Before we get the inevitable, “Hi BikePortland! Did you hear that River View Cemetery is closed to bikes!?” emails; please plan ahead for the upcoming closure of this route on Memorial Day weekend.
Just like they did last year, the cemetery has decided to prohibit access through the cemetery during the busy holiday. The move comes in response to complaints from cemetery visitors about rude and dangerous behavior by bicycle riders. When this closure first happened in 2017, some of the Board of Trustees (who manage the cemetery) were convinced that a permanent ban was needed.
However, that disaster was averted thanks in part to the collaborative approach to problem solving and internal advocacy from River View’s Executive Director David Noble (and the work of The Street Trust who has helped broker these conversations for many years).
If you’re new to town, the cemetery provides a quiet and safe alternative from the Sellwood Bridge up to Terwilliger. It’s a crucial commute route for many southwest Portland residents and Lewis & Clark College students. The route is such a necessary reprieve from the fast and furious SW Taylors Ferry Road that even City of Portland bike maps recommend it. However, it is technically private land owned by River View Cemetery and we use it at their discretion. So be nice!
Also of note: This year the Memorial Day Weekend closure will be one day shorter: Saturday May 26th through Monday May 28th. “Alhough we have many hundreds of vehicles in the cemetery on Friday,” Noble shared with us via email today. “The volume is lower than the three weekend days, so I felt that we could defer to the needs of the commuters and students who use the route on weekdays.”
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