Ruckus Warehouse Sale

Riverfront condo owners install gate to restrict bike access

Posted by on August 29th, 2012 at 10:29 am

New gate up at The Strand to prevent
people from “racing through” on bikes.
(Photo: Gretchin Lair)

Owners at The Strand, a multi-tower condominium complex just south of the Riverplace marina, have erected a gate to prevent people from bicycling through their courtyard. The Strand’s courtyard makes for convenient and safe access from SW Montgomery Street to Moody Ave, which is the main road to access the South Waterfront area. The cut-through had become popular for people bicycling to and from South Waterfront because it’s direct and separate from motor vehicle traffic on SW River Drive.

Back in February, resident of The Strand, Barbara Brady, made a public appeal for people to avoid riding through this private courtyard. Brady made it clear that The Strand Board of Directors wasn’t keen on people “racing through” their common area on bikes. Knowing that the Board would move to prohibit bike access, Brady hoped increased public awareness might solve the problem.

But it wasn’t enough.

A few weeks ago, reader Gretchin Lair sent the photo above and said, “It’s a pity, because this led directly onto the Moody cycle track from riverfront and offered the only way to cross the Moody/Harrison streetcar tracks at a right angle. I wish there was a public easement, or that the riverfront path connected to the [Aerial] Tram.”

Diagram shows The Strand towers in red, the cut-through route in yellow, and suggested alternative routes in green.
(Graphic by BikePortland)

To clarify, The Strand’s courtyard area is private property, so the city and county cannot enforce any public easement through it.

I followed up with Brady this week and she said residents continued to feel “threatened by those zooming through.”

“When verbally asked not to ride through, most cyclists who were still doing it ignored the request, and, unfortunately, some had rude responses.”
— Barbara Brady, The Strand resident

“Some cyclists changed their course, I think, but of course the ones who don’t always become the voice,” Brady shared, “Signs saying ‘Private Property,’ and ‘Please Walk Bicycles’ had little effect. When verbally asked not to ride through, most cyclists who were still doing it ignored the request, and, unfortunately, some had rude responses.”

So the gate is up, and now folks don’t have the choice to cut-through The Strand — or if they do, at least the gate slows them way down. (Two good options remain: SW River Drive to the west and the riverfront bike path to the east.)

Brady, who’s supportive of bicycling, said she hoped the BikePortland post in February would solve the problem. “But you know the routine,” she shared via email, “as with so many incidences, those who create problems have the loudest voice.”

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Dave August 29, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Isn’t this a project with deferred or reduced property taxes? Perhaps in the future, or maybe even retroactively, the property tax favors could be pair for with public access.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • pdxbug September 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      No, this is not a property with deferred or reduced property taxes. Taxes run over $5k for a one bedroom, over $10k for a two bedroom, and there are separate property taxes on parking spaces and storage units like most condos.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • NF August 29, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I think the best solution would be to pave the accessway with some crazy-bumpy cobblestones.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Spiffy August 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      yes, I would have thought they could have come up with a better looking physical barrier… looks like somebody was in a hurry to fix this issue…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dave August 29, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I ride nearby every day on the way to work, and I did used to ride through their courtyard both on the way to and from work. Obviously I wasn’t there all day, but I very rarely saw anyone walking through there at all, and as with any shared space, I always made sure to ride slowly and carefully and yield to anyone else moving through. It’s too bad that either certain people on bicycles made it seem intimidating to walk through here, or that some of the folks living in the condos simply had it in their head that people were ‘zooming’ through there (or a combination of both). For my part, I never had a bad interaction with anyone while riding through there.

    That being said, it’s not much more inconvenient to go around, it just was more convenient to go through there. It’s just a shame to see a sort of failure to share (whoever is responsible for the failure) what is essentially public (even though privately owned) space.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • craig August 29, 2012 at 10:44 am

      “what is essentially public (even though privately owned) space.”

      No. It’s private. You can’t have it both ways. It doesn’t matter that it is a condo complex. It’s no different than a private home. If I had any form of public traffic going through my yard, I’d fence it too.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Dave August 29, 2012 at 10:48 am

        Craig: all I meant by that is that it is an open space that is surrounded on by public property, thus making it generally accessible to the public, whether it is technically publicly owned or not. I’m not saying they don’t have the right to close it off, I’m just saying (regardless of the cause), it’s a shame they felt they needed to.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • craig August 29, 2012 at 10:57 am

          I dig that. I imagine the original architectural and planning design aimed for an open space for residents to pass, gather, and otherwise enjoy. Obviously there was an unplanned usage that resulted. Fortunately the graphic shows this is an issue of convenience, not of access.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Zach August 29, 2012 at 11:55 am

          Most corner lots have front yards which are open spaces that are surrounded by public property. In many cases, it is more convenient for pedestrians to cut through the lot when turning the corner. Does that mean the low owner should be obliged to give the pedestrians an easement?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Dave August 29, 2012 at 11:57 am

            Zach, please note, I never said anything about rights here, in fact, I affirmed their right to close off the courtyard, just like I would affirm the right of a homeowner to put up a fence. However, in either case, I consider it a shame that they feel the need to.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Dave August 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

            …and by saying that, I don’t mean to put the onus on the condo owners or the homeowner with the yard. I’m just saying, it would be preferable to me overall if we didn’t feel the need to lock up our space, if we could leave it open, and expect it to be treated respectfully, and find that it does get used respectfully. Especially in an urban setting like this where the property is in the middle of a dense area, with a lot of people around, it would be great if that open space could be respectfully used by everyone without the need to restrict it.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Sarah H August 29, 2012 at 11:55 pm

              I hear you. Sound like you’re getting at the “freedom to roam” that’s common in Europe and especially Nordic countries but which gets a lot of blank stares and confused looks if you bring up such a concept in the good ol’ U.S. In Sweden, for example, you’re allowed to *camp* on someone else’s property as long as you leave it like you found it, don’t make too much noise, practice fire safety, and only stay for one or two nights.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Nicholas Caleb August 29, 2012 at 11:57 am

        It’s really not so simple, Craig. Sometimes you can have it both ways. The nature of private property is such that public uses are sometimes permitted. In fact, the whole justification for private property in the first place is utilitarian. It’s just that, in the era of extreme selfishness, we tend to forget the entire history of property, along with its many nuances, so we can say “Stay out! It’s mine!” like two year old children.

        I suggest reading Eric T. Freyfogle’s “On Private Property” for an understanding as to why private/public property isn’t a binary system.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Barney August 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

          It depends on the intended use of the open space. If it was intended as a park-like social gathering space rather than a transportaion corridor then clearly the latter would detract from the former. One needs only to look at the west bank Esplanade to see how poorly both of those together work. Bikes do not always belong everywhere they want to be. The fact that bike-thru users did not respect the intended use of this space is the reason for the closure. There is no bad guy here, it’s just the separation of an incompatible use from that space.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Spiffy August 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm

        craigNo. It’s private. You can’t have it both ways.

        but you can have it both ways… private property that has been shown to be used consistently by the public is immune to trespassing laws… property owners have to go to lengths (such as a fence or chain) to exclude it from the public…

        but as Dave was saying, it’s their private property so it’s their right to fence it off… it’s just a shame that it comes to that in a situation like this…

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Bjorn August 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm

          Outside urban areas in Norway they do have it both ways. If you aren’t within the city limits you actually can’t legally prevent people from passing through your land.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • encephalopath August 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Bad design.

    The water flowed downhill. Asking it nicely to not do that didn’t change the water’s behavior.

    So now that channel is damed. Hardly surprising.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • chucklehead August 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Water does not have the ability to make decisions. Cyclists do.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Indy August 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I think the public should put see-through mirror glass up. When the public looks into the building they just see a mirror image, but when the residents look out they see the scenery they paid for. We all win?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Spiffy August 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      this comment confuses me…

      when the residents look out they’ll see the bicyclists racing through their courtyard…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Alex Reed August 29, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Are there plans to extend the waterfront path south in this area? Additionally, the current waterfront path near RiverPlace is way too narrow, especially with the copious furniture.

    If there aren’t plans to improve/extend the waterfront path, the infrastructure/signage for bikes to get to the Moody cycleway from points north needs to be improved. There’s a reasonably clear green marking routing bikes onto the road just south of the Blues Fest area but then once you start on that road it rapidly becomes unclear where you should go. Plus, you go from a path to a quiet road to a sort-of-busy road with a narrow bikelane and a streetcar (Moody area). It’s unsurprising that some people decide to take the safe, comfortable (if crowded) path.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Dan L. August 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Keep it in the road, you’re a bike; deal with it. Please don’t bike where furniture and kids are at the RiverPlace marina. The city has spent many thousands to make the commute on the road much safer: with sharrows, and expanded access onto Harbor Way from Waterfront park.
      I cycle everyday to work near RiverPlace and the behavior of fellow cyclists is embarrassing when they feel the need to ride where pedestrians and kids are toddling about.
      Insisting on always having the best route, as a cyclist, isn’t realistic and is not our right. Put yourself in another’s shoes; imagine you are walking on the Marina with a kid and a cyclist goes whizzing by, when there’s a bike path 100 feet away. Please be a respectful cyclist and use the paths that have been researched by cyclists. Thanks.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Alex Reed August 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

        I do use the roads. I’m just saying that I see why other people may choose to bike on the path near RiverPlace. I also see why people could get turned around in that area and decide to just take the path because they know where it goes. Better signage and infrastructure, please!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Alex Reed August 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

        Also – bikes are currently permitted (though discouraged with passive-aggressive signage) on the section of path near RiverPlace. So I think it’s fine for people to bike there (going slowly, yielding the right of way to everyone else, and generally being a model citizen).

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Stretchy August 29, 2012 at 11:01 am

    It’s the cost of abusing a privilege.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jeff August 29, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Sounds like a great solution to a persistent problem.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dave August 29, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I only ride through there occasionally, but it never would have even occurred to me to take that “shortcut”. Too bad the condo owners had to waste money and disrupt a nice open space to solve a problem that shouldn’t have existed to begin with. Manners, people.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR August 29, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen either a pedestrian or a vehicle in that ‘courtyard’.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Jeff August 29, 2012 at 11:50 am

      does it matter what you’ve seen?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Justin August 29, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I can’t imagine anyone using the riverfront detour, as it takes you a block too far and makes you double back at DEA/Marriott, which is a kind of funky traffic light.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Dave August 29, 2012 at 11:17 am

      If you take the riverfront detour, you can cut west just south of The Strand (there’s a little roundabout with bollards), and then go South on Moody from there – so it’s really just about a block detour.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Spiffy August 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm

        it takes you a block too far

        Dave it’s really just about a block detour.

        you’re both right!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • LoneHeckler August 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      I love the riverfront path “detour” there. I take it on my commute home, heading north. Yes, it’s a few feet out of the way, and yes, it takes a little bit longer. But it’s also a very peaceful, almost-hidden path that offers lovely views of the eastbank and almost no pedestrian traffic to contend with. It’s a few moments of peace and quiet along the river. And it spits me right back onto the turnaround at River/Montgomery, where I rejoin the fray.

      And, in the cold, dark of winter, I take the Riverplace MUP, which is usually a lot less populated.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • David August 29, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I think it’s a shame that this even became a problem.

    Why was a private development allowed to disrupt downtown’s transportation grid? I can’t think of too many other examples of this in Portland. Why didn’t this get addressed in the development’s design phase?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Chris I August 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      I don’t think this property ever had a grid. It was likely a large industrial lot. Clearly, a mistake was made when it was developed without securing what clearly should be a public ROW.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • CaptainKarma August 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      um, Lloyd Center?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • David August 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm

        I guess.

        The only minor difference is that one was built in 1959 and the other was built in 2006. I sort of expect the superblock mentality coming out of the 50s/60s…not so much from the 00s.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Landolfe August 29, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I ride by there every day and it’s my personal opinion that the Strand has found a reasonable solution and I’m glad the resident quoted doesn’t hold any grudges. The property has been clearly signed for some time and turning left doesn’t extend one’s trip by more than a few feet and a few seconds (literally). I advocate for more exclusive bike facilities to reduce conflicts with people in cars, in trains and in foot. But to ask for such things requires making peace with the necessity of bike-excluded areas. It’s just the other side of the coin.

    Southbound, River Dr offers a safe right-angle merge with the Streetcar route and, northbound, the bike path crosses the streetcar several blocks prior–the Strand’s property doesn’t factor in. I agree with Gretchen that a riverfront path to the Aerial Tram would be fantastic but the riverfront near there is so far from being fully developed such a route would be more than a decade out, if ever. The tram’s friendly neighbors are a shipyard that require river access. (And I don’t mean friendly in jest–they’re really nice guys.)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Alex Reed August 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      I think that that bad behavior like the Strand cut-through has its roots in the fact that public provision of safe, comfortable, clear, direct bike facilities in the downtown/South Waterfront connection is woefully incomplete.

      Here are some more aspects (in addition to the ones noted in my comment above) in which the South Waterfront connection, though better than many other areas in the city, leaves much to be desired –
      The northbound cross of the streetcar tracks is FAR from 90 degrees. And why do bikes have to cross the street twice northbound (in the vicinity of the Moody cycleway) just to continue going in the same direction on the same street? Plus the pedestrian/bike flip-flop on the cycle track is just strange. And why are the trees between the two directions of the cycle track rather than between pedestrians and bikes?

      Then once you get south of the Aerial Tram you get dumped on a door-zone bike lane. If you leave the door-zone bike lane, you have to traverse streetcar tracks in the adjacent lane. I end up taking the left vehicle lane because it’s the safest option available. It definitely makes some drivers mad though.

      I recognize that these things don’t have direct bearing on the Strand closure. And I appreciate the great progress that has been made. Let’s make some more!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • John Landolfe August 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

        All good feedback. I hope you’ve forwarded it to PBOT.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Alex Reed August 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm

          Ha, thanks for the gentle reminder. Done!

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Alex Reed August 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

          If anyone else wants to email PBoT about anything, the address is director (at) portlandoregon (dot) gov

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • davemess August 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm

        I’m really curious about the intersection at Sheridan. Why do they have people stopped on bikes heading north in the middle of the ramp where people coming south are supposed to go? Just really poor design at that intersection. They need a better area for bikes heading North to queue up. Don’t even get me started on the blind corner around that HUGE highway support. Just seems like the bike path here was an afterthought and could have been done much better.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Alex Reed August 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm

          Seriously. The sad part is that this is the best cycle track in the city. OK, maybe Cully’s better but I haven’t ridden it yet.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • dan August 29, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I ride through there when I go for checkups at OHSU. The gate is very non-obtrusive — they haven’t fenced the whole area, they just put a gate at one border, so while you can ride into the courtyard you have to dismount and open the gate to exit. (Or, you can stay mounted and ride down a short flight of stairs.)

    I think it’s a reasonable response to a legitimate problem, though bumpy cobbles as suggested by NF would have been a more elegant solution.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Chris I August 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      It’s easier to dismount than to just ride down River Dr.?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Dan August 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm

        If I went there regularly, I would go around, but since I only head out there once in awhile (no more than a few times/year), I tend to forget. The existing bike lane tends to funnel you into the courtyard if you don’t already know you should go around.

        My commuter is a beater MTB, so last time I just rode down the staircase, which is way more fun than going around anyway.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • chucklehead August 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Many cyclists argue for separate cycling facilities…..but separate pedestrian facilities are unfair?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Daniel (teknotus) Johnson August 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Any path that has been continuously open to the public for more than two years can be argued as being a public right of way. My grandpa had closed a path across his property for one day a year for I would guess 40 years, and documented that it was closed with photos. When he closed it off with a fence people in the neighborhood made a legal motion to force it open, but he had the proof. If they don’t have proof that they closed it then it could probably be legally forced open. Though a better approach would probably be to add a 90 degree crossing of the tracks with a path that isn’t a cut through.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • peejay August 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I ride every afternoon the whole length of the Willamette trail from just north of the Sellwood Bridge to the Hawthorne bridge, and the closure is far from the worst thing about that route. In fact, I already started using other routes before it got closed. I could list all of the problems with that route, but it would take too long. Highlights include: VERY narrow paths, right angles, obstacle courses, tree roots, rough pavement, illogical placement of the bike signal at Moody under the Ross Island Bridge, etc.

    I’m kind of hoping that the whole neighborhood gets built up more, and residents realize that all those cars just can’t fit down there. We’ll have more options to get around soon enough.

    Does anyone know whether parking minimums are still in force for new construction in South Waterfront? Eliminate those, and conditions will improve, because more people will be riding down there.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jim F. August 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    This isn’t even an issue. It is private property and they can do anything they want with it. I’m a cyclist, but I would have done they same thing they did. If someone wants to allow you to ride your bike across their private property, that is great. But if they don’t, you do not have any basis to complain about it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Pete August 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    As President of a condo association elsewhere in Oregon, I can tell you that Barbara is right, it only takes one loud voice to get the attention of the Board, and this is easy pacification here. The biggest issue is the liability of someone getting into an accident. It’s hard enough to find an underwriter for a condo association these days (insurance is by far our largest cost), but one small incident can wreak financial havok. I am going through that right now, and the only ‘fortunate’ part about my situation is that it was a resident who fell off a broken step – my own mother (so I will pay handsomely out of my own pocket). It doesn’t even take a lawsuit, it just takes a claim to start the subrogation process.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • kww August 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    It seems that at some time SW Moody did go through that block, but the ROW was abandoned.

    If someone could find the ROW abandonment, then there COULD be a clause which allows for the reopening of said ROW. It is a long shot, for sure, and bikes can use other routes, so it probably is not worth the bother.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • kww August 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      I took a quick look at the Portland auditor’s website and some infrastructure search and it seems that there are no Right of Way vacations, and no infrastructure in their courtyard; so it may have never been a street.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Granpa August 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I work in the neighborhood and have been familiar with the site since it was a brownfield. I worked with the home owners association and designed an arrangement of benches and planters that would have slowed cyclists to a walking pace. I see walkers, many of them elderly and slow, every day, often with dogs on leash. It doesn’t take a mean-spirited cyclist to startle a pedestrian. Good bikes are silent and swift. Most cyclists I see display courtesy and respect. A few cyclists do not display courtesy and respect. I see one guy frequently who courses the riverfront at a fast pace in a wheelstand. Clearly he is a skilled rider, but a bad ambassador for cycling. The property owners devised a good solution.

    The detours available will add only seconds to a trip. Deal with it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Adam August 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Ew, a gated community! That’s not very Portland.

    Also. I think this looks absolutely hideous.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • dweendaddy August 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Why did they leave access to their property?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jolly Dodger August 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Back before the development took place…2000-ish? – There was an empty field, and a very rough black top ‘path’ that led thru a crappy chain link fence…and dumped you on a dirt path under the Marquam bridge with a bmx course to the dead end circle there. Transients would build fires and sleep near the columns. With all the ‘progress’ – and i use the word loosely, what with the frustrating changes to what was essentially a private biker thorough-fare down Macadam…(even with the old tracks it was quick and other than the occasional Spaghetti Factory customer or shipping truck, painless). I remember how quiet and peaceful a two minute ride south of the Hawthorne use to be. Some glass, a few ruts, maybe…but oh, how i miss those days. Now it feels like riding down Broadway.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • HAL9000 August 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Non-story. Rode through there once, realized it was kind of dangerous because of the narrowness of the walkways, so I bike around the buildings. Maybe if one of the residents is a cyclist and they told him he couldnt ride??

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • o/o August 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    it confused me when I first went through the place. it was so open and public. But i went on a different route next time. if it were dark, somebody could crash through the glass barrier. Good luck.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kevin Wagoner August 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Since your previous article a while back I had been taking the right at the intersection and going around the river side of the place. So I’ve been avoiding the private property area.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dan August 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    If I went there regularly, I would go around, but since I only head out there once in awhile (no more than a few times/year), I tend to forget. The existing bike lane tends to funnel you into the courtyard if you don’t already know you should go around.

    My commuter is a beater MTB, so last time I just rode down the staircase, which is way more fun than going around anyway.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Trevor August 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Offset bollards on both ends would have slowed down traffic and not put a visual barrier between the community and the property.
    Just my opinion.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Doug August 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Daniel Johnson brings up a little known legal principle. I don’t know if it’s called “adverse possession” (which is what it’s called when you use your neighbor’s land for access for years and he doesn’t complain), but it’s related. If the public is allowed to use a path without constraint for a time period, then it becomes a public way. The way to avoid this is, as Daniel mentioned, close it one day a year. There’s something about letting people know that you know they’re crossing your land, but you’re allowing them to do it, and you reserve the right to disallow that at a certain point (and maybe you have to close it once a year).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • J.M. Jones August 30, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Reading the story indicates that SOME cyclists refused to comply with residents requests and at least some were rude about not doing so. And many cyclists are thinking the residents could be “forced” into letting them ride through anyway?
    It seems my education is out of date……

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Alex Reed August 30, 2012 at 7:09 am

    One more element of the difficulty of getting through the downtown/South Waterfront connection is that Portlanders are used to an orderly, numbered street grid. Aside from, well, all of the West Hills (which have less biking than the rest of Portland), just about everywhere in Portland where people bike has the expectation of multiple parallel streets that go through. I think this is a big reason why biking in the downtown/South Waterfront connection is so confusing for newbies – there are no numbered streets and streets don’t act like you’d expect them to elsewhere in (non-West Hills) Portland. This situation requires better signage and route marking than bike boulevards on the East side would, for example.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe August 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    get off and walk? don’t taze me bro. lol wait its locked.. DOH

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • q`Tzal August 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    To those that have an axe to grind about the closure of private property for a community’s safety please check your hypocrisy at the door with Bob Huckaby and his irrational hate for the Wheeler closure.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Alexis August 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Jonathan — your wording is confusing when you say “The Strand’s courtyard area is private property, so the city and county cannot enforce any public easement through it. ” An easement is an agreement to allow access to private property, so it would be more clear to say that it is private property and so without a formal easement the city cannot require them to allow access. Presumably there is no such easement granted.

    I agree with those who said that improving wayfinding and track-crossing safety would be a nice response to this by PBOT.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Chris Shaffer September 2, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I have been biking through this area regularly for the past four years.

    On both sides of the Strand’s property, there are public sidewalks that are shared bike/pedestrian use. The Stand’s sidewalk and plaza are not visually different than the adjacent public spaces.

    There has also been a lot of construction in the area.

    The signage is confusing. For a year or so, there was no signage. Then for about a year, there were sings at each entrance to the property asking people to walk bikes. Then those disappeared and a one-way do-not-enter sign appeared at the south end. Until the barrier went up, for the past year there was no signage indicating that it is private property and bikes aren’t allowed.

    When the “please walk bikes” signs were up, I accidentally rode through one day. A security guard ran out and cursed me. I have several times seen building workers aggressively and rudely confronting bicyclists.

    None of this excuses rude behavior by cyclists. I also agree the Strand is within their rights to erect a barrier. That said, they could have tried better to work with the bike community to find a better solution to this problem.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe September 5, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    This is surprising. Doesn’t the City typically require a public easement for development of superblocks so that public access is maintained every 200′ or so?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe September 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    It can still be a private street, but just have a public use easement. Quite typical actually.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • matt September 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Much ado about nothing, I like to ride bikes, I like to walk, I like to drive cars, trucks, and heavy machinery. I used to like driving motorcycles, but I know too many “dearly departed” to maintain that desire. I really, really wish, ( did I say really?), that so many cyclists haven’t developed such a, shall I say, me first mentality. What is so difficult about, “Please walk your bike”? If you really are in such a hurry, maybe you should,….. dare I say it?,….. drive a car? Here’s a thought, can we try to make Portland world renowned as a place that is bike friendly with friendly bikers? I know, at this point, it is just a dream, but we have to start somewhere.

    Recommended Thumb up 0