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Dominoes keep falling for a continuous river path in South Waterfront

Posted by on July 21st, 2016 at 8:41 am

South Waterfront Greenway path-6

An existing path segment somewhat north of the Prometheus project. White for walking, black for biking.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Last month we were overjoyed to report that automaker Tesla had voluntarily agreed to build a segment of riverfront bike path behind its future showroom on Southwest Macadam.

If a new housing and retail project that entered the city’s development pipeline Monday moves forward, it’d be the final piece of a continuous west-bank greenway from the Sellwood Bridge almost to the Ross Island Bridge — and in the coming years to Tilikum Crossing.

The vacant lot between Southwest Lowell, Lane, Bond and the Willamette River would get four new seven-story buildings with ground-floor retail and 200 to 300 apartments above, under a very early concept plan filed for a pre-application hearing by the local firm GBD Architects, which is representing San Mateo-based Prometheus Real Estate Group. Here’s the site plan for the Prometheus project marking future “recreational trails” with a string of stars:

south waterfront plan

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And here’s a more detailed draft of a possible plan for the site, showing the curves of the “possible greenway trails” (which city plans will require the developer to install as a condition of development) along the river.

detailed sowa plan

Zoom out a bit, and here’s the full stretch of path along the waterfront, with each remaining gap marked:

waterfront

Here’s what the (currently disconnected) greenway segment between the Zidell barge drydock and the Prometheus land looks like. It’s one of the only paths in Portland to separate biking and walking:

South Waterfront Greenway path-12

The Zidell land might not fully develop into a planned extension of downtown’s office-tower district for another 10 years. But the Portland Development Commission has agreed to build the path segment through Zidell’s land itself using property taxes collected from new buildings in the area, so it could go in sooner.

Willamette Park is a bit below the southern end of the map above. As we reported last month, Multnomah County just completed the new path segment between the new Sellwood Bridge and Willamette Park.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

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David
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David

Biketown, better greenway diversion, Better Naito all summer (and closing the Naito gap), Central City bikeways soon underway, what else? Are we looking at the Bike Tipping Point in Portland…finally?!?

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Great Job, kudos to all involved. This time we have momentum on our side as the worlds petroleum situation becomes becomes increasingly untenable as the cost and EROI ( energy return on energy invested) of most new sources of oil are below the threshold level to keep the auto-complex going. Happy motoring will become more and more difficult or unaffordable for all those involved and the reality of the situation will push us towards cycling and other things.

JNE
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JNE

So great to see additional camping facilities added to the city!

Cory P
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Cory P

This is great news! Now how about the springwater gap?

Adam
Subscriber

Only 7 stories seems small for CX zoning. Great that the path is being extended though.

Gary B
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Gary B

Awesome news! Of course within 2 months after I leave the neighborhood–after 8 years there–we finally have progress on these gaps.

On the “Real Estate Beat” side of things, why only 7 stories?? Some of the neighboring buildings are what, like 30 stories? I thought South Waterfront is striving to be high density, what’s with the shorter buildings lately? Not much space left.

rick
Guest
rick

Yes !

ethan
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ethan

I wonder if there’s ever been a highway built in Oregon the same way? I’m pretty sure 205 wasn’t built piece by piece as neighboring properties became developed.

Adam
Guest
Adam

I like the separated bike and walk paths. Just like they do in Vancouver BC!

But I don’t see any markings telling users which is which? Is that just the particular stretch shown in the photo that is devoid? Without markings telling me which is which, I myself would likely bike on the wrong path.

Matti
Guest
Matti

Unfortunately for the Willamette greenway trail system there is also some redevelopment that is currently under construction south of the locations in the story that has a very uncomfortable (way too close!) relationship to the river bank and greenway trail. I suspect it is because the property had a former restaurant development that grandfathered-in the setback off the river bank. This particular location is just south of the Aquariva restaurant. Too bad for the greenway.

q
Guest
q

Riding along the river and with a great view of the water–this looks nice.

Willamette Park was mentioned–too bad that there, the new bike path will force bikes away from the river, with no water views at all. But then, there are almost no water views left there for pedestrians, either. It’s ironic, with new trails such as in the article getting built, we’ll soon have a situation where the only place you can’t ride along the river or see the water will be at the park named after the river.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

just grow some cojones and make the property owners build, pay for, or grant ROW for continuous paths on BOTH sides of the river. It’s in both city and state law. How long do we have to wait?

q
Guest
q

Yes, and I’ve worked a lot with the zoning code’s Greenway regulations, but you mentioned “make the property owners build, pay for, or grant ROW for continuous paths on BOTH sides of the river”. Those regulations don’t require that.

It just came up with the Tesla property. The City agreed that Tesla wasn’t doing anything that would trigger requirements to build or pay for the trail. If there’s new development, that’s a different matter.