A property owner’s effort to curb crime has resulted in the loss of an access point to the Marine Drive bike path.
“It’s just crazy and the City of Portland won’t do a dang thing about it! They’re making law-abiding citizens fence themselves in.”
— Terry Emmert, property owner
Last week, reader Stephen Gardiner shared news and photos of a new gate and fence around the Blue Heron Landing (a floating home community) parking lot at 2335 North Marine Drive. Gardiner (and many others) would connect to the path on Marine Drive from the Columbia Slough via Historic Vanport and North Force Avenue. It’s a much lower-stress place to access the path than Delta Park and the I-5 interchange near the Expo Center. Gardiner would use a traffic signal at N Force and Marine to get him across the road, then a ramp in the Blue Heron Landing parking lot would get him up onto the path.
But now he can’t access the ramp because there’s a large black iron fence around the lot with “No Trespassing” signs on it.
After a few phone calls I reached the owner of the lot (and floating homes adjacent to it), Terry Emmert of Emmert International. Emmert said he installed the fence to protect tenants’ cars. According to Emmert there’s been about $400,000 to $500,000 of car thefts and damage to property in the past year or so. “A few weeks ago druggies and homeless people smashed the hoods, cut gas tanks,” he shared this morning. “It’s just crazy and the City of Portland won’t do a dang thing about it! They’re making law-abiding citizens fence themselves in.”
This isn’t the first time one of Emmert’s properties has intersected with the issues of public access and crime on a popular bike path. In 2012, as owner of the Eastmoreland Racquet Club, Emmert caused an uproar when he closed a popular access point to the Springwater Corridor.
Emmert’s lot and ramp is shown as a recommended route and path access point on Metro’s Bike There map and the City of Portland’s Citywide Bike Map. And as seen in the lead photo, a PBOT bikeway network sign exists at the top of the ramp. There’s also a beg button on a telephone pole adjacent to the lot (which has now been effectively cut off), which is another sign of the public’s use of this intersection.
Besides the path to the east of this access, the nearest place to easily reach the path is 0.7 miles west at North Portland Road. If you’re able, you can still access the Marine Drive path at Blue Heron Landing, but you’ll have to do a little off-roading and/or hike up a rocky, grassy bank to get there.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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