A popular, three-mile section of the Springwater Corridor path is closed this morning. It’s unclear which agency is responsible or how long the closure will last.
Photos tweeted by BikePortland readers this morning show a Portland Parks truck and what looks to be a park ranger along with “STREET CLOSED” signage at the main entrances on SE 4th and Ivon Street and at SE Spokane Street in Sellwood (at Sellwood Bridge).
This section of the path is a crucial link in our transportation network. Other options for bicycle users like SE Milwaukie and SE 17th avenues are much more dangerous and out-of-direction. With more people biking and walking during the coronavirus quarantine, the Springwater has become very crowded despite it not being wide enough for safe social distancing.
Despite heavy use, so far Portland Parks has opted to keep area parks, trails, and natural areas open. To handle crowds they’ve banned driving or parking on roads in 10 popular local parks, they’ve stationed “greeters” at trailheads to encourage distancing, and they’ve installed temporary signage warning people to maintain at least six feet apart.
It’s unclear how long this Springwater closure will last or what the rationale is for it. We’d expect that any full closure of this path would come with a signed and protected detour and/or more protected space to ride on parallel streets.
We’ll have more from a Parks spokesperson as soon as possible.
UPDATE, 11:14 am: Here’s the explanation from Francisca Garfia with Portland Office of Management & Finance:
“A portion of the Springwater Trail is closed for a few hours today so City staff can remove debris from a campsite previously posted for removal. Work is expected to be complete within a few hours, and no later than mid-afternoon. The trail is open except for a portion between SE 4th Avenue and Ivon Street (Holgate channel area) and Oaks Crossing.”
UPDATE, 4/17: Getting reports that it is closed again.
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Did the CoP do a detour plan and add any wayfinding signage for the closure of such an important regional link?
No. They’ve only staffed the trail entrance with Park Rangers. Local businesses were not notified either. They are definitely cleaning up as large trucks full of stuff (junk) have been driving out of the area on a regular basis for the last 3 days.
Oddly, there is also northbound trail users (bikes, peds) exiting too.
Does anyone know the status of the Willamette Greenway trail that runs on the west side? Has anyone been through Riverview Cemetery, any restrictions there?
Not today, but all open two days ago.
So they closed it for 4 hours to clean up a homeless encampment.
And as usual, this site refuses to change the lurid headline that gets everybody up in arms, and just puts a tiny update at the very end instead of the beginning like is standard.
Things like this really make me hate this site.
Yeah sorry Ron. I don’t like this site when this type of story happens either. I wanted to do something quickly and I should have waited a bit longer. These posts are messy and they actually bother me too. I will edit and clean it up a bit.
(“hate” is sort of a strong word though, isn’t it?)
The trail has been closed for 3 days now. It opens about 5pm when the clean up crews are done working and so it should be open this weekend. HOWEVER, hundreds of people have been turned away from the trail with no warning nor any clear detours. This is a transit corridor and so that means longer work commute for many people that rely on this trail segment…so it is kinda a big deal.
I can’t imagine them closing a street to clean up a campsite. Are they really that ill-prepared to clean up a trail that they have to close the entire thing down to bring in huge vehicles? I know the things they’re hauling out didn’t get there via a huge vehicle so the only reason they would need to close this is because they don’t have a few ATVs or they’re lazy. I’m pretty sure the Portland Parks and Rec has ATVs. If not they could borrow them from the police or fire departments.
I can only imagine the potential danger and insurance liability from a dump truck backing out and driving along Springwater. Totally logical call.
I love that they need defense against cyclists “Covid clouds” while cleaning up these ***deleted by moderator*** homeless camps.
The 205 MUP at Parkrose transit center is becoming another pathway of hell. Be careful out there. Peace.
Yeah, and everything was definitely brought in at the same time, too.
Having gone that route last weekend – I can assure you there was an extreme level of debris at several sites along that stretch – a few full couches on the hillside no less.
Over here in Bend, a popular bike/walk path along the river has been closed to cyclists, so that we won’t expel our breath on the walkers. I understand the logic, and Springwater is about 10X as busy as the path over here.
As of 12:45 4/17, the trail is now open.
Sorry closed again at 1:20…was that a lunch break opening?
They corridor entrance was closed around 3:15 today. I was told by a ranger that it would be open by 4:30. SO annoying.
This is an important story and I’m glad you covered it, Jonathan.
Closing Springwater Corridor to bikes – for whatever reason – is like closing I-5 to cars. Imagine the fallout if ODOT made a *discretionary* closing of I-5 with no warning. Drivers would be grabbing torches and pitchforks, yet cyclists are supposed to take it on the chin.
Highways are often closed for repairs. Would you like them to just leave the debris there.
When your regular designated travel route is closed without warning, or detours, or any other plan at all, that says ‘you don’t matter and thing you’re doing is not important’. This does’t happen on highways.