nose (black piece) as part of routine
maintenance on the Esplanade.
(Photos © J. Maus)
Routine repairs to the guardrails of the ramps that lead to the floating portion of the Eastbank Esplanade are set to begin this monday (11/29). Also, according to Portland Parks and Recreation, the work will include the installation of a new “ramp nose” with a shallower slope than the existing ones. This test installation of a shallower transition piece comes in response to a crash back in July and concerns that the existing bumps are too severe and are unneccessarily jarring to bike riders.
This past summer, Ron Richings was riding on the Esplanade when the bumps on the ramps jarred his bike and led to a crash that damaged his bike and required shoulder surgery to repair his rotator cuff (which severed in three places). After that crash (which, along with others I’d heard about, validated concerns I’d had about those bumps for a long time), I met with Bob Downing, the Central Services and Asset Systems Manager the Portland Parks and Recreation bureau.
Downing inspected the ramps and agreed that something could be done to make the transition pieces smoother. Downing says the new ramp nose material will have a slope that’s about half as steep as the existing ones and it will be installed in a test location. If they work, Parks will replace the rest of them with the new material.
Parks estimates the entire project (the guardrail work, not just this new bump material installation) will take an estimated three to four weeks. People using the ramps will be asked to walk around the construction area, which will narrow the ramps to six-feet in some places. There will also be intermittent closures of up to five minutes at a time. The work zone will only be in effect from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays and there will be unimpeded access at all other times (except for other users of course, which you should always be mindful of).
Stay tuned for a report on how the new bumps work.