“While we do allow bicyclists, please help us keep our space peaceful for mourners.”
— River View Cemetery educational video
One of the most persistent problems in Portland bicycling is the behavior of some people who ride through River View Cemetery. The cemetery at the western end of the Sellwood Bridge provides a safe connection between Highway 43 (S Macadam) and SW Terwiliger Road. It’s a 1.6-mile oasis that we all look forward to riding on – especially because the alternative on Taylor’s Ferry Road is so terrible.
The thing is, the cemetery route is not a public road. It’s private property owned and managed by a nonprofit made up the families of people buried there. I’m not sure when they first granted public access, but you can go all the way back to April 2006 to find the first time BikePortland warned that misbehavior by bicycle riders threatened to close the route for all of us.
There’s been some progress over the years, but unfortunately the problem remains. River View has had to hire an outside firm to help beef up messaging and consider other changes to the cemetery road in order to encourage respect and rule compliance from bicycle riders.
They just released a new video (above) and have published a set of rules (below) to remind people why it’s important to slow down, stay quiet, and respect mourners and vehicle processions. Remember this is sacred ground, not a training ground.
It’s also time to put the annual Memorial Day closure of the cemetery on your calendar. Bicycling is prohibited in River View from May 28th – 31st.
We are very lucky to be able to ride through this place, let’s make sure we are responsible stewards of that privilege.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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