Splendid Cycles

Disaster averted (for now) as most riders comply with cemetery biking ban

Posted by on June 7th, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Most obeyed it, but still too many did not.
(Photo: David Cushman)

I have good news and bad news about the future of bicycle access in River View Cemetery.

As you might recall from our reporting last month, the privately-owned roads through the cemetery in southwest Portland (between the Willamette River and Terwilliger Blvd at the Sellwood Bridge) were closed to bicycle riders over Memorial Day Weekend. These roads are usually open to bikes because the cemetery recognizes that they provide a much safer alternative to the other roads in the area. Unfortunately many people don’t respect the cemetery for what is — a place for quiet reflection — and use it as a training route and/or speed through without regard for cemetery visitors.

(Note: The route is even a segment on the popular riding app Strava — which encourages people to ride fast to improve their ranking. The segment has been flagged for removal in the Strava system but has not yet been removed.)

With complaints on the rise, River View Cemetery Executive Director David Noble contacted us with a serious warning: If behavior of bicycle users doesn’t improve, he’ll be forced (by the cemetery’s member-owners) to ban bikes completely. In the interim, Noble decided to ban biking during the long Memorial Day holiday. If that ban was disrespected and if the poor behavior continued despite it, a complete ban would have been on the table.

Thankfully, most bicycle riders heeded the ban and there are no plans for a prohibition on pedaled vehicles.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that there were still a lot of jerks who biked through on Friday. Noble says about 200-250 riders ignored the signs that day alone. Then, when he stopped them, far too many were downright rude. Here’s part of a report Noble sent me via email:

I won’t share quotes from other staff, as that would be second-hand hearsay and I don’t want to mis-quote anyone, but personally, I had cyclists say the following things to me:

“I don’t care if you put in a 365 day a year ban, I will still ride through here.”; “What are you going to do, arrest me?”; “Who are you to tell us we can’t ride through here?”; “You let cars ride in here, so you are required to let bikes in, as well.”; “If you try to close this route, we’ll go to the City of Portland and have them take over your roads.”; and, of course, I was told to ‘Fuck Off’ by several particularly rude people, despite only having nicely asked them to please respect our private property over this special weekend.

We also heard from a reader whose uncle visited the cemetery on Monday. Portlander Joe Snyder said he was passed by at least eight riders. As a group of three came up the hill (those going down were riding so fast he couldn’t stop them and he didn’t want to yell), he stopped them to explain that the road was closed for the weekend. “Each of them turned back, thankfully, but all three professed complete ignorance, despite having ridden by two large signs, one placed on a cone right in the middle of the road,” Snyder reported. “Such blatant disrespect pretty much illustrates the problem,” he continued. “I occasionally ride through there and would be sad to lose the privilege.”

Who are these people? If it was you, you need to take a serious step back and get yourself together. If it was someone you know, you need to call them out for being jerks and set them straight once and for all.


According to Noble, compliance with the ban drastically improved Saturday through Monday with an estimated 95 percent compliance rate. Why the big change? Noble says on those days the cemetery had “Young Marines” in full uniform at each gate. Here’s more from Noble:

While cyclists on Friday had no qualms whatsoever in ignoring adult staff that told them the route was closed, when a 10-year-old in full Marine uniform held up his hand to stop and said “I’m sorry sir, but the bike route is closed today”, the riders would just turn right around and go back out the gate! Or, if they said anything at all, it was a polite “OK, thank you, we’ll find another route.” It was refreshing to see that people still have a hard time being rude or disrespectful to a young person who asks them nicely to do something.

Noble said last year he estimated about 750 to 1,000 riders a day during Memorial weekend. This year the number plummeted to just a couple of dozen riders each day. “It was much better compliance than I had thought would happen, especially after Friday’s events,” he shared. (One possible reason for the change — besides the uniformed gatekeepers — is the difference in mindset between people biking to school or work on Friday versus people just out for a leisurely weekend ride.)

Despite the better compliance during the weekend, keep in mind that cemetery staff heard comments from visitors that they appreciated the bike ban — and some urged them to make it permanent. Every person who drives a car into the cemetery receives a feedback card. Out of a few hundred filled out, Noble said 12 comments mentioned bikes. Here they are:

1. “Thank you, thank you for no bikes this weekend.”
2. “Thank you for keeping bikes out on this holiday.”
3. “Love the no bikes on Memorial Day. No bike signs are great. No Bikes!”
4. “Thank you for not having cyclists in the cemetery.”
5. “Glad there are not so many bicycles this year. They should not be allowed in cemeteries anyway. This is no place for them – they are rude people.”
6. “I am really glad that bikes weren’t allowed in here on Memorial Day – thank you!!!”
7. “Thank you for closing the cemetery to bicycles for this weekend. It created a peaceful atmosphere.”
8. “Thanks for not having bikes going through today – we were able to concentrate on the pathways rather than watching out for speeding bicyclists!”
9. “Saw two bikers – would be nice if they obeyed signs.”
10. “Saw bicycles – not good.”
11. “The weekend ban on ‘no bicycles’ did not work. Wish the bicycles would slow down!!”
12. “Stop the bike riders 365 days a year. I paid for three plots; this is private property. Why do I have to listen to riders cussing about the ‘big f-ing hill’? I’m sick of being interrupted by rude, inconsiderate riders.”

Some of those comments should make you cringe. But it’s better to know how you are perceived than to live in ignorance of your impact to others. And keep in mind that Noble feels a majority of cemetery clients are supportive of the bicycle access and are willing to let bicycle use continue.

Based on all of this, Noble says the Memorial Day Weekend closure will definitely happen every year from now on. He might consider starting the ban on Saturday instead of Friday because he doesn’t want to inconvenience Lewis & Clark Law School students. And as long as people exhibit respect for others while they bike through, Memorial Day Weekend will be the only ban all year.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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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

  • KTaylor June 7, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Augh – the comments do make me cringe! And David Noble’s reports of what people said to staff that stopped them. We really need some kind of PR plan to educate people about the fact that this isn’t a City facility, the City can’t take over the roads’ and we are screwed if River View takes away our access. If anyone is interested in working on something like this, let me know. I work in the transportation engineering industry as a marketer and know folks who would probably be willing to help. I’m willing to work on getting a group organized to see what we can do to help River View keep this vital route available while serving the needs of its owners.

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    • James Sunderland June 7, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      KTaylor, let’s talk.

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      • K Taylor June 8, 2017 at 11:59 pm

        Hi James – that would be great. I set up a google group for anyone interested in organizing to tackle this issue and help repair the cycling community’s relationship with River View Cemetery:


        Sounds like Jonathan’s done a lot singlehandedly – – would like to lend him, and David Noble, a helping hand.

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    • abomb June 8, 2017 at 5:25 am

      How about a shuttle for next time the cemetery closed? Use a sprinter van with bike racks inside and shuttle riders up and down the hill. Do it as a fundraiser for a Veterans charity.

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  • Ich Bin Kurt June 7, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    This is why we can’t have nice things in Portland anymore 🙁

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    • rick June 7, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Respect goes far.

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  • MP June 7, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    They should contact Strava and have all segments removed from the cemetery. It might be a disincentive for the jerkier of the jerks.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      MP. FWIW I and others have already flagged the segment and requested that it be de-listed via Strava’s website. Haven’t heard back yet.

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      • Edward June 8, 2017 at 12:32 pm

        I’m not sure de-listing on Strava is the answer. Is Strava use synonymous with rudeness? Hope not. I like to use Strava just to track my rides (basic mileage, etc., not at the PRO level of user).

        It would be nice if Strava could do something like only record times going up the hill. And that whether you were going up or down you’d still get your mileage, and you’d have a disincentive to do hill repeats here, and/or race your last time down the hill through the cemetery.

        I can’t imagine racing my last time up the hill at my staggering 10 mph (YEAH ME!) is a huge problem.

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        • MP June 8, 2017 at 12:53 pm

          Using Strava is not synonymous with rudeness. Using a cemetery to train is synonymous with rudeness (whether Strava is involved or not). If the owners could work with Strava to mark off their property with a geofence so no segments could be created there it would probably deter at least a few people from racing through and trying to beat their best time.

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          • jeff June 8, 2017 at 3:44 pm

            that’s hardly the problem in River View. the majority of people cutting through are college students. Your generalizations are terrible and hardly constructive.

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            • Justin M June 9, 2017 at 11:23 am

              I think that the college students aren’t the problem here. It seems that the problems are a little more specific to people who aren’t using the road to commute. People who use it for training were specifically called out in the previous post. I especially think this is true as they stated that there’s been a huge increase in riders since the bridge was completed, especially on weekends.

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          • I wear many hats June 9, 2017 at 9:47 am

            hear hear

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      • Tom Armstrong June 8, 2017 at 12:37 pm

        Strava is a source of big data that could be used to our advantage. Rather the de-list the segments, we should send messages to everyone who logs rides during the closure to ask them to be more respectful. Or, send a message to all riders of the segments in the previous month to inform them of the upcoming closures.

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  • Tad June 7, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Those are some of the most embarrassing and cringeworthy comments I’ve ever heard.

    As a regular bike commuter, I like to think of myself and other commuters as considerate Portland citizens who are not only biking because it’s healthy and convenient, but also out of a greater respect for our city, its infrastructure, and its needs. I always like to think that other cyclists share this “shared responsibility for our city”.

    When I was growing up in New England, I grew up hating skaters not because skating was bad in some way, but because by and large skaters embodied an “f you and your rules, I can skate where I want” attitude. They’d cuss out people who told them they couldn’t skate on the sidewalk, they’d brazenly skate on private property because “f you” and so forth. Over time, I think skating has lost a lot of that, and gained a lot of legitimacy, but I never thought that cyclists would then be the ones to take over that bad-boy mantle.

    This goes right back to the neighboring property in RVNA and why we keep having to fight to get bike access to Forest Park. I always _want_ to believe that complaints about bikers are from crotchety nimbys only, and we’ve done nothing to deserve it, so it’s deflating to see that we have.

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  • rick June 7, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    It would great if SW Taylor’s Ferry Road had a protected path for at least west-bound bike traffic from Highway 43 to Terwilliger.. Not much has been done for Taylor’s Ferry Road since I-5 split it except for this year’s new trail at SW 19th Ave.

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  • Goff June 7, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Jonathan, really appreciate this post. I live right off the Sellwood bridge and commute daily on the Springwater to downtown for work. I use the cemetery sparingly on some of my usual weekend loops, but would totally hate for bikes to be banned there, it’s such an awesome (and safe) route to/from the bridge. Also, if the cemetery gets banned, it might create a precedent and embolden more private property owners to do the same with other places.

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    • Tad June 7, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Never mind the fact that alternative routes from the city to Lake Oswego and West Linn have an exorbitant price tag, and are years from even making it to the budget table, never mind construction. Take the Cemetery off the list, and the only protected-bike-lane route from the city to LO/West Linn is up & over Mt. Sylvania on Kerr Parkway.

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      • rick June 7, 2017 at 2:43 pm

        The bike lane on Kerr Parkway is a floating one: here and there and gone in other places. The new stormwater / sidewalk built by LO didn’t incorporate bike lanes due to the budget (read: priorities) according to LO city council.

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        • Tad June 7, 2017 at 3:06 pm

          True enough. But with the Mountain Park trails that parallel Kerr Pkwy for most of the run over Sylvania, it’s at least passable. But still, that’s a huge detour.

          I guess that doing Taylors Ferry -> SW La View -> Terwilliger is also doable, but again, a big detour.

          I had discussions with LO City Planners about a year or so ago, and the best choice for linking LO to the city’s bike network is a multi-use pedestrian/bike bridge from Oak Grove -> Rohr Park in LO, which has been posited several times, would link LO straight to the Trolley Trail & Springwater corridor, and would be in the same order of magnitude of cost of any of the proposed OR-43 widening or tunnel bypass projects that have been studied. Just…there’s no budget for stuff like that for a city that has its controlling interests driven by a hugely car-centric demographic. Just look at how they shot the no-brainer Willamette Shore Trolley -> South Waterfront transit idea out of the sky. They simply don’t want easy non-car access to the city.

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          • rick June 7, 2017 at 8:06 pm

            Does the railroad company want to support bike / walk access on that bridge by downtown Lake Oswego over the river ?

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  • Adam June 7, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    I think this article is missing the bigger picture, which is THIS –

    Why do bicyclists HAVE to ride through the cemetery at ALL?

    It couldn’t POSSIBLY be because pretty much the whole of SW Portland is an auto-centric shithole, with no sidewalks, no bikelanes, and no way for anybody to get anywhere without the use of a private vehicle? No, that couldn’t possibly be it.

    The cemetery is a pinch point for bicyclists, in the same way that a river is a pinch point for car traffic… because what are the alternatives? There is nowhere else around to bike to get to where you are going.

    Where do you honestly expect bicyclists to ride? On SW Macadam with zero shoulder and 55mph traffic? Sounds great. Or how about on SW Taylors Ferry Road, with zero shoulder, and 55mph traffic? Or! What about SW Boones Ferry Road, with zero shoulder, and 55 mph traffic!

    You might see a theme emerging here….

    The cemetery is beautiful, and I am SO appreciative of the owners who let us ride though. I could not get to Lake Oswego, or Tryon Creek, or Lewis and Clark, without having this amazing, safe greenspace to utilize.

    But it really just highlights the PROBLEM with this neighborhood, which is that, there is pretty much ZERO permiability for people on bike or foot, both of whom continue to be metaphorically f****d up the ass by car culture.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 7, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      thanks Adam. point taken. but FWIW I often expect readers to follow links to past coverage to understand the larger context – because to rehash context each story can be stylistically cumbersome.

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      • Adam June 8, 2017 at 3:26 am

        Sorry Jonathan, I just got a little riled up in my original post! I completely and utterly understand the need to ride respectfully through the cemetery. That kind of respectful behavior should go without saying.

        I’m just frustrated with the bigger issue here, namely, that SW Portland is STILl so auto-centric in 2017. The fact that cyclists have to rely on only ONE bike route to navigate the area, and when that bike route is eliminated, it leaves them unable to bike anywhere without risking death (no joke on some of the roads with no shoulders and fast traffic), is what frustrates me big time.

        Rant over!

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    • Kyle Banerjee June 7, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      I used to live on Macadam and frequently rode in that general vicinity. No one has to ride through the cemetery and to pretend there is any entitlement to the contrary will only result in more facilities closed to cyclists.

      I guarantee the sign prohibiting cyclists wasn’t placed there because people objected to those quietly riding in to visit the grave of a loved one. Rather, it’s because this space and the people who came to be there weren’t treated with the appropriate respect. If this were a Native American burial ground rather than a more contemporary one, no one would be talking about riding here.

      It is precisely because of stories like this that I quit describing myself to others as a cyclist. Sadly, I see way too much ridiculous behavior (most recently last night).

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      • Chris I June 7, 2017 at 2:08 pm

        I would have no qualms about riding through a First Nations burial ground, as long as it had roads or some sort of dedicated route. The practice of burying bodies is archaic and unnecessary, and wastes valuable space that could be better utilized as public parks or natural spaces. I would not ride through Riverview during Memorial weekend, because that is a time for the families to honor their loved ones, but the idea of closing these spaces to public access 365 days per year is silly.

        I get that it is “private property”, but they have acres and acres of property and they only pay $14k in property taxes per year. That is less than many single family homes in Portland on 5,000sqft plots. This is basically a giant public subsidy for this space, and I think we, as taxpayers, deserve access.


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        • rick June 7, 2017 at 2:48 pm

          The giant price tag of the concrete fortification on Highway 43 up against the cemetery’s swatch of acres of English Ivy was not cheap. The ivy kills trees.

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          • mw June 7, 2017 at 3:23 pm

            There are several areas in the cemetery where English Ivy is decoratively planted. The subsequent infestation of the surrounding forest was most likely a problem they caused.

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        • mw June 7, 2017 at 3:20 pm

          Good point about the tax disparity. We should negotiate an easement in return for keeping their taxes low.

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          • q June 7, 2017 at 7:27 pm

            They apparently already qualify for whatever tax reductions they’re getting, and they’re already voluntarily giving public access, unlike many other properties getting similar exemptions. They’ve also always been more than happy to allow courteous people on bikes. It wouldn’t be reasonable to expect any easement to require them to allow non-courteous ones.

            So what’s to negotiate?

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            • BB June 8, 2017 at 12:31 pm

              The fact that no organization should have a tax free or reduced tax status as a result of their use of religion.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 7, 2017 at 3:26 pm

          I was roughly escorted out of city hall again this morning. I tried to explain that my taxes help pay for the building, but the guard told me if I tried riding my bike along the main corridor again, I would be subject to arrest.

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          • Chris I June 7, 2017 at 9:38 pm

            And those freeloaders at City Hall don’t even pay property taxes m

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          • q June 7, 2017 at 9:57 pm

            I hear you. Years ago I got kicked out of the Portland Building for bringing my dog in.
            I asked if they had something against dogs. “No, we don’t allow any animals in City buildings”. I told them, “That’s not true. You allowed Katz in City Hall”.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty June 8, 2017 at 10:46 am

              As you ambassador from the feline dimension, I support this comment!

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            • Justin M June 9, 2017 at 4:09 pm

              My coworker really appreciated this. While I buried my face in my palm.

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    • Teddy June 8, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      I seriously doubt people go 55 on those roads. A few sure, I have seen that, but usually 40-45 is the norm.

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      • Matt S. June 9, 2017 at 10:35 pm

        I moving to Capital highway right by Sylvania campus. I will have commutes to downtown Portland, North Portland and east of 160th and Stark. I plan on getting an e-bike to handle the hills and long commutes. I’m preparing to have the cemetery close to bikes soon, it seems to be inevitable.

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    • jeff June 8, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      you can get to all of those places via Terwilliger. It has a bike lane and is generally quite pleasant.

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  • Scott H June 7, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    There needs to be some serious consequences for the ill mannered ingrates that not only ignored the signage but then had the arrogance to tell Noble to “fuck off.” If I were him I would have closed the cemetery permanently to cyclists right there, he showed enormous restraint in being able to move past that. The fact that the offenders didn’t suffer any immediate consequences only emboldened them further. It’s obvious that they’re not going to listen to what anyone has to say about their behavior.

    Noble should close the cemetery on another Friday, after school is out, place signage, and then have police officers waiting to arrest trespassers. Imagine the instant justice of someone saying to Noble “what are you going to do, arrest me?” only to be arrested 50 feet later.

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    • BradWagon June 7, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      Sounds like a totally reasonable and worthwhile use of city resources.

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      • q June 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm

        If a crackdown helped curtail the problem people, and it convinced the cemetery to keep public access, that access is almost priceless. That makes the cost of enforcement a bargain.

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        • BB June 8, 2017 at 12:33 pm

          Of course, because of all the things that warrant a “crackdown”, this is at the top of everyone’s list..

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          • q June 9, 2017 at 11:09 pm

            I’m not advocating for a crackdown, and don’t know how it would even work, since it involves people breaking a private owner’s rules on its private property.

            But if it were feasible, why shouldn’t it be high on any list? What’s keeping that route available worth per year, given its incredible safety and convenience advantages over any alternative routes? Certainly as much or more than the stakes involved in other situations where people support crackdowns.

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        • BradWagon June 8, 2017 at 1:40 pm

          “We’re going to arrest people riding bikes in the cemetery in order to keep the cemetery open to cyclists.”


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          • q June 9, 2017 at 11:16 pm

            So when police crack down on drunk drivers, would you say, “We’re going to arrest people driving on the street in order to keep the street open to driving? Gotcha…”

            Or for cracking down on assaults in a park, “We’re going to arrest people walking in the park in order to keep the park open to people walking. Gotcha…”

            I hope not.

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            • BradWagon June 12, 2017 at 2:38 pm

              Drunk Driving is not just “driving” and assaulting people in a park is not just “walking in a park”. Randomly closing the cemetery to an activity that is normally permitted and then arresting people who want to cycle in it is much different.

              If you want to use your analogies they should be worded, “Closing a street to cars for the purpose of arresting those that try to drive on it” or “Closing a park to public so that those that want to use it can be arrested”. Both of which sound like they accomplish nothing and are a waste of time… much like the above proposal is.

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              • q June 12, 2017 at 5:15 pm

                You’re proving my point. I used those examples because yes, obviously drunk driving is not just “driving”, etc.

                But neither is biking through private property that’s signed to prohibit biking just “biking”. It’s also trespassing.

                Your advice to me about how I should change my analogies also show you don’t get it. “Closing a street to cars” and “closing a park to public” both involve closing PUBLIC property. Riverview is not public property, so closing it to bikes is not at all equivalent to your street/car and park/public examples.

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    • rick June 7, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      What about the people driving through the cemetery to save time on their car commute?

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      • Scott H June 7, 2017 at 3:12 pm

        Like I said: close the cemetery. Not to just one mode of transportation, to everyone. Then have police deal with all trespassers and send a clear message that respecting the rights of property owners is not optional.

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        • Stephen Keller June 7, 2017 at 5:25 pm

          I can imagine a day when owner eliminate through routes. It would not be difficult.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. June 7, 2017 at 7:21 pm

          More people in Portland were killed by police officers this year than by cyclists.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty June 7, 2017 at 9:13 pm

            Fortunately, that tidbit has no bearing on the topic at hand.

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          • RB June 8, 2017 at 3:46 pm

            At least you are consistent with your agenda…smh

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. June 8, 2017 at 11:22 pm

              Sorry, but if your agenda is “we need to stop those dangerous cyclists by adding police enforcement” I’m not buying it.

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    • daisy June 8, 2017 at 11:15 am

      I’m guessing this suggestion and the support for it are coming from white people? People of color are disproportionately targeted and harassed by police in Portland. Please don’t invite them unless there is an immediate danger to life.

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    • Edward June 8, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      When I learned about the closure I sent the cemetery an old fashioned paper letter thanking them for letting me use the cemetery. Also pro-actively apologized for any offense my presence might’ve given, but I didn’t know what the basis of the objection was. I’d encourage others to send a real paper letter or post-card.

      So much of our policy is designed around a small segment of super-rude people.

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      • rachel b June 8, 2017 at 8:53 pm

        …nevertheless, a much larger group of rude people than I would have imagined. Hundreds? !! And in-your-face rude when politely confronted, too. Just… insane. I hate these people. I hate them for ruining this precious thing. I want to find them and pull them by their ears to their rooms and make them stay there FOREVER.

        “Who are these people?” Seriously. Portland seems to have attracted of late just a huge clot of humanity with no manners whatsoever. Writing a letter, sending a postcard is a GREAT idea, Edward. We need to remind the kind and patient Noble and Riverview that grateful, considerate people still exist.

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        • Justin M June 9, 2017 at 4:28 pm

          i’m sure lots of great people have moved here too. just wanted to point that out before someone suggests we build a wall.

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          • rachel b June 10, 2017 at 7:06 pm

            That’s a given. Many of them are my friends. But is it honestly necessary to preface any and every observation about the negative impacts of Portland’s massive popularity and the resulting influx with that? ‘Cause if I don’t, I’m clearly one step away from suggesting we build a wall. Pffft.

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  • Burk June 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks for the follow up Jonathan! Glad to hear they are staying open to bikes but reading the things said to Noble is super cringe inducing. I’m assuming most folks that visit this site are part of the “respectful” crowd. Not sure how to get through to the few that may end up ruining this for everybody…

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    • Brian June 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      OBRA email list?

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      • Ryan June 7, 2017 at 1:43 pm

        I get the OBRA emails and I’m pretty sure I saw one prior to the holiday weekend that talked about the cemetery being closed, and urged restraint and respect for the area to not ruin it for everyone. I think they even had a link to Jonathan’s initial post about it.

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        • Brian June 7, 2017 at 1:45 pm

          I think I remember that, as well. Sometimes the message needs to be seen multiple times to stick. If this is an important issue to someone, a well-crafted follow-up would be a good idea.

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        • Jason Skelton June 7, 2017 at 4:08 pm

          That was me! I posted a link to Jonathan’s story with what I thought was a provocative title to garner some interest. Unfortunately, no interest was shown, which was a bit surprising when there are heated discussions some of the more inane and pedantic bike topics imaginable.

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          • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm

            racer-types are usually quite advocacy-averse in my experience. they bike in a complete different sphere than the more utilitarian/commuter crowd.

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            • B. Carfree June 7, 2017 at 6:21 pm

              Your experience is quite different from mine and appears to be a bit limited in scope (which may be due to the fact that you are relatively new to cycling, defining new as this century, 🙂 ). I certainly respect your right to your opinion and this is your blog, but the constant harping on folks who at times ride for different purposes than your “in” crowd does get wearying and is beneath your general standards.

              Advocates come in all sorts of packages, as do jerks. Just today I came to the aid of a city employee who was being harassed by “transportational” cyclists as he went about his duties. I wouldn’t dream of generalizing what I saw today to paint most transportational cyclists as bad people who harm cycling, they were just two jerks.

              People who ride bikes are far too small in number. We really need to stop eating our young by engaging in petty tribalism and labeling, imo. There really is more than one right way to ride.

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              • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 8, 2017 at 7:00 am

                B Carfree,

                I’m sorry my comment wasn’t clear. I’m afraid it is being misinterpreted. I am merely stating an opinion of mine that is based on years of experience covering advocacy very closely. Also please understand that I have personal, participatory experience in almost every “tribe” of this community and those experiences have shaped my perspectives greatly. I am very very well-aware that advocates come in all shapes and sizes and from all parts of our community… It has been my job and daily life experience to understand this for over 12 years now! My comment above is a GENERAL statement about how different groups TEND to view advocacy. I guess I should know better than to make generalizations about various types of riders. Thanks for your comment.

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              • I wear many hats June 9, 2017 at 9:45 am

                I totally agree. “I wear many hats”, racer, commuter, mountain biker, advocate, local trail rider, local trail hi fiver, local trail polite rider, local trail protector, cemetery rider, road racer, cross racer, etc, etc, etc. Many people must concentrate their free time, and those who race, spend it riding, not just commenting on BP. If all the comments on this site equaled people actually showing up at city meetings and demanding access we’d all have a safe place to ride in SW, and we’d already have trails open to ride in every quadrant of the city. Ride, be polite, and advocate where it counts BP commenters!

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            • TAJ June 7, 2017 at 11:23 pm

              Ok…maybe just me but this generalization feels unnecessarily divisive. I wear spandex and commute by bike. Which sphere am I in? I have racing friends who advocate with time and money for a range of cycling causes… safe roads, increasing access to mountain biking, encouraging kids to ride, etc.

              Just strikes me as unhelpful to characterize a group of us as less committed to or as contributing less to advocating for cyclists.

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              • SE Rider June 8, 2017 at 7:19 am

                Seriously. I expect better from Jonathan (someone who both races and commutes, in addition to being an advocate) than to be talking about “types”. Many of us where a number of different cyclists hats (part of the reason we have so many bikes in our garages.

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              • Justin M June 9, 2017 at 4:43 pm

                I don’t think the spandex is what does it. It’s the $4000+ fancy road bike that makes them act like they’re better than other people. It’s the people who buy the aero bikes because they look cooler than regular bikes. They treat people like me, on my LHT like garbage when they pass me on the SWC. Like I’m not even a person. These are probably the exact people who are going to make people like me, commuting to and from work on a low traffic route, to lose access to this great place to ride. Then I am back up Laview drive and having to ride along barbur and turn left through all the traffic to get to my apartment.

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            • abomb June 8, 2017 at 5:42 am

              Jon, I wear spandex, I’m on strava, and most of my riding is done commuting to and from work. I love your site but I do feel like the anti spandex, anti high vis crowd on this site is very divisive. We all ride bikes and are on the same team yet there seems to be a lot of bashing of the spandex(racer) group. You do realize that most of us only wear the spandex because of comfort and that most of us know we look silly in it.
              Thanks for all you hard work and keep it up.

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              • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 8, 2017 at 7:05 am

                Again, see my reply above to B. Carfree. I was making a generalization. Obviously I understand that people from all different parts of our community can and do get involved with advocacy. I find that sometimes when discussing issues it can be helpful to generalize to some degree. But based on the reaction to my comment and how it is being interpreted in a way that doesn’t match my intention — I shouldn’t do that anymore at all. Thanks.

                And for what it’s worth everyone.. I wear spandex. A lot. I have raced bikes seriously and not-so seriously for over 20 years. I even shave my legs from time to time because it makes me feel faster!

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            • jeff June 8, 2017 at 3:49 pm

              aren’t you a ‘racer type’ having attended more than one CX race in the past?

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              • rachel b June 8, 2017 at 8:57 pm

                The people most likely to nearly sideswipe me with no warning as they ride by are spandex-wearing racers. That’s anecdotal. But my two cents. That doesn’t mean all racers are rude aholes. But so many are.

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            • dwk June 8, 2017 at 9:11 pm

              You were perfectly clear and you won’t print his.
              For some ridiculous reason, you oppose me on this site.
              You brag about 12 years experience.
              A lot of us have ridden these streets for 30 years.
              As I see from the comments, your bias had shown though.
              Most cyclists in Portland are in multiple “groups”.
              I have road raced, did cyclocross for 6 years,
              Commuted for 15 years and you think my opinions don’t matter while you let non cyclist homeless advocates dominate your website.
              Or anti car advocates dominate your website.

              I think you got exposed this time….

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 8, 2017 at 10:25 pm

                Don’t forget the Japanese cartoon kitties who also dominate this site!

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. June 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    How many people were killed by “jerk cyclists” last year? Enough to warrant banning cycling?

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    • mran1984 June 8, 2017 at 12:07 am

      There are too many people on the planet. It is the primary issue. O.T. inspiration, thanks! The disrespectful actions of those who are 100% in the wrong should not be associated with those who simply call out the incompetent movement throughout our once lovely city.

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  • CaptainKarma June 7, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Should have filmed the folks being disrespectful. Guess their parents never actually raised them, so now we need to.

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  • chris June 7, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    if someone wanted and had the time, you could sift through the strava results on this segment during those 3 days. have at it!

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    • Eric H June 7, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      Only took about 10 minutes to sort through the data for those 4 days that it was closed.
      To date this year there are a total of 1,367 entries on that segment, which, by the way is actually the climb not the descent that is flagged.

      May 26 – a whopping 7 (!) riders climbed that segment and have it show up on Strava. Their speeds range from a low of 5 mph to a whopping 11 mph.
      May 27 – 1 (!!1!) rider climbed this segment at an average of 9 mph.
      May 28 – 29 – 0 total for those 2 days.

      Carry on.

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      • BradWagon June 7, 2017 at 5:05 pm

        Guy did set the KOM for the decent on June 2nd though…

        Strange that the climb has been flagged but not the decent.

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      • Jon June 8, 2017 at 6:36 am

        So it sounds like the problem is not necessarily the evil lycra Strava people since there was only 8 recorded rides over the closed weekend and 7 of those 8 were on Friday which is a work/commute day. Maybe the spandex folks are not any more of a problem than the good cyclists.

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        • BradWagon June 8, 2017 at 9:12 am

          Ding Ding Ding. From my experience it seems there are very few routes that those training at higher intensity like to use that are of the bike path/close to auto traffic variety. Springwater and the Cemetery are the only two I can think of in that area that faster riders use a regular basis. Usually those that use strava for training or friendly competition prefer to be on roads that allow for more efficient and faster travel.

          Granted not all road riders or those that train/race use Strava but I do think this point is relevant to the conversation regarding “Strava Users” being more disrespectful of others or not. In my experience I see those in kits and riding at a higher intensity as being more defensive and assertive in their riding (which some may see as being jerks) but I by far see those riding in a more casual capacity as doing things that impede other drivers / riders and put others or themselves in danger more often.

          Overall I would be surprised to see Strava as a reliable indicator of someone’s propensity for riding dangerously or rudely. (The Strava user with the top decent time has a comment on a ride he did on Friday of memorial day weekend where another user pointed out to him it was closed, an encouraging sign.)

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 8, 2017 at 11:07 am

          Close… it was the evil lycra Strava people who were smart enough not to document their crime. So really, it was primarily the stealthy evil lycra Strava people.

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  • BradWagon June 7, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    “Unfortunately many people don’t respect the cemetery for what is — a place for quiet reflection — and use it as a training route and/or speed through without regard for cemetery visitors.”

    Many people? Huh… thought the last post communicated that it was the disrespectful FEW that made this an issue. Also, you should probably start phrasing it as “slow, alone, quite reflection” if speed and proximity of others are to be used as the defining characteristics of something being disrespectful.

    Cemetery Guest Reponses strike me as the “Get in the bikelane” type and would be critical of cyclists using the paths regardless of how respectful they were being. Bummer there were some negative responses towards staff but I can imagine they come from riders who are tired of being treated like second class citizens in the transportation conversation and see allowing cars and pedestrians access during the weekend as another example of this.

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    • Justin M June 9, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      **Comment deleted. Hi Justin, I don’t allow comments that are so insulting and mean and judgmental of other people. Please think twice before writing comments like that in the future. Thanks – Jonathan***

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  • Bjorn June 7, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    While it may be private property it is also a business that receives a large public subsidy for no legitimate reason. I say it is past time for Oregon to stop giving a property tax exemption to cemeteries. The money collected could be used to build safer options for cycling through the area.

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    • Chris I June 7, 2017 at 2:10 pm
      • Dan A June 8, 2017 at 1:24 pm

        And the residents don’t pay anything!

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        • q June 8, 2017 at 1:31 pm

          It’s not secret they’re a bunch of stiffs.

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    • TAJ June 7, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      No kidding. I’m all for riding thru this and other cemeteries respectfully and appreciate any access to private property, but that is a massive tax break.

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      • jeff June 8, 2017 at 3:52 pm

        its not very big at all actually.

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        • TAJ June 8, 2017 at 7:17 pm

          You’re kidding, right? Either that or the inequities in prop tax assessments are worse than I would have guessed.

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          • BB June 9, 2017 at 1:16 pm

            The more people have, the more they think they are owed.

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    • q June 7, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      There was lots of discussion on this in a previous article. Personally, I think there’s great public benefit in having large areas of greenery like the cemetery in the city. Taxing cemeteries like developable land would likely turn many of them into, well…developed land. As Portland densifies, having spaces like the cemetery still around could be increasingly valuable.

      You can argue that the subsidy isn’t worth it, but saying there’s “no legitimate reason” for it is only one opinion that’s not at all universally shared.

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      • Chris I June 8, 2017 at 6:34 am

        It’s not a valuable resource to the public if you can’t use it like a park. And it isn’t a valuable natural resource because it is 90% water-intensive, chemically maintained grass. Riverview has a decent amount of trees, but most cemeteries have very little natural value. They contribute to sprawl and increase commuting distances and CO2 emissions for the region.

        If you care about the environment at all, you choose cremation.

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        • q June 8, 2017 at 8:36 am

          Cremation is great, but it’s not an option for the people already buried there.

          It’s not 90% grass. Look at the entire Riverview ownership and it’s about half dense wooded areas.

          Many people would disagree with your belief that there’s no public value if you can’t use it like a park.

          There are some good arguments against the tax breaks. But yours aren’t.

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          • SE Rider June 8, 2017 at 10:20 am

            “Many people would disagree with your belief that there’s no public value if you can’t use it like a park.”

            So what is the value? Animal habitat?

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            • q June 8, 2017 at 12:59 pm

              A few:

              1. Prime, regionally important historical resource.
              2. Open to people walking and on bikes using it as a transportation route.
              3. Open to the public to stroll in as a quiet, contemplative open space.
              4. Several acres of tree canopy
              5. Several acres of pervious surface
              6. Yes, wildlife habitat.

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            • Matt H August 16, 2017 at 4:32 am

              Well, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, cemeteries are a good place to hang out, ironically. You can see the zombies coming from a long ways away, and the local residents should be safely decomposed or at least significantly below ground.

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          • Chris I June 8, 2017 at 10:26 am

            It’s subjective. If you don’t care about sprawl and CO2 emissions, of course you won’t consider it a good argument.

            In many cases, cemeteries do great harm to the connectivity and fabric of our city. A great example is Rose City cemetery. It lacks public access on 3 sides, so it essentially functions as an impassible super block spanning NE 47th to NE 57th, making pedestrian/bike trips longer and more dangerous in the Cully neighborhood. Lone Fir creates the same issues in inner-SE, although with a much smaller impact since it is only impassible on the north side.

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            • 9watts June 8, 2017 at 10:32 am

              “cemeteries do great harm to the connectivity and fabric of our city.”

              I suppose this was meant as a joke?

              By that logic we should do away with buildings and rivers, anything that interrupts flow. Cities are about so much more than getting through, unless of course you are Robert Moses.

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              • Bjorn June 8, 2017 at 11:25 am

                Rose city cemetery creates a 1/2 mile unpassable stretch. It can force people to walk or bike 3 times as far as they should need to in order to go north and south between 47th and 57th avenue. I can’t think of many buildings that are 1/2 mile long and 1/4 mile wide. A half mile detour is a significant barrier to walking places.

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              • 9watts June 8, 2017 at 11:31 am

                I guess what I find troubling here is the privileging of [your] entitlement to direct access, straight line travel through a city, over so many other things: culture, tradition, land use, ownership.

                Others here have lamented the steepness of the hill as if this too were an affront.

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              • q June 8, 2017 at 1:14 pm

                On top of your points, here’s perhaps the most ironic one–the cemetery doesn’t allow cut-through auto traffic, but it does allow cut-through walking and biking. Car cut-throughs still happen because they haven’t figured out a way to determine who’s cutting through and who’s a legitimate visitor. But they do try, with partially closing the gates, etc. And they still allow bike through-traffic despite having problems from disrespectful bikers.

                The result is that the cemetery rewards people who walk or bike over people who drive. Shouldn’t we be PRAISING that???

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              • Bjorn June 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm

                I don’t think you know what the word “privilege” means, all I said was that I didn’t think we should be heavily subsidizing a land use that has a negative impact on the city. One of the things that makes the parts of portland that people want to live in so desirable is a quality uninterrupted grid network and yes I would like to see that encouraged rather than discouraged.

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              • 9watts June 8, 2017 at 3:31 pm

                “I didn’t think we should be heavily subsidizing a land use that has a negative impact on the city.”

                When you’re in a hole, stop digging?

                What is this negative impact you keep insisting on? Most people here seem delighted by the place, and by the fact that people biking are still allowed to go through there.

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              • jeff June 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm

                right? does he know how many homeless people would be living in a publicly accessible cemetery in this town?

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              • q June 8, 2017 at 4:23 pm

                Bjorn–Riverview is bounded by a natural area to the south, a highway to the east, and Taylors Ferry and a cemetery to the north and west. There is no street grid existing adjacent to it on any of its sides, so it is impossible to continue a street grid that does not exist.

                Plus, it’s a steep area with ravines and envionmental conservation and protection overlays running all over through it. Putting a street grid within it would be insane even if it were possible, which it isn’t.

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              • SE Rider June 8, 2017 at 4:28 pm

                Have to say that I’ve never seen any “campers” in this public cemetery:

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              • SE Rider June 8, 2017 at 4:29 pm

                9, people view it positively because it’s currently essentially being used as a park. Close off access and many people’s opinions may change.

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              • 9watts June 8, 2017 at 4:33 pm

                Um… Bjorn didn’t say ‘might in future have a negative impact on the city’; he seems to hold the view that it is already negative. That was what I was responding to.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 8, 2017 at 5:49 pm

                >>> One of the things that makes the parts of portland that people want to live in so desirable is… <<<

                Facts suggest that SW is pretty desired, and, therefore, desirable, even without a street grid uninterrupted by cemeteries.

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              • Bjorn June 8, 2017 at 11:47 pm

                My points about the obstruction reference not Riverview but another cemetery that offers no thru access rose city cemetery. I understand Riverview isn’t in a grid system, but rose city certainly disrupts one. I don’t think we should subsidize any cemetery.

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            • John Lascurettes June 8, 2017 at 2:23 pm

              Good point, Q

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            • q June 9, 2017 at 5:09 pm

              Arguments like your “it’s 90% grass” aren’t subjective, they’re just wrong. Caring or not caring about sprawl and CO2 emissions doesn’t change that.

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          • Bjorn June 8, 2017 at 10:32 am

            Actually there is no reason why bodies couldn’t be exhumed and cremated now and the land converted to housing. If people want to control this land permanently then they should be paying the full cost of doing so and that would include paying taxes on the land. Of course if people actually had to pay the full societal cost of being buried in the ground in perpetuity everyone would just choose cremation to begin with.

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            • 9watts June 8, 2017 at 10:36 am

              “Actually there is no reason why bodies couldn’t be exhumed and cremated now and the land converted to housing.”

              Are you folks for real?!

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              • Bjorn June 8, 2017 at 11:03 am

                There is quite a bit of precedent for the removal of cemeteries. Singapore has removed many of theirs. They are a horrible land use choice in a city but I am not terribly opposed if they pay taxes etc, but as it is in Oregon they are one of the most subsidized businesses we have which is ridiculous.

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              • BB June 8, 2017 at 12:37 pm

                Only people who don’t worship corpses..

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              • 9watts June 8, 2017 at 4:27 pm

                Soylent Green.

                = problem solved.

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              • rachel b June 8, 2017 at 9:05 pm

                What??!!!?? Exhuming people?? For development? To cram more more more more more more more people in? Does Portland really honestly have to be completely terraformed to serve the needs of people who don’t even live here (yet), over the needs of actual people living here? My head is ready to explode from the constant calls to tear this city down to the studs in order to accommodate the horde. Is there no end to it? At least dead people are quiet and hate festivals and scenes too–like me. Good gud. Rant over. Sorry. I need to get out of this city. Everything, everything about it anymore just makes me feel crazy.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty June 8, 2017 at 10:54 am

              I would suggest you watch the excellent documentary “Pet Sematary”. It may convince you this is a bad idea.

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            • q June 8, 2017 at 12:44 pm

              The cemetery is a regional historical treasure. Should we also tear down historical buildings that don’t max out the development potential at their sites? By the way, those historical buildings also get tax breaks. The cemetery is as valuable a historical resource as just about any historical building, plus a natural open space that allows visitors freely.

              And of course (obviously) one group it allows in is people on bikes. That’s quite a public benefit in itself.

              If your backyard has tremendous historical value, and you allow visitors to come and go freely, even if only to get from one side of your property to the other, then you’ve got a comparison.

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              • SE Rider June 9, 2017 at 10:34 am

                Interestingly, it looks like Riverview already tried to do that themselves:

                “River View Cemetery occupies approximately 350 acres (140 ha) on the west slope of the Willamette River, south of Downtown Portland, but approximately half of the property is not a developed cemetery.[8] Initially, this excess land was held for future expansion of the cemetery, but demographic trends away from burial (in favor of cremation) have reduced the need for future expansion. For example, in 1973 eight percent of Oregonians chose cremation, versus 68 percent in 2010.[9]

                In 2006, the River View Cemetery Association sought to develop 184 acres (74 ha) of their surplus land into residential properties, and filed a $24 million compensation claim under Oregon Ballot Measures 37 (2004) and 49 (2007).[10] In 2007, the River View Cemetery Association submitted an application to change the zoning of the surplus land from open space to single-family residential for 182 housing units.[11] On May 2, 2011, the City of Portland announced that it had agreed to purchase 146 acres (59 ha) of this undeveloped surplus land for $11.25 million, which will be managed by Portland Parks & Recreation with the initial goals of habitat stabilization, removal of invasive species, and trail and access planning.[12]”

                -per wikipedia

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              • q June 9, 2017 at 11:34 am

                That sounds like a good outcome. I’m glad the land became publicly owned natural area vs. developed.

                It seems like the long-term transportation solution could be some sort of publicly-owned bike and pedestrian route through public land or an easement, and not through the middle of the grave sites.

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            • rachel b June 8, 2017 at 9:06 pm

              Wait–were you kidding? Feeling foolish now…

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              • rachel b June 8, 2017 at 9:06 pm

                (that was meant for Bjorn, about the exhuming, ‘n’ all)

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              • Bjorn June 9, 2017 at 4:21 pm

                No not kidding at all. Currently in Singapore if you want to choose a burial over cremation the longest lease of a cemetery plot available is only 15 years. Some people may be squeamish about such things, but there is no logistical reason why cemeteries that sit on valuable inner city land can’t be converted into a more beneficial and appropriate use. Dozens of cemeteries were decommissioned in San Francisco, I assume there are probably places that were once cemeteries that are now homes and businesses in Portland as well. If they want to keep operating I think that is fine, but they should be paying property taxes like any other business would.

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              • 9watts June 9, 2017 at 4:22 pm

                highest and best use
                sure, whatever.

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              • q June 9, 2017 at 5:04 pm

                But Riverview’s zoning doesn’t allow homes or businesses. It’s zoned for open space.

                How’d you like it to be turned into a private golf course, with zero bike access, or for that matter, zero public access at all even for walking past a gate? Would that work for you?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 9, 2017 at 5:38 pm

                The best use of a large parcel in some parts of the city right now would be a park.

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              • q June 9, 2017 at 6:00 pm

                Absolutely. And parks allow density to be higher around them, without losing livability. So can cemeteries for that matter.

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      • Gary B June 8, 2017 at 7:55 am

        Having private open space like the cemetery is a public benefit? How so? Should I get a tax exemption for having a big backyard? (Irony note: many of our privileged friends in the west hills do exactly that, by way of their handy–and bogus–farm and forest deferrals)

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  • fourknees June 7, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I agree this is a sensitive issue and has a unique perspective with the private property and lack of another safe and direct routes, but I could get feedback from people on bikes or on feet and get these same comments about bikes lanes, greenways, or a sunday parkways event.

    1. “Thank you, thank you for no cars this weekend.”
    2. “Thank you for keeping cars out on this holiday.”
    3. “Love the no cars on Memorial Day. No car signs are great. No Cars!”
    4. “Thank you for not having cars in the bike lane.”
    5. “Glad there are not so many cars this year. They should not be allowed in bike lanes anyway. This is no place for them – they are rude people.”
    6. “I am really glad that cars weren’t allowed in here on Memorial Day – thank you!!!”
    7. “Thank you for closing the streets to cars for this weekend. It created a peaceful atmosphere.”
    8. “Thanks for not having cars going through today – we were able to concentrate on the pathways rather than watching out for speeding cars!”
    9. “Saw two cars – would be nice if they obeyed signs.”
    10. “Saw cars – not good.”
    11. “The weekend ban on ‘no cars’ did not work. Wish the cars would slow down!!”
    12. “Stop the cars 365 days a year. I pay for the roads; this is my street. Why do I have to listen to car drivers cussing about the ‘bike lanes’? I’m sick of being interrupted by rude, inconsiderate car drivers.”

    Maybe give positive feedback to the cemetery so they can hear from those that appreciate the access? http://www.riverviewcemetery.org/contact-us/
    And send an email to the city commissioners to push for alternate route improvements?

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  • Chris June 7, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Has prohibiting downhill bike traffic been discussed with the cemetery owners as a less extreme alternative than closing it to bikes entirely? Obviously not ideal, but descending Taylor’s Ferry is not nearly as bad as ascending it, and I would think that most complaints arise from riders descending through the cemetery.

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    • Chris I June 7, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      This is a great idea. Only the extreme anti-cyclist types could get upset about Freds crawling up the hill on the weekends. Getting buzzed by people flying down the hill is a legitimate concern, and this would resolve it. Enforcement is always the tricky part, though.

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      • KTaylor June 7, 2017 at 2:19 pm

        Taylor’s Ferry is still dangerous and harrowing going downhill due to driver speed and hegemony – not a safe bet for people who don’t number among the fast and fearless – or for people with respiratory issues.

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        • ben B June 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm

          why would you use a word like “hegemony”. 99% of people will have to look up the definition for. quit showing off.

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          • KTaylor June 7, 2017 at 4:18 pm

            Dude – have to use that expensive college education somehow. 🙂 Plus I think it was pretty easy to figure out from context.

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            • Stephen Keller June 7, 2017 at 5:33 pm

              Did you study under Dr. Robert Fulford by any chance? It was one of his favorite words.

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              • K Taylor June 9, 2017 at 12:01 am

                No! You can really get a feel for the preoccupations of someone whose favorite word was ‘hegemony’ though. 🙂

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          • resopmok June 7, 2017 at 4:19 pm

            Heaven forbid they should actually learn something by reading the comments section of a blog on the internet..

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          • pengo June 8, 2017 at 1:16 pm

            Ben, my research clearly shows that 99% of people do not think that 99% of people will have to look up the definition for.

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    • rick June 7, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      I prefer riding downhill on Taylor’s Ferry compared to riding in the cemetery, but the potholes and ruts are staggering.

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    • Adam June 7, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Not ideal. How are bike commuters to Lewis and Clark supposed to get home? Taylor’s Ferry? Seriously?

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      • JPrepSW June 8, 2017 at 10:31 am

        I think they would/could take Terwilliger to Barbur to Corbett to waterfront/Sellwood bridge, depending on your destination. It is a lovely ride. The SW side is severely lacking in facilities, but there are decent routes to be knitted. I personally do not like the cemetery as it winds and winds forever, and take Corbett anyway.

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  • poopsmith June 7, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    OBRA email list?
    Recommended 2

    This definitely needs to be communicated more through the ranks of OBRA.

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  • bikeninja June 7, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I am afraid that when you combine the behavior of some cyclists during the closure and the behavior of a large percentage of motorists while driving and watch just a little bit of the nightly news and you come to the inevitable conclusion that a large percentage of Americans are unrepentant Jerks. Not sure if it is the fast food diet, too much television, poorly prescribed meds or bad parenting but it seems a conclusion that is hard to ignore. A sad conclusion, but the sooner we realize this the sooner we will stop fooling our selves that everyone will behave with proper guidance and incentives.

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  • Andrew Kreps June 7, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Well, it turns out skewed polls are skewed. That’s a shocker.

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  • Justin M June 7, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I was so glad to find the way home through the cemetery a couple months back. Beautiful ride. How anyone could be so disrespectful riding thru is beyond me. I mean, clearly we are guests, and they are being very gracious to allow us to pass through, for free, in a place where people are saying goodbye to or visiting their loved ones. Some people are so freaking selfish and they don’t care how their behavior reflects on all of us.

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  • John Lascurettes June 7, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Honest question, on days like Memorial Day weekend, if someone had ridden a bike to the cemetery specifically to visit a family plot, would they have still been turned away? Because at that point, what is the difference between a car and bike — they’re both still patrons. I would assume that if someone said they were actually visiting a plot that they’d be allowed to ride to the plot. So that in turn makes me wonder, are patrons of the cemetery pretty much 100% non-riders?

    I don’t have that many family members where I even know where they’re buried, but there’s a similar cemetery in Oakland where a few relatives are buried (including my mother) at the top of a hill within this large cemetery. I know it would be nice to one day, when visiting Oakland, to ride up to the plot. I’d hate to think that a similar bike ban would necessitate turning around to find a car just to drive to the top of that hill.

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    • Kyle Banerjee June 7, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      I seriously doubt they’d ask a cyclist who’d come to visit a plot to leave. Under normal circumstances, I suspect such a person wouldn’t even be noticed and even with the unfavorable recent attention, I doubt there’d be an issue if the rider explained what they were doing. They might not even need to explain anything since it might be obvious from their movement.

      Bikes aren’t the issue, it’s that people aren’t conducting themselves appropriately in a cemetery. Anyone who zips around in a car isn’t going to make any friends there either.

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      • John Lascurettes June 7, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        True. Had I encountered this (I’ve never ridden in the area by the way) while wanting to take this safe and stress-free route, I would have offered to dismount my bike and walk through the cemetery, hoping that would have been okay. It’s hard to believe (but I believe it) the rude entitlement reaction of riders to people asking for a little respect during Memorial Day weekend.

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    • Mike Reams June 8, 2017 at 6:54 am

      I suspect that most of the people visiting a cemetary are either elderly or, have an elderly person in their group. Although, this is just my intuition, I don’t have any data.

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    • rachel b June 8, 2017 at 9:16 pm


      I don’t think a cyclist-mourner would’ve been turned away in the past, John. But because, over time, several cyclists have been thoughtless, selfish and rude, cyclists are now persona non grata. Actions; consequences. Why on earth should the cemetery be feeling warm and fuzzy toward any of us, given the egregious serial bad behavior they and their mourners have been subject to at the hands (er, wheels) of cyclists? Their ban on Memorial Day Weekend was completely understandable, and logical.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. June 8, 2017 at 11:24 pm

        I’ve seen a few inconsiderate drivers. Perhaps we should just ban driving!

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        • rachel b June 9, 2017 at 12:40 am

          Well, I’m all for that, Adam. As you know. 🙂 I have a feeling the scofflaw cyclists outweigh the scofflaw motorists, though–it’s much harder to sneak a car through there, though I know people do it.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty June 7, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    In my own defense, it is a rather large hill.

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  • B. Carfree June 7, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    While I can’t say why the folks who ignored the signs stating the bicycles were prohibited did so, it could be possible that many of them simply did not see, as in read and comprehend, the signs. Even standard regulatory signage stating speed limits and stop signs are completely missed by almost all motorists, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that a few people on bikes would fail to register non-standard signs.

    Could it also be possible for someone to interpret the signs to mean that bikes were only prohibited on the weekend and holiday proper, which would be Saturday through Monday?

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  • SE Rider June 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    I’m surprised no one has really mentioned the city’s role in all of this. They have basically normalized this route by making a very direct facility off the Sellwood bridge that goes directly through/to it. I’m not excusing riders lashing out at the staff (keep it polite people), but I imagine that most of them view Riverview as just a normal city street (or even as a city-owned cemetery). The city of Portland seems to pretty clearly be encouraging people to bike through the cemetery. Thus when all of a sudden out of the blue cyclists are randomly stopped on a ride or commuting home (and I know a lot of us get defensive when stopped on our bikes expecting some reprimand or to be yelled at), I could see a little confusion (even if there were signs at the entrance).
    To me so much of this falls on the city for enabling this situation.

    Either they need to get an easement through the cemetery or they shouldn’t be openly promoting this critical (and awesome) route (which apparently could be taken away at any moment).

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    • q June 7, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      They bridge was built by the County, but otherwise you’re right–it directs people straight into the cemetery. The design of that east end is awful.

      The City also encourages use of the cemetery route by failing to provide safe, reasonable alternative routes. It’s not fair of the City to put the cemetery in the position of having to accommodate people on bikes (and pedestrians) in order to avoid leaving them without a reasonable alternative route.

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    • resopmok June 8, 2017 at 7:50 am

      Nominating this as MVC (Most Valuable Comment). The redesign of the Sellwood, whoever did it, essentially creates a RoW for cyclists to head into Riverview. Without securing an easement, there is no reason the city or county should be able to connect a RoW to it or promote it as a RoW and ought to be responsible for creating a safe route into the SW hills area on order to provide access to important assets like Lewis and Clark and Tryon Creek State Park.

      If there were an easement, the RoW could be patrolled by city officials which in turn could provide peace of mind for cemetery management and stop the constant threats of closure. Yes, disrespectful behavior is an issue, but it’s one society faces as a whole, and it’s the reason we have things like a police force. The comments put forth in the article reek of anti-bike bias, as do the cemetery management’s typical threats of closure. Having an easement in place puts an end to action based on that bias (e.g., the installation of dangerous, non-standard speed bumps) and puts regulation of the path in the hands of an officially sanctioned body. Riverview could still apply for special event closure permits for holidays like Memorial Day, just as any body can do for any RoW within reason.

      An easement is not taking the path from Riverview, it’s a reasonable compromise which puts responsibility in the right places for all parties.

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      • q June 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm

        PAYING Riverview for an easement could be a fine solution.

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        • SE Rider June 9, 2017 at 10:37 am

          apparently the city has already paid them a bunch of money to buy land from Riverview:
          “On May 2, 2011, the City of Portland announced that it had agreed to purchase 146 acres (59 ha) of this undeveloped surplus land for $11.25 million, which will be managed by Portland Parks & Recreation with the initial goals of habitat stabilization, removal of invasive species, and trail and access planning.[12]”

          So there is clearly a relationship already in place. Would $11.25M be enough to have Riverview throw in an easement?

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  • Veen June 7, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    What’s the line here? I understand that the place was closed to bikes Memorial day weekend. But in the general case, my reading of JM’s commentary is along the lines of: “Don’t ride your bike in the cemetery because otherwise you won’t be able to ride your bike in the cemetery.” Am I missing something?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      What I’m trying to say is… Feel free to ride your bike in the cemetery; but do so with utmost respect for others. It’s a frickin’ cemetery… regardless of if the road is public OR private, when you see a bunch of gravestones and a nice cemetery, I would think it should be obvious to slow down, chill out, stay quiet… and if you come up on another person on foot or in a car… be super nice to them. Unfortunately that’s not obvious to everyone.

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      • John Lascurettes June 7, 2017 at 4:35 pm

        ^ So much this. Even if you disagree with the land use with legitimate tax gripes and such, it’s still a solemn space worthy of your respect.

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        • Vince June 7, 2017 at 8:08 pm

          Going to the cemetry when my family members are buried usually brings me to tears. And they have been gone a long time. I hope anyone who finds themselves in a cemetary, for whatever reason, will respect those who are there to mourn and will show some respect. It’s a basic display of humanity.

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      • Fred June 7, 2017 at 8:41 pm

        Jonathan, you’ve done a lot for cycling in Portland, but I’m afraid you are not seeing the whole picture here. It’s not just an issue of a few – or even many – discourteous cyclists. I live in SW Portland and frequently ride up thru the cemetery to get home. It’s basically the only way to get home if you live in that part of SW Portland – unless you want to deal with Barbur every day, which is its own nightmare. The cemetery is much more peaceful, obviously, and though it is steeper than Barbur, it provides a protected route and also a great workout.

        The folks who run the cemetery have it in for bikes. They don’t like ’em and they want ’em out of the cemetery. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed cemetery staff in cars, on tractors, etc. I always give a friendly wave, and in response I usually get the stink-eye. Closing the route on Memorial Day seems deliberately provocative: what better way to provoke strong, negative reactions from cyclists than to take away their one protected route on a holiday weekend in summer? And why no commensurate ire for trucks, cars, or motorcycles? How are they somehow “respectful” of the dead or of mourners while bikes are not? Clearly the cemetery management sees bikes as toys or playthings – like bringing a pogo-stick to a funeral.

        I’m sorry, but the city now needs to get involved and put some pressure on these private landowners to allow bikes. If they are going to allow cars, they need to allow bikes. The cemetery is a vital link for cyclists and it needs to be preserved.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 8, 2017 at 7:09 am

          I disagree with you here Fred. I’ve thought a lot about this issue over the years and I simply can’t find any justification for the bad behavior that continues to happen at the cemetery.

          And your comment comes off as being extremely entitled. This is private land and it seems to me that as such, the cemetery has no obligation to allow bicycles — nor do they have to be nice and welcoming to you as you roll past.

          How can you say the cemetery doesn’t like bikes? Haven’t you read my stories about the Executive Director of the cemetery and how he has continually – for many years now – put his reputation and job on the line by sticking up for bicycle access?

          River View doesn’t owe bicycle riders anything. And I don’t care if it is a few bad apples ruining it for the bunch — that’s a few bad apples too many.

          And I’m “not seeing the whole picture”? Again, please read my past stories. I am very well aware of the context here. Just because the City has failed to create a safe alternative, still gives us no right to demand access to private property.

          Thanks for the comment.

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          • Fred June 8, 2017 at 7:26 am

            What exactly is the “bad behavior” on the part of cyclists? Years ago, when cycling was still allowed on all of the roads in the cemetery, I cycled past a burial in progress – couldn’t avoid it – and I got the stink-eye from cemetery staff, even though I slowed down, made no noise, and cycled responsibly in every way. Yet cars continued to pass by, and many slowed and stopped, and doors slammed, and people talked. I don’t dispute that private landowners can do whatever they want, but the main offense here seems to be cycling itself – rolling down the road, or up the road. The folks at the cemetery don’t want to share their space with cyclists, so let’s just leave it at that.

            I’m guessing you live in some part of Portland, like SE or NE, where you have multiple cycling routes and access points to wherever you want to go. But if you lived in SW, you too would feel entitled to use that route through the cemetery – b/c there simply aren’t any other routes.

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            • meh June 8, 2017 at 8:03 am

              The key word being “share”. It is their property. It is their right to “share” it or not.
              How much of your property do you “share”? Do you lend your bikes to strangers? Do the homeless have a place on your couch? The problem is not the cemetery, it’s loud, obnoxious riders who seem to think the hill is for training, and do not respect the solemnity of the cemetery.

              I think they have been more than reasonable in sharing, and if it was closed to bike traffic, well I wouldn’t be happy, but I can certainly see their justification in doing so.

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              • resopmok June 8, 2017 at 8:18 am

                I “share” the sidewalk in front of my house with loud drunks, people who don’t pick up their dog poo, and a variety of others whose behavior I disapprove of. Even though I own the land the sidewalk is on and I’m financially responsible for the upkeep of that sidewalk, I’m still required by law to “share” it with everyone else.

                I also don’t mind “sharing” it, because pedestrians, despite a small percentage of disrespectful ones, need and deserve to have a safe RoW. And if anyone really is disorderly, I can call the police and let them come sort it out. Seems fair enough to me.

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              • 9watts June 8, 2017 at 8:22 am

                “Even though I own the land the sidewalk is on and I’m financially responsible for the upkeep of that sidewalk, I’m still required by law to “share” it with everyone else.”

                Actually that is not land you own (privately), though as a member of the public we own the whole right of way, but your property ends one foot (I think) inside the edge of the sidewalk. We are responsible for maintaining it but it is part of the right of way. Weird, I know.

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              • q June 8, 2017 at 9:35 am

                Yes, it’s possible you own the land the sidewalk is on, but very rare. And if you do, there’s an easement that legally requires you to allow access, maintain it, etc.

                In other words, you’re proud of yourself for meeting the minimum legal requirements, while criticizing the cemetery for voluntarily opening up their private property.

                A better comparison is who you allow to use your front or back yard.

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            • 9watts June 8, 2017 at 8:09 am

              “Years ago, when cycling was still allowed on all of the roads in the cemetery, I cycled past a burial in progress – couldn’t avoid it – and I got the stink-eye from cemetery staff, even though I slowed down, made no noise, and cycled responsibly in every way. ”

              Stink eye?
              You seem pretty determined to show how you’ve been wronged, but if that is the worst of the blowback you’ve experienced I’m going to agree with Jonathan.

              Maybe the staff whose eyes you were reading had bad experiences with other cyclists and generalized about all cyclists, incidentally as you are doing about the staff.

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            • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 8, 2017 at 9:47 am

              Hi Fred,

              I have no doubt that part of the dynamic around this issue is the same anti-bike sentiment/discrimination that touches myriad other issues. Our culture is overwhelmingly anti-bike and that’s something that colors almost every issue we deal with on this site. I agree with you that the perspectives from many cemetery visitors are motivated in large part by the same misunderstandings and ignorance about cycling that pervades our society in general. And please re-read my words. I have never said that I don’t understand the reason people use this route. I get that. (And please don’t cast aspersions about how where I live somehow makes me unable to understand this issue. There’s just silly.) All this being said, I am still of the thinking that 1) too many people are not being respectful while riding through the cemetery and 2) the cemetery — staff and visitors — have every right to act however they want around bicycle users. 3) the City of Portland is absolutely central to the problem here.

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            • SE Rider June 8, 2017 at 10:27 am

              “loud, obnoxious riders who seem to think the hill is for training”

              I’m confused by this concept. If someone is actually using the hill for training they’re not going to be having loud, obnoxious conversations, they’re going to be breathing hard (likely at a speedy 10 miles/hour).

              I think it comes down to this is either a route for people to bike on or it isn’t. Would there be a big issue with runners doing hill repeats in Riverview?

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              • meh June 8, 2017 at 12:22 pm

                Because they don’t have a loud conversation going over VO2 max and watts on the ride back down through the cemetery at speed. Laughing and joking the whole way, before taking another run up the hill.

                The more I hear these ridiculous excuses the more I want the cemetery to close it off.

                Personal responsibility and respect isn’t much to ask for, but it’s getting rarer and rarer.

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            • JPrepSW June 8, 2017 at 10:41 am

              Fred, try Corbett. You can even stay off Barbur and on a fat sidewalk if you wish. I disagree that the cemetery is required for transport in that area.

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          • Pete June 8, 2017 at 8:35 pm

            Jonathan, thank you for advocating respectful riding. And thank you to Riverview Cemetery for its generous support for cyclists of all persuasions. I regularly commute across the Sellwood Bridge on my city bike and ride through the Cemetery on my road bike. Riverview’s generosity goes above and beyond. I’m grateful.

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        • Tim June 8, 2017 at 11:20 am

          I lived at the top of Barbur for many years and commuted to industrial Front to work and rode up and down Barbur everytime. I don’t feel as if Riverview should be the go-to commute route simply for the fact that it is a cemetery, plain and simple. Some people would like to argue all these points like Strava use, property taxes, City of Portland, etc. but there are alternative routes and if people cannot respect other users, we may lose that route. That is the big picture and Jon definitely recognizes it as such.

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          • BradWagon June 8, 2017 at 1:46 pm

            Your commute sounds like using the cemetery would have been completely out of the way. For those crossing the Sellwood bridge there really isn’t another reasonable option heading southwest.

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  • Glenn June 7, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    it’s easier to ride up
    SW La Veiw DR
    or SW Fulton Park Blvd…
    then around to Custer St to Brier Pl, then hit up Barbur…
    then go down Taylors Ferry Rd..pretty easy to keep up with cars down down the hill…

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    • Chris I June 8, 2017 at 10:32 am

      How is that easier? It’s definitely more dangerous and stressful.

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      • rick June 8, 2017 at 10:40 am

        La View is a quiet road.

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        • Chris I June 8, 2017 at 12:48 pm

          I know, I grew up a few blocks away. My problem is Barbur, Terwilliger, and Taylor’s Ferry. These cannot be compared to the bucolic road through Riverview.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. June 7, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    If bikes end up banned, we should all ride down Taylors Ferry in a Critical Mass style ride during Friday afternoon rush hour at a suuuper slow clip. All the car commuters will be begging River View to let us back in!

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    • Middle of the Road Guy June 7, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      And tell all of the drivers it was Adam H’s idea!

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    • Kyle Banerjee June 7, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      To heck with that. Taylor’s Ferry is one of the more fun and safe roads to bomb down as threats from the sides are minimal, sight lines are decent, and car speeds are reasonable when the road is unimpeded.

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    • q June 7, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Actually if you are moving at all on a Friday at rush hour, you’ll be passing cars downhill. You’d almost have to camp out on the street to slow traffic.

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      • Kyle Banerjee June 8, 2017 at 5:28 am

        That’s why I put the “when the road is unimpeded” qualifier. This hill is most fun when traffic is light and cars are moving full speed. I can understand why it would make people uncomfortable, but it’s not as unsafe as it looks. Visual lines are good for drivers and riders alike — I’ve never had problems there.

        The cemetery is a nice place for a quiet ride, but it’s no place for training. Aside from appropriateness concerns, it’s not long enough unless you want to do laps. The west hills offer many light traffic options better suited for however people like to ride.

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        • Chris I June 8, 2017 at 6:38 am

          I grew up just up the hill from that stretch of Taylor’s Ferry, and I can only recall maybe seeing a dozen riders going up or down the hill during my childhood. You are a special breed.

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          • Kyle Banerjee June 8, 2017 at 9:34 am

            I suspect that’s partly due to geography. For many destinations, you don’t save time by climbing up Taylor’s Ferry. Going downhill is a blast — you can break 45mph with good aerodynamics. I wouldn’t even consider another way down unless traffic is messed up.

            Even climbing in fast traffic isn’t that bad. Great sight lines, excellent bail opportunities (which I’ve never needed), and the relative straightness makes it easy to herd cars.

            I personally feel that many cyclists overrate the dangers of vehicle speed and lack of separation, but that they underrate other aspects of their threat profile — especially those related to visibility, predictability, response options, and sheer number/variety of threats to manage.

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            • Al Dimond June 8, 2017 at 10:28 am

              Most people don’t want to ride 45 MPH. I don’t really want to hit those speeds even in the mountains with no cars around, and I am, though arguably not a “real roadie”, at least the closest person to that many of my friends know! If having the skill, strength, health, and equipment to descend this way is a requirement for urban cycling, few people will do it. And those that do will often do so only over a pretty short part of their lives and in pretty limited circumstances. If you’re fine with that you’re fine with that, but it’s going to be a minority view on a bike advocacy blog!

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              • Kyle Banerjee June 8, 2017 at 12:02 pm

                Point taken, though I might dispute the short window during which this is possible for those so inclined.

                I would think that anyone engaged in training could potentially handle this hill. For those wanting a good place to do repeats nearby where you can descend slowly without mad handling skilz or having negative interactions with traffic, Corbett is an excellent alternative. But repeats are boring. For those who enjoy scenery, light traffic, and variety, the west hills are a better alternative with enough variety to meet many preferences.

                Cemeteries are inappropriate for training, competitive sports, and just about any activity that doesn’t lend itself to contemplation. If I managed the cemetery, I doubt I’d be more generous than the current owners.

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              • SE Rider June 8, 2017 at 12:16 pm

                Kyle, you realize that repeats (which you peg as “boring”) are a pretty established component of many people who are “training”, right?

                It’s funny as I’ve done plenty of “training” both running and on the bike in public cemeteries in other parts of the country without ever having any issues. The big issue here is public vs. private.

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              • Kyle Banerjee June 8, 2017 at 2:13 pm

                I understand that — used to do repeats, intervals, etc. myself back in the day.

                I have also ridden all out near cemeteries in various locations over the years. But those were on rural roads passing by cemeteries where I was the only one around. What we have here is totally different. This is more of a path that goes through an area with a garden of remembrance vibe that serves as an oasis in a major metropolitan area.

                This cemetery strikes me as especial poorly suited for training and there are better alternatives nearby.

                This is not a good issue for cyclists to burn political capital on for the simple reason that this is an appropriateness rather than a cycling issue. Those wanting to ride hard, play ultimate frisbee, do dog agility, or stuff that doesn’t belong near mourners in a graveyard should choose one of the many other and better options.

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              • Al Dimond June 8, 2017 at 2:49 pm

                What’s the window? For high-speed descending in traffic, let’s start it at the minimum driving age of 16, for the same reason that exists. And of people that are ever willing to do that, at what point does the average one effectively age out? I think 50 is a generous estimate — not that nobody will do it past that age, but that most people willing to do it at some point won’t be at 50.

                FWIW I generally avoid being through-traffic in any cemetery or on the grounds, even the parking lot, of a cemetery or funeral home. I think doing repeats through a cemetery is a terrible idea — the idea would never strike me, and if anyone invited me to do that with them I would certainly decline! This particular one is situated such that for many people it’s by far their best route to somewhere else they want to go. It would be better if there was a good way to enforce rules against people actually breaking them, instead of trying at collective punishment…

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              • Kyle Banerjee June 8, 2017 at 4:28 pm

                There are a lot of cyclists in the 50+ category that enjoy speed (myself included) even if they are not representative.

                I’ve ridden through the cemetery before. Nice place, but I took it relaxed. Cemeteries aren’t the only nice places to ride protected from traffic are inappropriate for high speed riding. MUPs are also like that.

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              • El Biciclero June 9, 2017 at 10:34 am

                “… at what point does the average one effectively age out? I think 50 is a generous estimate…”

                Glad I’m not average. I’m a virtual hair’s-breadth away from 50, but I don’t plan on burning my brakes any more when I get there than I do now.

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          • rick June 8, 2017 at 10:39 am

            Earlier this week, I saw a person riding a bike downhill, traveling southbound on SW Scholls Ferry Road by Sylvan. They were heading downhill on the 500 foot drop in elevation. I’ve taken that route several times this year downhill and I rode up that tree-lined road a few times in the winter with the snow and the quiet morning of Christmas day. Riding downhill allows the opportunity to mostly use the brakes just once at the traffic light at SW Patton Road.

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            • PeaDub
              PeaDub June 8, 2017 at 9:04 pm

              Could have been me… I love that descent. But the road surface is terrible right now because everyone who lives in the West Hills runs bloody studded tires on their cars for the entire allowable season, which destroys the asphalt in a matter of months. Studded tires need to be banned; the studless snow/ice tires made these days have equivalent (or better) winter performance and don’t cause (additional) harm to road surfaces.

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  • pdx2wheeler June 7, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    I just plotted my new route to work through the cemetery, from West Linn. Literally the next day this story pops-up that’s it’s being closed over the Holiday, and could be forever. Christ I need this! Otherwise my only choice is up Hwy 43 to Plantine Hill through back roads until I hit 43 again downhill…

    Don’t f this up people!

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    • rick June 7, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      Did you know that West Linn has made a Highway 43 study plan ?

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  • Mossby Pomegranate June 7, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Considering the crappy attitudes displayed by some of the cycling community on this forum I’m surprised the cemetery lets people ride there at all. Consider yourselves lucky.

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    • rick June 8, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Ever notice the hostile attitude and actions expressed by people driving cars on bike routes? The 45 mph so frequent on Terwilliger Parkway, a place never meant as a rat race blvd ?

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      • Mossby Pomegranate June 8, 2017 at 10:14 pm

        That’s not the point. We are talking about the cemetary and lack of respect paid towards it.

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    • CaptainKarma June 8, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Hear! Hear!

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      • Mossby Pomegranate June 8, 2017 at 10:15 pm

        Do you know anyone laid to rest there? I do. Please step back from yourself and think of this place as more than just your bike route.

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        • SE Rider June 9, 2017 at 10:39 am

          I think was a misplaced reply. I actually do though, and he was an avid cyclist and would be really stoked to have people biking by his grave all the time. But I get that he’s not probably in the majority.

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          • q June 9, 2017 at 11:21 am

            I guess the related question is what he’d think of the people riding through disrespectfully, jeopardizing the ability of the majority to ride past his grave.

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            • SE Rider June 9, 2017 at 1:43 pm

              I don’t think he would find them “disrespectful” at all he loved riding and skiing fast.

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  • Todd Hudson June 8, 2017 at 10:47 am

    People oblivious to anything not three feet away from them (or just plain entitled freds) ruin it for everyone.

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  • J_R June 8, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I ride through the cemetery a few times a year. I find it to be a beneficial route due to the lack of alternatives. I think I am very courteous when I use the routes through the cemetery and that most other cyclists are, too. I have definitely encountered some cyclists who are definitely operating at excessive speed and who are not courteous.

    Several years ago, there were some issues about the use of the cemetery and an article in Bikeportland mentioned the need for funds for the cemetery to provide some signing and pavement markings. I gladly sent in my $20, which I think helped fund the signs and markings.

    I’d hate to see the cemetery closed to all cyclists because of a few a***oles.

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  • Dan Kaufman June 8, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I rode to visit my mother’s plot on Sunday and had to walk my bike up. People were allowed to drive their cars.

    I wondered to myself, how many people were put here because of automobile wrecks?

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    • John Lascurettes June 8, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      “Had to” — as in, you were asked to walk it to get to the plot? Curious.

      I think the reason that motor vehicles aren’t despised as much as bikes (aside from the social ills going on), is that motor vehicle operators probably rarely, if ever, cut through the cemetery to get somewhere. Why would they? The surface roads, already dedicated to them and optimized for them are generally much, much quicker. This all just compounds the perception of the folks that choose to despise the bicycle presence in the cemetery in the first place: “just look at those cutters”.

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      • John Lascurettes June 8, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        Ah, I just read Q’s comment above about them (the cemetery management) doing their best to actually prevent motor vehicles form using it as a cut through, while allowing for it for people on foot and on bicycle.

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        • q June 8, 2017 at 2:37 pm

          Yes, I think drivers use it as a cut-through to avoid Taylors Ferry backups, and people who bike there have mentioned seeing drivers cutting through. I also bet drivers are ending up in there by mistake now due to Sellwood Bridge directly its westbound traffic directly into the cemetery.

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          • K Taylor June 9, 2017 at 12:13 am

            It all comes down to most people being more willing to give a car the benefit of the doubt. If visitors and owners could always easily recognize a cut-through car, they’d be more up in arms about those too, I think (and yes – there are a lot of them).

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      • Dan Kaufman June 9, 2017 at 11:39 am

        John, yes. I was told by a soldier that I needed to walk my bike even though I was there to visit my mother’s grave.

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  • q June 8, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Rose city cemetery creates a 1/2 mile unpassable stretch. It can force people to walk or bike 3 times as far as they should need to in order to go north and south between 47th and 57th avenue. I can’t think of many buildings that are 1/2 mile long and 1/4 mile wide. A half mile detour is a significant barrier to walking places.
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    Luckily we don’t have that issue at Riverview. Riverview blocks cars, but not people walking or biking. It rewards those who walk and bike, and gives them a far more preferable route than other available options.

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    • Chris I June 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Exactly. It is fantastic that they do that. The whole point of this article is that they are threatening to ban cyclists all year. We are arguing that because of the problems cemeteries present (barriers to travel, tax-exempt control of valuable land, etc) that they have a duty to work with the public to maintain access. They shouldn’t be threatening to close off access to everyone, they should be threatening to enforce bad behavior. They have the right to kick individuals off of the property. That should be their first response to this issue, not a complete ban.

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      • q June 8, 2017 at 2:12 pm

        They’ve been having problems with bad cyclists for years. Trying to stop the bad behavior WAS their first response. They are STILL taking that approach.

        Don’t think that people aren’t understanding your arguments. They’re just not all agreeing with them, especially the ones that are flat out wrong, such as (I don’t recall who wrote them all) the cemetery has no public value unless it’s open like a park, Riverview is 90% grass, etc.

        I think most people (including me) think there are some valid arguments against the tax breaks, but only the valid ones are valid.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 8, 2017 at 2:16 pm

        The Memorial Day ban was not their first response. This has been an ongoing issue for some time, as their past conversations with BTA attest. It is not their job to “enforce” anything, and it’s not clear how they could even if they wanted to.

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        • K Taylor June 9, 2017 at 12:16 am

          It wasn’t all that long ago that they were having issues with people climbing through the arbor vitae hedge bordering Palatine Hill Road and riding their bikes over the graves to get to the path. That’s why they installed that huge fence, which can’t have been cheap. For a lot of people, that would have been the last straw. It’s actually pretty impressive they’ve remained interested in making this work.

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  • Carrie June 8, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Riverview Cemetary is the only reasonable way for me to ride in that part of the city WITH MY CHILDREN. My children are teenagers and good riders, but I’m not comfortable riding with them on Terwilliger (that I ride regularly), let alone any of the other proposed options. I am incredibly grateful the private owners let us ride through there so that we can get to everywhere as close as Tryon Creek State Park and as far as the Canby Ferry from our house. Those of you who are suggesting that anyone can ride any of the other suggested routes, does not ride frequently with those that should not.

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    • Mossby Pomegranate June 8, 2017 at 10:18 pm

      Respect for others is more important than your comfortable bike route. Put the blame where it belongs…on Portland’s abysmal leadership. Not the souls in that cemetery.

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      • Chris I June 9, 2017 at 8:28 am

        There is no such thing as a soul. Your obsession with dead bodies is quite odd.

        And yes, I have several family members buried at Riverview.

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        • q June 9, 2017 at 9:29 am

          Is that really necessary to accuse someone of having “an obsession with dead bodies” for saying “souls in that cemetery”? Mossby’s point was a good one.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 9, 2017 at 9:33 am

          Cemeteries are for the living, not the dead.

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        • q June 9, 2017 at 9:35 am

          On top of that, “soul” can have a religious meaning, but it’s also simply a synonym for “person” (“merry olde souls”, etc.). If it’s used as the latter, then of course there’s such a thing as a soul, unless you don’t believe people exist.

          If it was being used as the former–the religious meaning–shame on you for telling someone their religious belief is invalid.

          Now back to talking about bike traffic in the cemetery…

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        • dwk June 9, 2017 at 9:37 am

          I am not a religious person, but I am also not a bigot….

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      • Tom June 9, 2017 at 9:55 am

        Defining what is respectfull and what is not seems subjectI’ve and open to interpretation. To me, a car spewing exhaust onto a grave site is disrespectfull, especially since many who are buried there died in car collisions. A parent transporting kids on a bike does not seem all that disrespectfull, unless you just hate bikes.

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        • 9watts June 9, 2017 at 9:57 am

          but to me what is most disrespectful here in these comments is telling the folks at Riverview how they should rank disrespectfulness.

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          • Tom June 9, 2017 at 10:02 am

            Fine but where is the official published ranking list. How is anyone supposed to know, is my point.

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            • 9watts June 9, 2017 at 10:04 am

              The folks at Riverview get to make this call; it is their property.

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            • q June 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm

              I get the feeling most people riding through Riverview and commenting here know pretty clearly what Riverview thinks is disrespectful.

              If I’m wrong, and many people really ARE confused, then I can’t blame Riverview if it decides to ban bikes.

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        • q June 9, 2017 at 12:47 pm

          Riverview doesn’t seem to think parents transporting kids on bikes is disrespectful, either.

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  • Randy June 9, 2017 at 6:27 am

    L.A. will add bike and bus lanes, cut car lanes in sweeping policy shift

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  • RB June 9, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Adam H.
    Sorry, but if your agenda is “we need to stop those dangerous cyclists by adding police enforcement” I’m not buying it.
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    You have no idea what my agenda is…but it’s certainly not cop-hating no matter the topic.

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    • BB June 9, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      Failing to be an apologist for institutionalized police bigotry and abuse of power doesn’t make someone a “cop hater” while at the same time ignoring the fact that these things are rampant and should be addressed does make someone part of the problem.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 9, 2017 at 2:29 pm

        Does failing to mention the real and serious (and very complex) issue of police abuse when discussing unrelated issues like bike policy in a cemetery make one part of the problem?

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  • Amy June 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Like many, I commute daily through RVC. It saddens me that some cyclists behave disrespectfully to the property owners. This is why routes/trails get shut down. Riders should remember they are not the only ones in the world who ride/drive on the roads. I’m going to be a part of the group mentioned by K. Taylor.

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  • q June 26, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I went past Riverview’s Taylors Ferry entrance this weekend, so stopped to see what its entrance sign said, if anything, about cut-through vehicle traffic. Several comments here criticized Riverview for cracking down on bike through traffic, while letting cars go through.

    The sign clearly prohibits through traffic. It states:

    Dogs Are Not Permitted on The Premises
    No Skateboarding

    “THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY” AND “NO THROUGH TRAFFIC” couldn’t be clearer about prohibiting motor vehicle through traffic. We know the cemetery does allow through traffic on bicycles. We know cars cut through, too, but as many here have commented, that’s not because the cemetery doesn’t care, it’s because it doesn’t have a good way to enforce it, and to distinguish which cars entering are there legitimately, and which are there to cut through.

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    • rick July 6, 2017 at 10:26 am

      When did the “No Through Traffic” sign get installed? Is it on every entrance to the cemetery?

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      • q July 6, 2017 at 10:58 am

        I think it may have been there for years on Taylors Ferry, based on my memory. I don’t know about the upper entrance. I see signs on google on the gate, but can’t read them.

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  • noname July 6, 2017 at 1:24 am

    have found gate at top of cemetery fully closed at night twice in the past week.

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    • rick July 6, 2017 at 10:25 am

      I thought that is standard. It is closed at night.

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      • noname July 8, 2017 at 5:29 pm

        perhaps so, but in the past 6 months, I have descended via cemetery around 20 times after dark at varying hours and this is the first I have seen it closed tight.

        previously, the upper gate has always been open enough for bikes to pass – with the chain locked high overhead and loose enough to leave a gap.

        I will be heading east from that area tonight & might check again, though it is somewhat out of the way. I find it more peaceful, prefer to ride it when time allows.

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  • Fred August 15, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Serious question for Johnathan: can you or someone clarify the 4pm lower gate closure and how it pertains to cyclists? I wasn’t entirely sure even based on reading the signs. I’d thought bicycles were allowed during normal operation hours, their website states office is open until 5 and the grounds are open until dusk — yet i’m not clear if the lower gate closing at 4pm means no bike access at that point after 4pm, or if the whole cemetary is defacto closed to bikes after 4pm.


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  • Matt H August 16, 2017 at 4:43 am

    So, just calling this out here:

    If I were told that a bike route were to be closed over Memorial Day Weekend, I would assume that the closure was Saturday-Monday. I’d have to look at the sign really closely to notice that Friday was included in the closure too.

    Aside from that, people are creatures of habit and miss seeing signs if they’re not looking for them. Tom Vanderbilt talks about this in _Traffic_; that this is one of the worst ways to advertise a change in the norm in the road rules.

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    • q August 16, 2017 at 9:44 am

      What would you have recommended instead?

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  • igor August 16, 2017 at 11:34 am

    The cemetery was closed to bike traffic this morning due to a repaving project on the lower slopes (where there is no detour available), so I got a chance to see what it was like riding up to Terwilliger on Taylor’s Ferry. Answer: not so nice. Lots of traffic, and much of it high-speed. No bike lanes.

    There’s a better alternative using La View that you can take from the lower slopes of Taylor’s Ferry, but it’s still not as nice as River View.

    The cemetery has been closing its lower gates in the late afternoon since August 1st. Not every day, but somewhat randomly. In addition, they have a chain across the road at the top of the first incline, probably because that’s a better place for cars to turn around. Bikes can get around both the chain and the closed lower gate.

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