The Springwater Corridor is now open!

Posted by on October 31st, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Hello Springwater Corridor! So nice to have you back!
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

After a four month closure, the City of Portland removed the final barricades that were blocking access on the Springwater Corridor path near Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.

A Portland Bureau of Environmental Services project to enlarge a culvert between the refuge and the Willamette River led to the path being closed since July.

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There was significant consternation prior to the closure that the alternative route — which directed bicycle users considerably out of direction onto much more dangerous surface streets — would not be adequate. The detour was certainly not as nice as having the Springwater, but I was pleasantly surprised to have not heard many complaints from the community. Of course this could be simply because many people decided not to bike. It’s hard to know what, if any, impact the peak-season closure had on cycling rates.

What’s not hard to know is that the project will have a very positive impact on the life of all types of fish, birds, and other wildlife. I look forward to checking it out next time I’m out there.

Have you ridden the new path today? Are you relieved it’s reopened?

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

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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

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    cbikes October 31, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    I’ll ride it tonight on way home and am excited to see the work that was done. For me, the closure was not as bad as I had imagined. It forced me to find new routes for my daily commute from Lents to downtown Portland and back. This closure did not keep me from riding. Hooray!

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    Andrew C Kreps October 31, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    The closure did not stop me from biking, in fact it made me bike more. Best case it was 10 extra minutes of riding on my daily commute, with increased risk and exposure, not to mention noise, danger and pollution. It was the worst infrastructure-related event that’s happened in my 17 years of biking in Portland.

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    RB October 31, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you for this update. I was searching the interwebs for information on if it was open or not. Should have started here.
    I’ll gladly be taking the SWC all the way home this evening. Good riddance leaf/branch filled bike lanes. So long drivers who apparently can’t see me at 4-way stops. F-off stop lights and busy interstections.
    I’ll be sure to slow down through Oaks Bottom and welcome the critters and birds back home as well.

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    Glenn F October 31, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Nice Pic..Safety is third i guess..person with a phone in there hand while riding always ends well…

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 31, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      What’s wrong with holding a phone while you ride? The distraction comes when there’s two-way communication going on. She was probably just taking a photo — and given that this is a carfree path on a clear dry day it’s really perfectly safe.

      And fun fact: That’s Nancy Hales, wife of former Mayor Charlie Hales.

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    Edward LeClaire October 31, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    I live in Sellwood/Moreland — during the detour I encountered lots of “casual riders” who were lost, couldn’t follow the detour.

    Always had a great conversation and did my best to help them out. But it made me rethink how I view our bike infrastructure as a “seasoned almost willing to ride anywhere” bike infrastructure.

    These are the people who will ride from Happy Valley to the East-bank Esplanade but only on the protected bike path.

    One lady I met on Umatilla, she just wanted a ride. I pointed out the path on 17th to Milwaukee and the “Trolley Trail” but because there was a gap — she was unwilling to risk those couple blocks. That’s what missing links and breaks in our Network do — they haze out the new, the scared, and the nervous.

    It’s nice to have the completed path back.

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      maxD November 1, 2018 at 10:28 am

      Well said and it illustrates a huge frustration I have with PBOT. They continue to build opportunistically individual segments of bike infrastructure, but they rarely connect them together. I believe that a program to fix the most egregious in the network would have a huge effect on bike riding numbers as more people would feel comfortable using the discrete sections of bikeways once they are connected safely.

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      axoplasm November 1, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      I also live in this neighborhood and I had a few interactions like this too. Also a handful of tourists or daytrippers who rented bikes downtown expecting to ride the willamette loop back

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    Jim Lee October 31, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
    What’s wrong with holding a phone while you ride? The distraction comes when there’s two-way communication going on. She was probably just taking a photo — and given that this is a carfree path on a clear dry day it’s really perfectly safe.And fun fact: That’s Nancy Hales, wife of former Mayor Charlie Hales.Recommended 1

    One hand off the bar equals imbalance and lack of control.

    Springwater there requires good lane discipline.

    Try turn three at Alpenrose like that sometime.

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      Dan A October 31, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      I assume you point this out in every picture you see of one-handed drivers too.

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      Matt Meskill November 1, 2018 at 6:21 pm

      Geez Louise.

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    Paul October 31, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    I commute from Sellwood. The detour didn’t stop me from riding, I actually ended up crossing the Sellwood bridge and taking the west side river path most days. Took a bit longer, but that way I didn’t have to mingle with too many cars. Excited to take the Springwater again tomorrow!

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    Barry November 1, 2018 at 7:56 am

    I’ve read a lot about the Corridor and would like to ride it for pleasure — but concerned over safety in terms of homeless being aggressive that I’ve also read about. Where are the safest sections?

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      PS November 1, 2018 at 11:21 am

      Barry, I have ridden the springwater everyday from Sellwood to 205 during this closure and I can guarantee that any concerns about safety of other path users are completely over blown. 205 is much worse from a numbers of people perspective as well, and I have still had no issues. There was a tent under Division on the bike 205 path last week, I called about it (as I am sure others did as well) and it was gone in two days. Are there people living along the path, yes, are they aggressive, no they are not. I wish there was a better solution for their living arrangement as much as the next guy, but I have never had an issue with anyone. I encourage you to ride confidently from Sellwood, get out past 205 and Gresham in particular, it will make the entire ride worth it, as the section from Gresham to Boring is fantastic.

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    Paul H November 1, 2018 at 10:18 am

    I returned to my Springwater commute route this morning. I was expecting to see more new pavement than I actually encountered, but I guess the work wasn’t as destructive to the existing path as I had guessed.

    Anyway, it was nice to get back to the path. Here’s to many years before the next closure!

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      PS November 1, 2018 at 11:24 am

      Rode it this morning as well to check it out. Project turned out great, but there are certainly pedestrians who forgot what it is like to share the path with cyclists. Had two groups of three abreast, not make the slightest move to the right as I announced my passing.

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    Sukho in PDX November 1, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Rode it this morning with glee. You sure don’t know what cha got until it’s gone. Happy to have my amazing commute back.

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