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Washington Park path at Burnside and NW 24th to close for improvements

Posted by on May 17th, 2016 at 12:03 pm

It will close tomorrow. But by the end of summer it should be much-improved.
(Graphic: Portland Parks & Recreation)

We’ve got some bad news and some good news.

The bad news is that tomorrow (Wednesday, May 18th) the Portland Parks & Recreation bureau will close a key path in Washington Park: the entrance to the park off W Burnside and NW 24th place. It might seem like a little path that isn’t important in our transportation network, but a fair number of people rely on this path as a connection between the west side and downtown Portland. Thankfully the closure will only last one day.

The original notice from PP&R didn’t include anything about a detour, but in a follow-up email here’s what they suggested: Use NW 23rd to Vista Ave, then to Park Ave into Washington Park.


Now the good news: The closure needs to happen so the Bureau of Transportation and PP&R can make Sterns Canyon (which the path traverses through) better for cycling. As a first phase they’ll repave bumpy sections of the path. Then the plan is to remove the gate at the entrance and replace it with less-obstructive bollards. PBOT will improve the bike-signal that gets you across Burnside at 24th, and add new wayfinding signage and curb ramps to improve access. The project is expected to be completed later this summer.

We’ve asked for more details on the project and will update this post when we get it.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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  • Dan A May 17, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Awesome! I can’t believe I haven’t flatted yet going over those sharp rocks by the gate. Looking forward to this improvement!

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  • AlliD May 17, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Yay! So excited to see this finally happen. Hats off to Victor Sanders at PP& R for making this happen.

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  • AlliD May 17, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Just an addendum as to why this is finally happening–the Water Reservoir construction in Washington Park will start just after Labor Day. As part of that construction, Sacajawea Blvd will be closed for many months (maybe even 18 months). PP&R recognizes that this is an essential way in and out for people on foot and on bike in an area that will be losing one of the access points for several months.

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    • Dan A May 17, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Oh no….how do we get from Sherwood to Park? Go the wrong way on Lewis Clark Way?

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      • AlliD May 17, 2016 at 5:03 pm

        There will be a 6′ path built along Lewis and Clark for nonmotorized access. However–because of traffic on Burnside–they are actually changing the direction of Lewis and Clark so that it will become an exit from the Park instead of an entrance.

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        • AlliD May 17, 2016 at 5:06 pm

          Oh–and I forgot. Sherwood will be closed, too.

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          • Dan A May 17, 2016 at 5:54 pm


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            • AlliD May 18, 2016 at 10:58 am

              Yes–Kingston or Fairview down to Tichner and around. The auto detour is going to go via Washington Way but I’m hoping we can all avoid that by hopping on Lewis and Clark somewhere around Park Pl (and the bathrooms, etc.). We will see.

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              • Andy K May 19, 2016 at 9:12 am

                Bring it on, Kingston has plenty of room for all the affected commuters!

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  • Todd Boulanger May 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Will there be a signed detour route for this facility closure?

    (For the few walkers and cyclists left in Portland who do not read BP.)

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    • AlliD May 17, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      Yes–it should be pretty well signed. (I hope it will be!) It’s going to be a huge detour with a direction change of Lewis and Clark as well. I’ve also been told the Madison switchbacks shouldn’t be closed all of that time either (for those of us who ride out via Jefferson).

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      • AlliD May 17, 2016 at 5:13 pm

        Oops–ignore this. I thought you were talking about the Water Reservoir closure. My bad!

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        • Todd Boulanger May 17, 2016 at 5:31 pm

          No worries. 😉

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  • Terry D-M May 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    These repairs were needed when I used to ride that path regularly as a Goose Hollow resident. Keep in mind, I bought my house in 03.

    It will be nice when done though.

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  • fourknees May 17, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    So happy to hear this is being improved. I always see multiple people (bikes and walkers) using this section when I’m using this path.

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  • I wear many hats May 18, 2016 at 9:25 am

    This is great! Now, if there were a trail that allowed bikes through here, this wouldn’t be an issue. For those who are not averse to dirt and gravel and the long reach of the law, a goatpath (social trail) exists in this section.

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    • CFT May 19, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Where is the trail?

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  • Lynne May 18, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    so, I’m confused – the trail closure is only for a single day? Toward the end of the article it says the project will be completed at the end of the summer.

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  • Nick May 19, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    I rode this yesterday and it is a gift! The fresh tarmac was heaven. This was a huge frustration of mine on my daily commute. The area paved was unridable by a street bike. There was also a small patch to the right of the gate which was paved and now is much more safe.

    Thank you Portland!!!

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