the bumps unlabeled and let nature take it’s course.

MPL
Guest
MPL

i only like to go up the hill,good thing though, will stop by the office and donate…

She
Guest
She

I would like a couple of points of clarification please:

1) are they looking for a total of $5000 or are they looking for donations adding up to $5000 that will then become $25000?

2) next regarding the removal of the bumps, if cyclists stick to the approved route will the bumps be removed on the route or would they be removing bumps that are not on the approved route, this was unclear in the article?

Thank you Jonathan for an update. I ride there very infrequently but enjoy the ride up the hill (I too often go up there and down another route).

I want to also second the comment that one cyclist that was injured is one of the most conscientious, responsible cyclists that has thousands upon thousands of riding miles in his history. It was quite a bummer that he got caught by the bump.

Thank you to the cemetery for keeping the option for cyclist to take the route through their property.

Marcus Griffith
Guest
Marcus Griffith

I support the Cemetery full heartedly; staff there have been working with the bike community for years.

People need to keep in mind that River View is a cemetery, not a transportation short cut.

As for those “speed-bump caused wrecks”, those were caused by cyclists going too fast in the area. As several people pointed out in the fall, if a person was going so fast he or she couldn’t stop for the speed bump, than he or she as going too fast to stop for grounds crew or people attending a funereal.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I’m just dying to see how this route works out (snicker)
I deeply appreciate everyone who’s come together to make this happen. It has been a struggle I’m sure to reach an agreement that everyone can be comfortable with. This route will be all the more critical if/when the Sellwood bridge becomes more passable.
thank you to everyone involved and please respect the cemetery and users

Kaeta
Guest
Kaeta

paypal? you’d get more donations that way.

mom
Guest
mom

Our interest in this issue is quite personal: We ride thru Riverview to visit our son’s gravestone.

As avid cyclists and OBRA members, we plan to support this plan and will encourage our non cycling friends to contribute as well.

We know there have been rude cyclists, but they are few. The speed bumps are aggressive, dangerous and mean spirited.

Cyclists thru the cemetery energize the place. The contrast for us is keen.

mom
Guest
mom

paypal is a great idea

cyclist
Guest
cyclist

mom:

I think part of the problem is that the cemetery may not wish to “energize” the place. It’s my understanding (based on past reports) that people have ridden aggressively through areas that were having funerals in the past. It’s of paramount importance to remember that the cemetery exists as a place where people are laid to rest, whether or not we bring energy to the place is really beside the point.

cyclist
Guest
cyclist

mom:

I’d like to follow up by saying that I understand that some people (such as yourself) like that the cemetery is brought to life by the cyclists, I was just pointing out that the speed bumps were brought on because some folks were acting incredibly disrespectfully, and that ultimately we have to respect the mission of the cemetery. Riverview is putting forth a good faith effort to find a compromise that will hopefully take care of all of us.

SE Cyclist
Guest
SE Cyclist

Please just send a check. Certainly there are ways things could have been done to make things easier or better but let’s just move forward from here. This is our opportunity as responsible parties to do a little to make things better. The hard work like making agreements is done, it is easy enough to send a check. Please.

mom
Guest
mom

I see both sides and know that cyclists have been rude in the past and understand why the speed bumps were placed. They seem really high to me, although I am getting used to them, and I was alarmed by the injuries that happened a few months back. My perspective is from someone who goes there often, either by car to bring flowers or on a bike.

Kevin Wagoner
Guest

This is great news! I ride through there somewhat often and will send or drop some money off at the office. I wonder what the route is?

Dave
Guest
Dave

I’d certainly like to know more about the route and plans. At this point, I’m planning on donating $100, but could be more if the plan justified it. I’d personally like to see a route that included a bike path around the gates that get closed at dusk.

I also bike down the South end of the cemetery because it’s more direct and then go up the North end because it’s more gradual. I hope the plan considers actually having to go up and down the hill as the Southern end is nearly impossible to bike up.

Will the route be available after dark? This one of the biggest reasons to use the cemetery compared to Taylors Ferry, as Taylors Ferry at night is a death trap.

I can’t imagine it’s going to be very difficult to raise $5k with L&C donating 4-1, but what are they going to do with the extra money they collect?

This is great of the cemetery to do, but still on private property. I’d still like to hear what the city is going to do for future access to SW Portland?

A PayPal or online option would be nice too and most convenient for those on this blog. I haven’t written a check in years.

matt picio
Guest

Marcus (#11) – Have you ridden this route? Have you seen the speedbumps since they were installed? Are you aware of the existing relationships between the cemetary and the community, between cyclists and the owners? Respectfully, you have no idea what you are talking about in this particular instance and you’re making a lot of assumptions based on limited facts.

Velophile in Exile
Guest
Velophile in Exile

Matt, you did the same thing in #4 when you said that “the cemetary has no obligation to keep [the route] open.” The public has been riding around closed gates for so long with the cemetary owners’ knowledge that, if they have sought legal advice on this, they probably are aware that the public has a pretty good case that there is now a prescriptive easement across the property.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prescriptive_easement#Easement_by_prescription

I don’t mean to argue the merits of the case, only to let you know that your assertion is legally dubious. I also don’t mean to imply that local cyclists should not work constructively with the owners.

Rose City Oak
Guest
Rose City Oak

I salute BTA, David Noble (River View), Roger Geller (PBOT), and Matthew West (Lewis & Clark College)for coming up with this plan. I just mailed a check for $100 and encourage other Cemetery riders – especially my fellow crash victims – to step up and be part of the solution.