Support BikePortland

NPGreenway hires new coordinator to speed up completion of path project

Posted by on June 17th, 2015 at 11:04 am

shamus

Shamus Lynsky at a Sunday Parkways
event in 2009.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Not satisfied with an official estimated project completion date of 2032, npGreenway, the group pushing for the North Portland Greenway path, has hired their first paid staffer.

Instead of 2032, npGreenway wants to have the path completed or have funding in the bank by 2020.

The person hired to step up the urgency around this project is Shamus Lynsky. A resident of St. Johns, Lynsky is the former political director of the Oregon Trial Lawyer Association and also served as executive director of the Oregon Consumers League. Far from a newcomer to the politics of bike advocacy, Lynsky served seven years as a member of the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee and he co-authored the ODOT grant that brought new bike lanes and other safety improvements to N Rosa Parks Way back in 2011.

With a new project coordinator at the helm, npGreenway says they will now focus on “building a citizen’s movement for a dedicated trail to connect North Portland neighborhoods.” The scrappy non-profit has spent the last 10 years laying the advocacy groundwork for a path along the Willamette that will connect Kelly Point Park to the Eastbank Esplanade. But, like many bold and ambitious bike-oriented plans in Portland, the project has languished, adrift in a sea of stagnation.

Advertisement

“We’re at that fork in the road… npGreenway needs to grow in order to build that juggernaut that tells the City, Metro, the State, and business owners along the route that we’re willing to work with them but we are going to move it forward.”
— Joe Adamski, npGreenway

To build urgency for the project, npGreenway plans to get much more engaged with the community and policymakers. Board Member Joe Adamski said in an interview this morning “We want to push the City, the State and Metro into doing it sooner because the need is so great,” he said. “We need to get the community power behind it to force the trail completion in a faster timeline … It’s critical to get this going.”

The 2020 completion date for a 10-mile path that remains largely unbuilt might seem ambitious, but much of the legwork and planning for this project is already done. And earlier this year, the Bureau of Transportation’s Bicycle Advisory Committee listed the path as one of their top ten highest priorities. Unfortunately for the Greenway’s fans, PBOT isn’t managing this project. Because it’s considered a “trail” project (I don’t like to use that word because it minimizes a project’s importance as a vital transportation link), the North Portland Greenway is being managed by Portland Parks & Recreation. “So there is that [Parks Bureau] mindset,” Adamski added.

npgreenvision

Vision for the entire route.
(PDF)

Adamski, also a St. Johns resident and bike advocacy veteran, said the hiring of Lynsky will increase npGreenway’s capacity to do more engagement with the community and policymakers. From here on out, we can expect the group to become much more visible. They’ll share a booth with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance at the upcoming Sunday Parkways in north Portland and they’ll lead a Pedalpalooza ride on the future alignment of the path on June 27th.

For Adamski, the addition of Lynsky marks a key turning point for npGreenway and the project itself. “We’re at that fork in the road. Boards either have to get bigger and stronger and more in-tuned with their mission — or they can wither away into obscurity. npGreenway needs to grow in order to build that juggernaut that tells the City, Metro, the State, and business owners along the route that we’re willing to work with them but we are going to move it forward.”

— Get involved and learn more about the North Portland Greenway at npGreenway.org and by browsing our 10 years of past coverage on the project.

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

24
Leave a Reply

avatar
14 Comment threads
10 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
16 Comment authors
MaxDScott MizeeEricChris IBjorn Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

I hope they will work as hard as possible to get it switched from being a “trail” to being a road or whatever the designation needs to be because otherwise we run the risk of it being closed at night like a “park”.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Could such a long trail really be physically gated off to prevent access at night, and would Parks really devote the labor to open/close a large number of gates every day/night? Seems unlikely to me. Just as parks that are technically not open at night are still accessible.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn
Scott Mizée
Guest

Bjorn, As the article notes, as long as there is federal transportation dollars involved, it cannot be closed at night. Correct?

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

Yeah Scott, but I didn’t see a reference to fed money in the article so I assumed that no fed money was being used, but I don’t know what funding if any has been identified for the project. If it is built with local money and run by parks it could easily be closed after dark resulting in a situation where people would ride it all the time and occasionally get ticketed in annoying stings.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

This project is long overdue!

maccoinnich
Guest

One advantage to having Parks & Recreation manage it is that the City Council just approved a substantial hike to the Parks SDCs. Their 20 year Capital Plan (http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/526301) has $36,719,956 allocated to trails, though frustratingly they don’t break that down by project. Most of that spending is allocated to FY2020‐25, but maybe it could be brought forward.

Christopher Jones
Guest
Christopher Jones

This is excellent news. I’m psyched to drop by the booth during parkways on Sunday.

Evan Manvel
Guest
Evan Manvel

Great hire!

J_R
Guest
J_R

Citizens in a real Platinum city would not have hire their own staff to move such a worthwhile project forward.

Scott Mizée
Guest

huh? I don’t understand what you are saying. Please clarify.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

NPgreenway.org is a private, non-governmental, organization.

J_R
Guest
J_R

The staff from agencies (Portland and Metro) should be actively trying to advance the project. I don’t understand their apparent reluctance to move on it.

redhippie
Guest
redhippie

Maybe one advantage of this is the ability to clear out illegal campers out of a park rather than on a road (or roadside). I live a couple of blocks from the proposed pathway and don’t want the crime and other elements that the spring water corridor has fostered.

Bjorn
I hope they will work as hard as possible to get it switched from being a “trail” to being a road or whatever the designation needs to be because otherwise we run the risk of it being closed at night like a “park”.Recommended 3

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

Parks doesn’t exactly have a good record on clearing out homeless people who are trashing the parks. Fritz seems to be pretty much green lighting people living in the parks as far as I can tell.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

great news!

Eric
Guest
Eric

Good luck getting the Union Pacific RR to open up the Cement Road section just north of the Rose Quarter.

Scott Mizee
Guest

Eric, see this article for more information regarding that topic. The railroad came to the table with a counter-offer. http://bikeportland.org/2014/03/13/greenway-trail-group-agrees-to-alignment-compromise-through-albina-rail-yards-102888

TJ
Guest
TJ

Considering the liability on freight carries at a several points along a typical N. Portland to inner west side cycling commute, you’d think they’d be plenty excited to assist in a MUP that pulls cyclist off HWYs and extended Interstate on-ramps.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Uncle Pete doesn’t think that way. Nothing can infringe on his ROW.

Scott Mizée
Guest

There were many qualified candidates that applied for this position and I’m very pleased that Shamus was chosen for the job. Thanks to everyone for all of the support over the years. As I read the comments before mine, I am struck by the fact that education is critical in creating a movement like this one. I hope everyone will get the chance to stop by the booth near the “Overlook Bowl” during Sunday Parkways and volunteer to help move the path forward!

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Considering the fact that Oregon law defines bike paths as roads, it’s odd that PBOT always wants to have them designed, built and managed by the parks department. This designation is so old that the original documents refer to both bike lanes and bike paths as bike trails.

An added bonus to returning bike paths to the roads departments all over the state would be that they would no longer the have unnecessary curves that landscape architects are so fond of incorporating into the bike paths.

Eric
Guest
Eric

Im curious to know the estimated cost of the NP greenway to build and complete it by 2020. Depending on the cost I might be able to put something together to get it privately funded so it can be done by 2020. Is anyone reading this article directly connected to the group pushing to make this happen?

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

Congrats NPGreenway- looks like a great hire! I hope that this project can be taken away from Parks, or the PBOT will become more involved. PP&R did a terrible job on the planning phase: They ignored (refused to publish, discuss or address comments and issues they did not agree with), they failed to come up with a “River-Centric” path alignment, choosing to place people along busy/dangerous streets like Greeley or way out of the way like behind the Moda Center! They also simply failed at showing viable connections under the Steel Bridge or across or around Swan Island. At the least, PP&R needs to assign a project manager with a recreation or transportation background. The previous project manager has a natural resource background (and apparently little love of bikes). Crating a safe, and beautiful place and route was never prioritized, instead, PP&R took every opportunity to push the route out the open, natural areas and on to busy, dangerous streets.