River View Cemetery.
It took less than a month for the community to raise $5,000 to fully sign and stripe a new bike route through River View Cemetery.
The route through the privately-owned cemetery is a popular shortcut through Portland’s southwest hills. Public access is allowed, but that access has been threatened by inconsiderate riding and safety concerns by the land owners.
In April, River View announced that they’d consulted with PBOT and the BTA to design a bike route through the cemetery that minimized potential conflicts between people riding bicycles and cemetery visitors and maintenance crews.
Now, thanks in large part to a matching donation by nearby Lewis & Clark College, the requisite funds are available to buy and install the signs and put down the pavement markings. According to the BTA, the work will be done in the coming weeks and is “expected to be finished by early summer.”
As to why the City of Portland doesn’t just pay for the improvements themselves, it’s because the route is on private property. I asked River View general manager David Noble whether or not they’d consider selling a public easement to the City, thereby transferring maintenance and responsibility to PBOT. He said the Board of Trustees has discussed the matter but that, “they do not support any action that takes control of our internal roadways or policies away from our own organization.”
Noble added that he hopes the new route and signage is obeyed and that, “the Board does not want to give up the right to at any future point ban bicycling if the circumstances should merit doing so.”
So just remember, the new signs do not give you carte blanche to ride through this cemetery property. Be considerate and humble for the opportunity or it will be taken away.
Read more about this issue in our archives.