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Another case of harassment on Springwater Corridor

Posted by on September 18th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

When night starts on the Springwater,
so do security concerns.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Springwater Corridor path has been called, “a stunning and well-planned urban connector” that “embodies the spirit of Portland.” During the day it buzzes with all sorts of human-powered traffic. But at night, it’s a completely different story. The path has no lighting and it has become a very popular place for people to sleep, live and hang out. Over the weekend, I heard of yet another incident where someone on a bike was harassed while using the trail at night.

Here’s the story sent in to me by a reader:

“At about 9:00 pm on Saturday [9/15] me and my girlfriend went on a night ride through the Springwater. At the entrance to the corridor we encountered a homeless camp with multiple people hanging out. They yelled and swore at us as we passed them: “Fuck you assholes! Turn off those fucking lights!”

An hour later, on the return trip back to their camp, they yelled at us again. A guy ran in front of us and came extremely close to grabbing one of us off the bike, as they were alerted to our presence well in advance because of our very bright lights. He looked enraged and screamed he’d kill us. Looking backwards, a few homeless guys were running towards their mountain bikes apparently to catch up to us. Thankfully we were biking very quickly at this point and made it off the Springwater safely.

We flagged down two cyclists heading into the corridor (by SE 4th & Division) to alert them what happened. One cyclist said a similar situation happened to her about two weeks ago. She called the police. About 2-3 minutes later 2 police cars arrived, removed the posts, and drove into the Springwater. Don’t know what happened after that because all of us left the area. Just a heads up for other people using this trail at night that it can at times be very shady.”

This is a troubling trend. The previous incidents we’ve shared — some in October 2011, the others this past August — happened in similar situations. The main difference with the story above is that it happened closer-in to downtown Portland near the northern entrance of the corridor (near Ross Island Sand & Gravel). The previous ones happened east of 82nd Ave.

After we reported on the August incidents, the story got picked up by the local news and KATU-TV reported that Portland Parks officials had decided to add police patrols (on foot and ATV) in the outer east area. Perhaps it’s time to add more frequent security patrols along the entire pathway? Or maybe it’s time for a more proactive solution? Is it time for lights along the path?

To me, the bottom line is that the Springwater is a transportation corridor and people who use it should be able to expect the same level of safety as they would on any other major transportation corridor. Of course, being on a bicycle at night makes you inherently more vulnerable no matter where you ride (and people do get harassed even on well-lit surface streets), so I’m not sure what — if anything —we can do about it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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

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Nick
Guest
Nick

I’ve never ridden the Springwater, so maybe I’m being naive, but lighting seems like an obvious solution. Every city street is expected to be lit.

Demian Ebert
Guest
Demian Ebert

I ride this path every day year round during normal commute hours. My wife rides it twice a week at about 5 am to get to and from rowing practice. Her comment about the homeless people described in the article isn’t printable. We both appreciate the warning and will take steps to ensure that should a threatening situation occur, we have some form of protection.

As a professional wildlife biologist, lights are problematic for some wildlife species; but so are feral cat feed stations and homeless encampments. Oaks Bottom is a wildlife refuge and a pretty nice feature within the City that we should try to preserve. That said, public safety has its place too. Stepped up enforcement should help. Lights would help many safety issues on that section of the path (which I think has been discussed here in the past) and maybe it’s time to make that trade-off decision with the wildlife advocates.

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

I feel for the homeless, I really do – anyone could be ruined by an unexpected medical emergency, job loss, mental illness, or whatever. So I’ve never begrudged people who are looking for a discreet place to camp for the night.

But would it kill them to at least not cause a problem for other folks who are just minding their own business and passing through the area? It’s not their area, it’s everyone’s area.

And you think they’d like to keep the cops from being called on them…

Richard Allan
Guest
Richard Allan

My commute is along the Springwater Willamette Trail, and there have been homeless folks camped out there pretty regularly for years. I’ve never had any problem with them.

But last night, riding home after dark, somebody there yelled profanity as I was riding by. That has never happened. I thought it might have just been people arguing with each other. But this story makes me rethink that.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

1) lighting, lighting and more lighting.
2) remove overgrowth: mainly hiding places and complete obscurement.
a) at first we should stick to invasive species and non native plants. I’m partial to goats or a public outreach like has been organized to remove non-native ivy in Forest Park.
b) remove complete visual screening from adjacent public spaces. Nothing growing there provides any visual nor auditory improvement for adjacent property owners and only helps to hide illicit activity. If Portland is so proud of the Springwater trail why are we hiding it?
3) Police call boxes. Many Depts of Transpo nationwide still put up emergency call boxes in remote areas for safety. Suppose that every 1/4 mile a permanent hardened call box that only calls the police with accurate location info was installed. There is always vandalism on any public project but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
4) In historically high risk areas, in addition to lighting, we should set up inviting picnic or social gathering areas. We need to make the high risk areas low risk by introducing large amounts of public eyeballs to the mix.
Make it cheery and garishly suburbanite looking; everything made in site poured cast concrete.

Notice nowhere did I suggest enforcement directly, merely the option of quick easy enforcement. The only real solution is to come to terms with the simple fact that with increasing use and density that these public spaces can no longer be used as quasi-rural flop houses for the homeless. NOT because they are homeless but because they are people and some percentage of people are stark raving nuts. Put crazies, homeless or not, in a situation where there are no witnesses and little worry of police involvement and this will simply happen.

Change the environment and ecosystem of use by cyclists, walkers and campers and the problem will evaporate from here.

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

Concealed weapon permit?

resopmok
Guest
resopmok

Lights are probably the best solution and promote safety all around. Having the path lit between the Ross Island entrance and Sellwood would make it safer for those without bright lights and discourage some riff-raff from causing problem. Lights on posts can also be shielded on the backside to prevent most of what would shine into non-paved areas of the path. Lights from the Sellwood continuation through to at least 82nd would also be helpful for the same reasons, but the wildlife refuge considerations are probably less important. Probably the biggest hurdle of making it reality would be cost of installation.

Frankly though, I have always found surface streets to be safer after dark except perhaps during the middle of winter when the sun goes down before rush hour. Clinton/Woodward and SE 52nd or 72nd get me to most destinations in outer southeast quicker than the Springwater anyway.

Champs
Guest
Champs

Yes I’ve heard that “turn off those fucking lights” refrain before, but that was in the middle of some dance party ON the Esplanade.

I’m not sure why the camps have to be run like gangs owning turf. We all have better things to do than deliberately bother them.

pixelgate
Guest
pixelgate

Weird, I make multiple nightly trips along this path from SE Tacoma right through to the end and on through to Omsi, never once had a problem.

Not that I’m blaming anyone, but the biggest problem I’ve experienced on the Springwater isn’t the homeless but the other cyclists who use what appear to be airport spotlights as a bike light. When there’s nothing but pitch blackness, and all the sudden you have something that might as well be a laser pointed directly in your eye, it makes it impossible to see anything and you basically have to slow down to a near stand-still until the person passes.

I can imagine how these lights would also irritate the homeless population. If you want to use those lights on a busy, well-lit street well then okay, but on a desolate path like the Springwater it just seems like a dick move.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Time for an enforcement action. If they can do it at Ladds Circle, why not the Springwater Corridor.

Maybe if cyclists were licensed and had license plates…. (satire).

Joshua Curtis
Guest
Joshua Curtis

Perhaps the most proactive solution would be to provide an adequate supply of low-income housing, a full employment economy and funding for community mental health programs. It is a shame that we live in a country and city where anyone has to be sleeping on a bike path.

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

How about if a few community outreach people along with a couple of cops with friendly attitudes had a courtesy chat with those campers? Let them know that they’re aware of them but less likely to take enforcement actions if things remain copesetic with other trail users, and tell them about services and options they might use.

JL
Guest
JL

I am sure that I am not the only person that noticed the increase in “campers” and the amount of trash on/near the trail south of Ross Island Bridge last year. Somebody came in and moved most of them out at one point.

Is there a city ordinance that hasn’t expired banning camping?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sit-lie_ordinance

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

flamethrowers…here, let me light that for ya

Jolly Dodger
Guest

Alcohol… methamphetamine usage…desperation – add it up…there are few and far between places to feel safe out there at night if you are down. I feel for the folks who live ‘outside’ by choice. The advancing trend of allowing alcohol sales at carts will undoubtedly bring even more of these instances…assuming some of those imbibing would have had a limited supply into the night hours otherwise.

Is it a family friendly atmosphere? Sometimes…and it depends on how much ‘respect’ you give those who choose to ‘live’ there. Pass slowly, nod and say hello…they will smile back. If you snub your nose like something smells…well, go figure.

The lights are another thing entirely. I have been blinded by other cyclists lights at night and feel sometimes it can be overkill. Yes, you should be seen…but so bright, you outshine car lights? Seems a tad unsafe for the rest of us….just saying.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Citizen patrol groups, backed up by the community and the PD, riding the route regularly, might be an effective way to go. Find out who the rowdy people hanging out are, how often they’re there. Alert them to options.

In a natural setting, street light type lighting doesn’t just impact wildlife. The type of light they produce detracts from the sense of nature people go to a natural setting for. Installing along the trails length, maintaining and keeping them may amount to a tidy sum (bean counters?). Safety is a priority, but street lights may not be the best answer.

I just wonder how tough the Springwater ‘desperados’ are. Would a been kind of interesting to watch their reaction if the reader and his girlfriend on their bikes had been followed a 100′ back or so by a group of five or six serious folks on bikes. Could be, the rowdies’ big mouths might have hushed up rather quickly once they noticed the follow up group.

AdamG
Guest
AdamG

Maybe the police should be on bikes (legally lit of course), Not ATVs .

jayteepee
Guest
jayteepee

Stunning is definitely not a word that I would apply to the Springwater. No way, no how. It IS a connector, but I sure wouldn’t be adding any superlatives to it. Frankly, much of the route that it travels is an eyesore, in particular the Johnson Creek industrial area.

I’ve experienced similar incidents for the last several years, usually along the sketchier parts from Tideman-Johnson on out to I-205. I’m done riding through there at nights, and there have been some days where I’ve had similar thoughts.

I can’t say that I’ve had any problems between OMSI and Sellwood, but it doesn’t surprise me at this point.

Jon
Guest
Jon

If you build it, they will come. Portland has had the welcome mat out for the hardcore homeless for many years. Liberal guilt does not allow us to hold them accountable for their actions and choices. Why get treatment when you can just get by with all the social services and do gooders that don’t ask them to change?

jeffrey utterback
Guest
jeffrey utterback

IMHO Many /most most of the homeless population are not innocent, unfortunate victims of circumstance, but have long standing, Mental health, substance abuse, criminal activity issues that are not easily resolved…the technical solution may be better lighting, but long term solutions maybe more elusive…

Terry D
Guest
Terry D

Endemic homelessness is the legacy of generations of trickle down economics. With our housing supply, we could eliminate it for a very small cost if the resources were directed properly, but as a society we do not have the willpower or consensus to do that.

In the meantime, we need to have the Springwater lit if it is going to be used as a transportation corridor at night. I for one, have real problems riding it at night. I do not have the best night vision so I would either have to us a monster light or just ride carefully and slowly…..then other cyclists come and blind me with their headlights and I can not see the middle or edge of the trail. It is dangerous for me to ride it…..if I was commuting into deep SE at night I would use an on-street route.

The 205 path on the other hand works just fine for me at night. The Springwater only has certain sections that are environmentally sensitive. These area the lights can be well shielded and pointing down as much as possible, but as a whole I think the trail should be lit for safety and access if it is to be used as a transportation corridor. Removal of invasives and adding areas for socializing is also important to get people off of the trail, but as this case highlights that may not always work….it is important though to give these people as many options as possible before “sending in the troops” so to speak….

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Whoa, I’ve ridden the Springwater many times at night, and never (yet) had a problem, so this is chilling.

I should add that I do dim my light on the Springwater. I don’t need as much light to see the path there as I do on suburban arterials where my light has to overcome an enormous amount of ambient glare, or on a 25+mph ride out of the West Hills.

I also put a shroud on the top of my light to help shield it from the eyes of other people on the path. On the path, the only light that does me any good is light that actually hits the pavement. Contrary to what was said above, no one is outshining car headlights in terms of lighting up the pavement. In terms of blinding others, well maybe so. Someone needs to market a cheap, bright MagicShine light with a better beam pattern.

But to blame cyclists with bright lights for incidents like the above is a total blame-the-victim dick move.

jack S.
Guest
jack S.

I had many people yell at me during my night ride. At one point there were 3 men standing on the path not moving looking at me I thought for sure they were going to hurt me. I yelled hello in the manliest voice I could muster, hoping to avert crisis. Luckily I squeeeeezed by the side of them and they just looked at me. I’ll not ride that road at night again until I’m convinced my safety will be kept.

Brian Willson
Guest

I am a regular user of the Springwater Corridor on my arm-powered handcycle. As a double amputee, I am a bit vulnerable, and as a conservative precaution I simply choose not to ride the corridor after dusk. I find the described behavior of these apparently homeless folks pretty despicable. I do carry a small pepper spray can with me, mostly to fend off attacking dogs, but I would also not hesitate to use it against menacing people threatening me.

But s a 71-year-old man, I have been around the block a few times and feel compelled to share a deeper context. Social-economic-psychological problems cannot be divorced from understanding the grotesquely criminal cultural political economic context in which we live in the USA. Gross personal behavior cannot be excused but it is helpful to know what social-economic conditions tend to greatly INCREASE the number of dysfunctional individuals and uncaring communities.

Our country has been in a virtual permanent war economy since WWII.The entire US American system has a vested interest in a permanent state of tension, needing one illegal war after another to feed the military industrial banking congressional presidential complex. The US spends more $$ on their military than any other nation – 45% of the entire world’s expenditures, more than the next 14 nations combined. Most amazing of all, the top 0.1% (one-tenth of 1%) have more combined pre-tax income than the poorest 120 million people. The 6 Walmart heirs wealth equals that of the entire bottom 30%.

In effect, the war economy, the capitalist ideology of gross selfishness, is sucking the society dry, sending the money to the rich in the gated communities literally making their money on wars, i.e., murdering others. There is little money left for across the board constructive programs promoting social uplift. The narcissism here is on steroids.

The impact of inequality on individuals and society is well established. The quality of social relations in societies is related to the scale of income inequality – how big the gap is between rich & poor. More unequal societies tend to have higher rates of violent crime and homicide, and that people living in them feel more hostility, are less likely to be involved in community life, and are much less likely to trust each other. Inequality is deeply corrosive. Greater inequality is perhaps the most significant obstacle to the development of healthy individuals and communities.

So, though, I cannot defend the behavior described and find it despicable and scary, I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that we live in a society that institutionalizes private profit and public decay. It has huge blowbacks effecting all of us.

gl.
Guest
gl.

I’ve been harassed onnthe trail in the daylight. It’s not about lights; it’s about community standards, enforcement and consequences.

I’ve also been chased by dogs, which I find scarier than homeless.

Tourbiker
Guest
Tourbiker

My Headlight can make oncoming cars flash their brights at me.
I’m usually past them by the time they even get a chance to size me up.
not a cure…but it helps

Mike
Guest
Mike

Perhaps Bike Portland/BTA/Walking Coalition can set up a donation fund to light (parts) of the Corridor and install call boxes.
The project shouldn’t cost more than $1,000,000.

It’s easy to suggest solutions that cost tremendous amounts of money. The issue is getting these projects paid for – especially now.

Duncan
Guest
Duncan

Springwater is why I bought the XB8 lights I own. Just keep them angled to the right a little.

noel
Guest
noel

It’s ironic, they don’t want to disturb the wildlife by not installing lighting, yet the city lets the homeless camp there…

Ashley
Guest
Ashley

DO NOT ride the trail at night people. And learn how to deal with the fact that you are in a CITY where dangerous people live and where a lot of times you are unable to rely on help from the police when YOU put yourself in a harmful situation. It has nothing to do with wildlife, call boxes (call boxes????….really???), lighting, or any other well-thought out, unfunded and politely discussed “solution.”

There is NO solution. Understand that the entire city is not your little fun playground to bike around in – nor should it be. **portion of comment deleted for inappropriate language**

Andy
Guest

The river bike path here in Reno has similar problems. Got the pleasure of riding up on a gentleman who was “pleasuring” himself alongside the trial. If anyone figures out a way around this type of problem please let the rest of us know!

Tom
Guest
Tom

last week on SpringWater , west of 82nd , one of the homeless thot it funny to jump out in front of me and scream and wave his arms over his head.(had to swerve to miss him ..figured he was hoping for a crash)
Yesterday..3PM there was a “not homeless looking” guy who had a parked bike yelling at all riders “Goddam bikes”

..sometimes sketchy even in the day time.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Ashley, this kind of behavior is NOT something we should resignedly accept as a fact of life in “the city”.

In fact, I bet you don’t live in “the city” yourself. I bet you live in a suburb our out in the boonies. Almost every time I’ve been in a discussion centered around solving an urban problem, and someone has brought up that dismissive, unhelpful “you live in the city!” reasoning, it has almost ALWAYS been from someone who does NOT live in the city. Usually it comes from someone who lives outside the city, watches too much TV news and holds a skewed image of “the city” as some noisy, crowded, smelly, crime-ridden cesspool, ignorant of the day-to-day reality of people who actually live there, find it a quite nice place to live, and want to make it better.

I will allow that there is also a (smaller) chance that Ashley does live in the city, but hails originally from a more crime-ridden city somewhere else. That still doesn’t mean we should let ourselves sink to a lower standard of acceptable behavior.

jram
Guest
jram

A few thoughts on the comments above:
1. I find it odd and hypocritical that on a website where we shun the word “cyclist” because it dehumanizes someone by making no mention of the word person, the term “homeless” is used as a suitable descriptor of a person.
2. The situation described in the article is scary, and I hope the police were called on this group. However, this situation should not be assumed to be the normal actions of people living on the street, no more than running a red light is assumed to be normal actions of people on bikes. In my experience, most people living on the streets are just trying to figure out how they are going to make it through the night, and can’t be bothered to harass someone.
3. I have no idea the mental/emotional state of the person(s) that harassed/threatened the reader, but I bet no one on this thread would be operating from a place of 100% sanity if they were in a similar situation (i.e. having to camp on the side of the river, wondering where your next meal will come from while everyone else passes happily by on the MUP). It’s easy to see a situation where the bright lights shining in your eyes while you are trying to sleep can be the proverbial straw breaking the camel’s back. This is in no way intended to justify the actions of the aggressors, but it is always good to try to look at the situation through the lens of the others involved.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

Obviously the city needs more beds and resources to deal with an ever increasing homeless and at-risk populations. If you’ve ever slept outside in an urban environment before, you know it is hard to find places low on lighting (which helps facilitate sleep when less lights) and the mob mentality comes from safety in numbers (i.e. the gangs of homeless). That this is happening on the Springwater Corridor shows that there is a lack of resources for homeless populations in the inner city neighborhoods. This is not unique to Portland but we must put pressure on the city and state to work on solutions to this problem that don’t involve incarceration.

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

Don’t forget we get screamed at and menaced by “respectable” people every day from their cars.

More enforcement. How many of these troublesome homeless are transient, part of the so-called road warriors who show up en masse when the weather gets nice, and leave (or go back indoors) when the weather gets bad?

If the police are responsive, (and it sounds like they may be) Swift response combined with the impending weather change should clear up the problem in short order.

Redhippie
Guest
Redhippie

Hate to say it, but this is not an uncommon occurance on many of our public green ways and park. I don’t go anywhere near the cross peninsula trail with my kids at night, and only occationally do I venture it. Same issue, people taking it over.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

sounds like a problem that will disappear once it starts raining.

Duncan
Guest
Duncan

Ashley- I can see your point, however I disagree. Yes the whole city should be our playground. A citizen engaged in lawfull behavior should be able to use the infrastructure built for their use. I think we can all agree on that. I wouuld go so far as to say that I have no problem with the unlawfull use of public spaces in so far as it does not harm/threaten/endanger others (ie if a guy is sitting on a bench drinking a beer, I am inclined to let it pass.) HOWEVER as soon as a persons behavior (whether they have a home or not) threatens the safety of others then the logical next step is to contact the authorities. If everyone who has such an experience were to report to the police they (the authorities) will see the pattern and should react accordingly. The arguments against this approach are:

1) The police may mistreat the perpetrators.
This is sadly a possibility, however; the perpetrator engaged in activities likely to result in police response. They knew this (or reasonably should have known this) when they harrassed/threatened/assaulted another person. They had the option to NOT engage in that activity. Anything that happens is the result of their own choices. While we as citizens should continue to press for Police reform, in the interm they are the best people to deal with these situations.

2) The perpetrators are lilely drug/alcohol addicts and not responsible for their actions.
My AA/NA friends say that the most important thing one can do for an addict is NOT shield them from the consequences of their abuse of alcohol/drugs- shielding them from these consequences has another name – “enabling” and it just lengthens the amount of time one must suffer before changing course. Having worked with homeless men – many of then who suffered from drug/alcohol issues the most common sobriety story involved a person who would suffer some negative consequence (including arrest, loss of job/home/partner/family) and how that forced them to evaluate their lives and led them to seek help.

3) We should rely on vigilantism.
While I would never say that a person should not defend themselves, I think their is a line between going out prepared to defend oneself and going out armed and looking for trouble. I am probably farther to the the right on this issue than many of the readers of this blog having no issue with a person who is legally able to carry a firearm from doing so- however as a person who has had some firearms training I would say that a person would have to be very cautious when considering that option when biking on the springwater- the use of a firearm while biking in the dark in an urban area in a crowd of people seems like a recipie for unintended injuries. A person heading out on the trail looking for disruptive people armed with deadly force might well be considered to have been going beyond what is considered acceptable for self defense.

In my mind while a person has the right to self defense, it is always prefferable to avoid injuring others- I would argue that the arrival of law enforcment is less likely to result in injury/fatality of all parties than an armed and untrained individual.

4) We should accept the current situation as uncahngable.
As a progressive I find this position incorrect- any more then we should have accepted Jim Crow laws in the south, McCarthyism in the 50s, or Unequal treatment of women in the workplace or Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the military the only way to end the oppression of the vulnerable is to confront the issue. Seeing as the most likely people to lose use of this area are the more vulnerable individuals (women, the elderly and disabled) I would say that dealing with this issue means preserving this public resource for all users not just those physically willing to take the risk.

~n
Guest
~n

Maybe it’s not “homeless” people out there shouting and whatnot, maybe it’s Sheila & Beth doing some research for a story, haha… No, but, hey, why don’t we have Occupy plan a march along the Springwater Trail? City would have it properly monitored in no time.

dbrunker
Guest
dbrunker

I’m surprised anyone read down this far, thank you.

I have to agree with Redhippie. Multi-use paths attract dangerous people and I don’t mean reckless cyclists. I’ve had to avoid hitting homeless people on the bike paths for Haden Island, Springwater, Waterfront Park, the Esplanade and the I-205 multi-use path.

Each path has different issues and lighting Springwater won’t solve everything. For example, I’ve been harassed after ringing my bell just one time, by teens who take up the entire path by walking in groups while I rode along the well lit I-205 path at dusk. I suspect because paths are public spaces and they’re isolated it gives certain people a sense of entitlement to be there and immunity from police who can’t reach them. I often think to myself how much I’d like to ride at night, but I stay home because I don’t want to get harassed or attacked and it’s hard to ride the distances I’d like to go without using a multi-use path.

In all fairness, 2700 lumen, flashing, head lights are annoying and not useful on a multi-use path were there aren’t any cars. I can understand the need if you’re riding with traffic on a high volume street without a bike lane, but bike paths have no car traffic. I’ve always wondered how cyclists who use flashing lights can even see their path in the dark when their only illumination is a huge strobe light flashing on the road ahead of them.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Bright lights and pepper spray. Anybody jumps out to try and catch my bike, better be prepared to get both aimed right for the eyes.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

I yell obscenities at people on bikes who shine their gigawatt lights in my eyes, too.

Sunny
Guest
Sunny

A wide angle lens for the common magicshine type lights is only 5 bux or less from ebay or amazon. They spread the beam pattern such as that of car lights to prevent light wasting above the horizon and blinding others. It’s a popular upgrade to convert an “off road only” light to street legal.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I hit a racoon that ran from the RR tracks under the fence, lucky i hit the brakes hard but still hit it. lol man the thing was solid..

007
Guest

I do not think lighting is the answer. Just another thing for those with too much time on their hands to vandalize. I ride the repugnant corridor regulary and was thinking the other night, the city needs to clean it up and make it so it is not a good place to hideout. It needs mowing, brush removal, a huge cleanup, and perhaps some fencing. Make it more open.

“Stunning?” I think not. I certainly would not show off the corridor to anyone and after I moved here I was so unimpressed that I did not ride it again for 12 years. I don’t know why Portland is so proud of that disgusting strip of unmanaged habitat, rampant with eua de human feces, abandoned clothes and shopping carts, garbage and alcohol addled derelicts. The 205 bike path is supremely ugly, too. And there are too many stop signs on both paths.

Portland should take a look at the bike path cyclist-hating Spokane built from Riverside State Park to Idaho and see how it is done right. I’m not bragging about Spokane (which bites the big one in so many ways), but the cycling over there is amazing.

Commuting to work and getting around the inner city of Portland is great, but recreational riding here gets an “F” IMHO.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Springwater is also my fav place to ride. * daily * wish we had more access roads like it.

rolinon
Guest
rolinon

Lighting is a “great” idea. It would also help the homeless meth adicts as a source of income when they rip out the wiring to support their habit. What was it 2 or 3 years ago when metal thieves were hard at work along the 205 path? They were ripping wires out as fast as they were replaced.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

I commute hundreds of miles per week, many of them on bike paths around the metro area. As a reasonably sane woman traveling alone, I realize it’s not smart for me to use these paths after dark.

Until disparities of all kinds are dealt with on a society-wide level, it’s not wise, especially for people perceived to be women, to travel these paths alone at night.

So now, because some men don’t feel safe, it’s a pressing issue. Once the “aggressive drunken homeless” issue has been swept off the Springwater, probably by police who will abuse their power in some way or another, it will still be unsafe for women. And there will still be homelessness caused by our failing economic system. It will not change until we deal with sexism, ableism, and socioeconomic disparity on a society wide level.

If you don’t think that will ever happen, then advocating for a safe night time Springwater for males only is only working in half the population’s interest.

So have fun doing that. In the meantime, I’ll keep riding the streets after sunset. I recommend you do too.

C3
Guest
C3

Ask cops to cycle patrol the corridor at night, posing as regular cyclists. If the trail trolls act up, the cops can smash ’em.