Thanks to a PBOT construction project this weekend, the citizens of Portland will have a rare opportunity to enjoy NW Cornell Road through the West Hills with very little to no motor vehicle traffic.
PBOT is doing repair work on the tunnel and they will detour motor vehicle traffic off of NW Cornell between NW Lovejoy all the way up to Skyline. That leaves about a three mile stretch of one of Portland’s most scenic paved mountain roads open only to local traffic (of which there is very little) and people walking and bicycling (or bird watching or hiking, or whatever!).
And yes, as you can see on the map above, the road goes right by Macleay Park (with access to Forest Park trails) and the Pittock Bird Sanctuary/Audubon Portland.
The closure is expected to last from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday (7/30) and Sunday (7/31).
Citizen activist Andrew Holtz has been working to spread the word about the closure. He’s set up a Ride Cornell without (or hardly any) Cars! Facebook page and plans to lead a group ride on Sunday (meet at Skyliner Restaurant at Cornell and Skyline at noon).
If you’re not already familiar with the road, Holtz also shot this helmet-cam footage to whet your appetite:
Whether you want a peaceful climb (it gains about 700 feet in three miles) or a dreamy descent, Cornell is where it’s at this weekend.
UPDATE: PBOT will also be replacing existing speed bumps on the segment of Cornell Rd between Lovejoy and the tunnel. It will be an active construction zone all weekend so please use caution and obey flaggers.
UPDATE 2: See this City of Portland notice for latest update.