When Tesla Motors revealed plans for a showroom in Portland last May we feared the worst. The location of the showroom (4330 SW Macadam Avenue) on the west side of the Willamette River just south of Portland’s burgeoning South Waterfront district, was smack-dab in the middle of an annoying gap in a key multi-use path.
While Portland land-use law would have typically required the electric car maker to build the path, their building was just small enough to trigger an exemption. We reported at the time that if this small segment of path didn’t get built now, we might have to wait decades.
Thankfully about a month later, likely in part to those of you who emailed City Commissioner Amanda Fritz about the issue, Tesla agreed to build the path on their own accord.
Disaster averted, all that was left was to actually pave the path and open it up to the public. That happened late last fall and I finally got down there to a few weekends ago to check it out for myself. Below are a few more photos…
Looking south from the Entercom building. Tesla’s showroom would be on the right:
Looking east with Mt. Hood in the background:
Another view looking east, showing one of the main reasons we build off-street paths:
And this is where the fun stops for now (that’s the Ross Island Bridge in the distance):
As you can see, there’s not much to the new path, it’s 12-feet wide and separated from the riverbank by a row of large trees and from Tesla’s showroom by a landscaped garden.
This new piece of path is just the latest domino to fall in the march toward completion of the Willamette/South Waterfront Greenway path. Going north from Tesla, the path ends abruptly just north of the Old Spaghetti Factory — within eyesight of the section of path completed in 2015 just south of the Ross Island Bridge. That gap is already under development and a path is forthcoming.
Someday soon we should be able to bike and walk and roll with relative ease between the Sellwood Bridge and the paths in Waterfront Park. The actions of Tesla set a good example and provide much-needed momentum.
Have you ridden this new section of the path? What’s your impression of how it connects to existing routes?