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$4 million lighting project complete, ODOT re-opens I-205 path

Posted by on March 21st, 2011 at 11:44 am

The Oregon Department of Transportation and TriMet have completed their joint project to install new overhead lighting on the I-205 multi-use path. The project was paid for by a $4 million federal stimulus grant and the new lighting was installed from Lents to Gladstone in the southern portion of the 16.5 mile path.

Back in October, ODOT closed some portions of the path to finish up the work and they announced just last week that the entire path has now been re-opened (albeit with some construction crews still present on the trail tying up loose ends).

New trees, with I-205 path along the right.
(Photo: Toshio Suzuki)

The lighting project is just one part of a multi-pronged effort by ODOT to improve the popular path. They have also worked with non-profit Friends of Trees to “re-green” the corridor by planting thousands of trees and shrubs. That effort was funded by a $410,000 ‘Nature in Neighborhoods’ grant doled out by Metro. ODOT has also hosted bike rides on the path and solicited community feedback on problem spots and other priorities related to how the path can be improved.

A $50,000 planning study has also been commissioned that will result in an action plan and list of further improvements.

Learn more about ODOT’s efforts to improve the I-205 path on the project website.

The I-205 multi-use path is a crucial north-south corridor that runs 16.5 miles from Marine Drive to Gladstone. It was funded through Oregon’s “Bicycle Bill” which mandates that ODOT spends a minimum of 1% of new highway project funds on facilities for walking and biking.

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  • matt picio March 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Cycle Wild rode the bottom end of the I-205 trail this past weekend. Looking good, will have to check it out at night with the new lighting on.

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  • Kurt Kemmerer March 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Woo hoo! Good news.

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  • Jim R March 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Nice long path for all types of riders, WITH LIGHTS…yeah! Maybe I’ll see you and your son on the path!?!

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  • Smapty March 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Fantastic. Now if they would address the north end of the path. From Burnside to Marine Drive is in bad shape with dangerous street crossings (Glisan, Burnside, Sandy) and plenty of obstacles (drug users, shopping carts, smokers) at Gateway.

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    • matt picio March 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      Smokers are an “obstacle”?

      The crossings at Burnside, Glisan and Sandy are complex interchanges which cannot be easily nor cheaply fixed. If you’d like to see changes there, you might want to contact ODOT and let them know the existing conditions are unacceptable. We are in ODOT Region 1. Region 1 even has a bicycle coordinator – Basil Christopher. His contact info, along with State Program Manager Sheila Lyons’ contact info can be found here:

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      • michweek March 22, 2011 at 11:18 am

        Yes, I ride up there about every other week. Them smokers just stand there even when I ring my bell, some walk intentionallly in front of you, and I have even andsome one crossthe path to walk agaisnt traffic making me swerve out into on coming walkers/bikers.
        Aside from second hand smoking when I am phyically applying myself, smokers are a dangrous obsticl that needs to be remidied at gateway. PLus all those cigg butts are disgusting, unlawful and environmental terrible!!

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    • matt picio March 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Oh, and drug users are an enforcement issue. If you see that, call the Portland police and request enforcement. The non-emergency number is 503-823-3333. Gateway lies within East Precinct. Contact info for PPB is here:

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  • Paul Hanrahan March 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I wish we could get some lighting on the Springwater path. I ride mostly between McGlouhln and Johnson Creek, and it it very dark in the morning.

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    • matt picio March 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      Paul – that section will likely never be lit. It passes through the Tideman Johnson Natural Area. Adding lighting makes it no longer “natural”. The people to talk to on that one would be Portland Parks & Recreation, as they own both the Springwater Trail and Tideman Johnson.

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  • Todd Boulanger March 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Regarding the lack of lighting on the Springwater trail…just talking to a woman last night…she was car free for many years until this week…she could no longer put up with the ‘risky’ late night commute along the Springwater. She bought a new car. 🙁

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    • michweek March 22, 2011 at 11:11 am

      As a women, I get it. But buyng a new car?? Did she even consider transit??? Did she try to take action to fix the issues?? Othrwise sounds pretty non commital to me.

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    • spare_wheel March 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      Is this just a perceived risk? I have not heard of many assaults on the spring water trail.

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    • Daniel March 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm

      Good for her. Most experienced cyclists know the streets are far safer than these trails, regardless of the rider gender or lighting situation. I think we can agree that she made the right choice going back to riding on the streets. Did you try to convince her she didn’t need a car to do that, though? Just curious.

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      • Alan 1.0 March 23, 2011 at 10:17 am

        Most experienced cyclists know the streets are far safer than these trails, regardless of the rider gender or lighting situation.

        What data do you have to back up that assertion? (Y’know…for inexperienced minority among us…) It doesn’t match my impression.

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  • craig March 22, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Was just up in Bellingham and saw the solar-powered lighting on the Lummi Nation’s new Haxton Way Trail connecting to their casino. It’s a beautiful sight, with much of it elevated above the wetland through which it runs.

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    • joe adamski March 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      I’m not thinking its about power supply for the lighting, rather the impact of lighting at night on a ‘natural’ area….

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