Large boulders installed along Springwater Corridor path parking lot to prevent car access

Boulders at SE 111th and the Springwater Corridor path (that can be seen in the lower left). (Photos: Sent in by a reader)

The Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau (PP&R) has placed about two dozen large boulders around a lot on the northwest corner of the intersection of Southeast 111th and the Springwater Corridor path (map).

A reader sent us images taken yesterday that depict a ring of boulders that prevent anyone from driving onto what was formerly a piece of land used as a parking lot to access the Springwater and Beggers Tick Wildlife Refuge. For the past several years, like many open spaces and natural areas around Portland, the lot has been used by people who live in their cars and/or in tent encampments. The person who sent us the images (who asked to remain anonymous) said they’ve seen the same type of boulder usage just south of SE Foster Road at the Brookside Wetlands area.

“That parking [at the Springwater] was a good thing for the folks that live up the hill on Mt Scott because of access issues,” the person said. “I would not take my 3 year old down Mt Scott to get there via bike. The traffic and the road grade are big factors why.”

The Springwater Corridor is owned and managed by PP&R and we’ve confirmed with a spokesperson for the agency that they installed the boulders. According to PP&R’s Mark Ross they were put in place to prevent people from driving onto the Springwater and into the natural area.

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(Photos of the lot before the boulders were installed)

People driving cars on local multi-use paths has become much more common in the past few years. So too has people living in cars and/or leaving them parted-out and abandoned on properties along parks, natural areas, and paths. Willamette Week reported in January that 1,035 people lived in their cars in Portland as of December 2021.

Screengrab from a video by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty in 2019.

PP&R has struggled with the issue of cars on their properties, because steps taken to restrict driving on paths can also make it harder for bicycle riders and other users to access them. This came to a head back in January when we reported on the poor placement of large concrete barriers on the Columbia Slough Path in north Portland that created a safety hazard for some users.

The use of boulders to prevent access to specific places has become relatively standard procedure for the Oregon Department of Transportation. It has also been controversial. When ODOT placed dozens of them to displace an encampment along I-405 in southwest Portland in 2019, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who now oversees the Bureau of Transportation, was so “outraged” by the move she filmed a video of herself standing in front of them and urged people to contact ODOT.

Also this week, a reader sent us the photo below of a poorly placed steel bollard on the west side of the North Failing Street Pedestrian overpass of I-5. It was installed by Kaiser Permanente to prevent people from driving from their parking lot onto the path and into grassy areas at the edge of their property.

New steel pole right in the middle of Failing Street bridge path.

Efforts to crack down on people using open spaces for illegal parking, driving, and camping seem to be intensifying. In February Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced a new prohibition on encampments adjacent to freeways and high crash corridors (and no, SE 111th is not one of them).

We’ve reached out to Commissioner Hardesty’s office for comment and will update this story if/when we hear back. We’ve also reached out to Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio for comment and are awaiting a reply.

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Jeff
Jeff
3 months ago

Has to be done, unfortunate that it negatively impacts riders and walkers trying to appropriately use the spaces, but no other choice.

Charley
Charley
3 months ago

It’s too bad that parking access was lost, as the anonymous person said. However, I do think it’s better on the whole that the area is now closed to motor vehicle traffic.

If it’s too dangerous for this person and their child to access the Springwater Corridor because of cars, would it not logically follow that allowing cars onto the Springwater Corridor itself would also be unsafe?

I, for one, have always been upset to find cars on the bike paths that I ride to work. I ride those paths, in part, because I’ve been hit by a car, and harassed by drivers; I use multi-use paths to avoid those dangers. I think it’s quite valid to see this as invasive, unsafe, and inconsiderate.

I’ve lately seen cars and other private property blocking ADA access to numerous sidewalks on the inner eastside, as well as parked on the grass in the Audrey McCall Beach (one must drive on the Esplanade to reach this), and I resent the private intrusion onto public property.

I think the City has made great strides on turning parking spaces (storage space for for private property) into vibrant civic spaces with its Outdoor Dining Plazas; it’s a shame for the City to ignore equivalent losses elsewhere. For that reason, as well as the obvious safety concerns, I support the placement of these boulders.

Doug Hecker
3 months ago
Reply to  Charley

Cars on the path vs cars in the proper areas are very different. I myself have called the “rangers” plenty of times for motorcycles on the trail and guess what? Nothing happens. We need answers and real solutions. Cars can access the path in a variety of different areas. Closing parking at one area doesn’t change the other problem.

Charley
Charley
3 months ago
Reply to  Doug Hecker

“Cars can access the path in a variety of different areas. Closing parking at one area doesn’t change the other problem.”

Well, I’d be happy if the city simply made it impossible or impractical for people to drive on the Springwater Corridor in general! If that requires closing off other motor vehicle entry points, I’m fully in favor.

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago
Reply to  Doug Hecker

There are a number of signs along the Springwater Trail that say motorized vehicles are prohibited. Obviously, this means cars and motorcycles. But what are electric bicycles if not motorized vehicles? Should they not also be prohibited?

HJ
HJ
3 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Morris

No, they shouldn’t. Ebikes are a tool that allows many to access cycling when they couldn’t otherwise. They don’t go any faster than a strong rider on a normal road bike. (except maybe uphill) So there is absolutely no reason to ban them. All that would accomplish is restricting access to recreational activities for the elderly, disabled, or really anyone who finds that to be the key to being able to enjoy cycling. Basically the exact folks we want to welcome into the community and encourage to use these facilities.

TheCat
TheCat
3 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Morris

The term “motorized vehicle” is too broad. I suspect its use predates modern technologies. In the 1980s, it was a catch-all for “gasoline powered vehicles.”

Damien
Damien
3 months ago
Reply to  TheCat

The term “motorized vehicle” is too broad. I suspect its use predates modern technologies. In the 1980s, it was a catch-all for “gasoline powered vehicles.”

A tidbit I learned in my time in Germany pertaining to their gun laws was that they measured what “counts”, basically, by muzzle energy (anything greater than 7.5 Joule, according to Wikipedia)

I think we’d do well to update our laws accordingly and avoid all the awkward and grey area distinctions – if your vehicle is capable of X speed/energy/etc, it’s not allowed here or is allowed there and so on, regardless of what the vehicle is or is powered by.

Charley
Charley
3 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Morris

@Bryan Morris
No.

“Motorized vehicle” is a term that people use to refer to vehicles such as passenger cars (e.g., Honda Civic), light-duty trucks (e.g., Toyota Tacoma), and heavy-duty vehicles (e.g., city buses, mobile cranes, “18 wheelers”.), as well as motorcycles. These large vehicles weigh between hundreds of pounds (motorcycles) and tons (concrete mixer). Their internal combustion engines allow them to attain maximum speeds ranging from 60 120 miles per hour.

The danger of motor vehicles can be directly attributed to the weight of the vehicle, and the great speeds that they attain. When motor vehicles impact pedestrians or other vulnerable road users, the results are often catastrophic.

When most people are referring to E-bikes, they’re referring to a bicycle with an electronic motor, often an E-assist motor, which only works to assist the pedaling action of the rider. These bikes often weigh in the neighborhood of 40-50 pounds, which is almost always less than the weight of their rider. Their maximum speed is usually around 20 miles per hour, though downhill slopes would allow greater speeds, just as with any bicycle.

Given that the weight of an E-bike is usually lesser than that of its rider, and that the speeds attained are not greater than that of fit cyclists without a motor, E-bikes do not pose the same risks as motorized vehicles.

For this reason, E-bikes are subject to less stringent regulation. That’s quite logical and reasonable.

Thus, E-bikes should not be banned from the Springwater Corridor and other multi-use paths.

soren
3 months ago
Reply to  Charley

I guess you missed the bike portland piece that explains how it is unambiguously illegal to ride an e-bike on the Springwater and other parks and recreation multi-use paths:

Yes, City Code (PCC 20.12.170.D) does prohibit e-bikes from operating on park property, unless being used as an electric mobility device. That includes trails like the Eastbank Esplanade and Springwater and other properties managed by PP&R. This has been the case for years.

https://bikeportland.org/2018/09/18/city-says-e-bike-use-on-park-paths-is-a-violation-but-its-not-enforced-289611

From the tone of your post it seems that you too are an inveterate and unapologetic bike scofflaw. Welcome to the club, Charley!

Charley
Charley
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

Missed it or not, my comment only conveys my prescriptive opinion that, because of their relative lack of risk, E-bikes “E-bikes should not be banned from the Springwater Corridor and other multi-use paths.” And, while I don’t own one, you’re right that I’d ride it on the paths if I did. 🙂

dwk
dwk
3 months ago
Reply to  Charley

Sorry Charley…. I was hit by an ebike while walking on the Tillicum bridge and it is way worse than a normal bicycle. The guy was going 25mph uphill and out of control because he just bought his new toy..
There are models out now that are basically just electric motorcycles, they should be in the 25mph highway lanes NOT on bike paths.

Charley
Charley
3 months ago
Reply to  dwk

No need to apologize to me! I agree that there should be some reasonable limitations on the exact kinds of technology that would qualify as an E-bike, and limitations on the kinds of technology we should allow on paths.

On the other hand, your case might be rare, at this point, and people on regular bikes get pretty fast simply going downhill on the Tilikum Bridge. I once saw a man hauled off of that bridge the in an ambulance: he was going downhill and rammed into the railing. No regulation could have prevented that, only better riding behavior.

Safety Consultant
Safety Consultant
3 months ago
Reply to  Charley

There was a story about that bridge here on BP right after it opened. A video showed a pedestrian walk from behind an obstacle without looking and was nailed by a cyclist. I think there were injuries.

Caleb
Caleb
3 months ago
Reply to  Charley

I fully agree with you Charley. I’m by no means a fit pro, but even I can get past 30 mph on flat ground without any motor. I also remember a young man pedaling a non-e-bike downhill killed an old man pedestrian in San Francisco about a decade ago. The e-bike is not to blame for one’s brash incompetence.

Safety Consultant
Safety Consultant
3 months ago
Reply to  Charley

Agree that e-bikes should be treated the same as regular bikes. Both have an obligation to ride safely and should be able to share bike paths with no problems.

The danger of motor vehicles on bike trails has little to do with their weight or speed – the problem is they take up the whole trail endangering other users.

Off topic a little, but it is true that cycling is more dangerous than driving a car according to the CDC. I admit that I’ve had a LOT more bike wrecks than car wrecks even though I’ve driven about a hundred+ times as many miles as I’ve ridden.
https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/bicycle/index.html

As far as car and homeless camps ruining the trailheads and many other places in PDX, most reading this website voted directly for that exact result. Maybe they haven’t realized the cause and effect relationship yet; if so, that does not bode well for the future. Expect much worse before it gets better:

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/criminal-tourists-target-wealthy-american-neighborhoods

Granpa
Granpa
3 months ago

I have been involved in noxious weed removal at Beggars Tick wetland. My (past) frequent use of the Springwater and works toward its betterment gave me a feeling of pride and stewardship. I am glad the city is taking steps to discourage use of this public space by people who degrade the commons and who render the park unusable to people with forthright intentions

Doug Hecker
3 months ago
Reply to  Granpa

Do you think it will be anymore usable with people being able to park their vehicles along SE 111th? They’ve literally answers nothing and your work, just like that of the Friends of the Springwater isn’t even break even. I honestly can’t even take them seriously. We need solutions, this is not one.

Safety Consulatant
Safety Consulatant
3 months ago
Reply to  Doug Hecker

***[MODERATOR: deleted, repetitive.]***

PTB
PTB
3 months ago

Beggars Tick, which I ride and/or run by on a weekly basis, is trashed. I ran back through the little loop there; full of camps and couches and carts and dismantled electronics, etc. It sucks and I’m really low on empathy (or is it sympathy?) All the work that the city and volunteers have put into trying to restore the floodplain around Johnson Creek has been fully undone. Foster floodplains, Brookside wetlands, other areas along the Springwater; absolutely trashed. Totally unacceptable and you can choose your own reason why. There are several to pick from. My concern is the environment so I’m going with that one. I’m glad these boulders are there. This has been a car dumping site for the last couple years. I now, weekly, see autos on the Springwater and 205 paths. It’s madness. JM, remember the not too distant past when some maniac would end up on the 205 path or something and you’d do a BP article? If you did that now you’d never write about anything else. Driving on these trails is just the norm now. I hate where we are.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  PTB

I have it on good authority that cars on MUPs are acceptable, so long as they’re driven safely.

https://bikeportland.org/2021/09/20/video-bike-thru-north-greeley-avenue-338356#comment-7433509

Safety Consultant
Safety Consultant
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Hilarious! Good find!
PS Are you related to 9Watts?

Watts
Watts
3 months ago

Not to my knowledge!

Doug Hecker
3 months ago

If east Portland is supposed to believe that equity is a real item to be discussed then let me know all the other parks that receive this treatment. I’ll wait.

maxD
maxD
3 months ago
Reply to  Doug Hecker

Here is an example from North Portland: all of the parking has been removed from the access points to the trail on Swan Island. There is no public parking and no safe way to get their by bike.

maxD
maxD
3 months ago

I am thrilled to City take a pro-active step to protecting our substantial investments in our public natural spaces. These are being occupied and trashed. The cars and permanent camps remind of the Malheur occupation. A few people who feel entitled to permamently takeover private land and refuse any restrictions/ guidance/limits/oversight.

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago
Reply to  maxD

It’s actually public land, not private. Otherwise, I agree with you.

Security Consultant
Security Consultant
3 months ago
Reply to  maxD

If you are referring to the occupation of the ranger station or whatever it was, that was public land. I can’t remember the details, but I think they were protesting harsh punishment for someone who set fire to a few acres (5 or 10?) of Bureau of Land Management sagebrush – can’t remember the reasoning or if it was on purpose or accidental – it wasn’t a big deal. Seems like the punishment was a bit over-the-top so they may have had legitimate reason to be pizzed off. I thought those guys were mostly acquitted of their charges but there may have been one or two that got some jail time. FYI, when government gets out of control, here in the USA WE THE PEOPLE have been known to whip their azzes. See 1776 – that practice is what enables us the freedom to sit and beatch here on BP:

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

After writing that document, WE THE PEOPLE killed 25,000 tyrants from Britain, establishing the greatest and freest nation to ever exist on the planet. No other has come close to this day.

https://historyofmassachusetts.org/british-soldiers-revolutionary-war/#:~:text=How%20Many%20British%20Soldiers%20Died,and%20those%20who%20remained%20missing.

Dwk
Dwk
3 months ago

No big deal…
They only trashed a federal refuge , one of them was shot and killed…
Maybe a little research on your part about domestic right wing terrorists…

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago

Found the magabilly!

Watts
Watts
3 months ago

…in 2019, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who now oversees the Bureau of Transportation, was so “outraged” by the move she filmed a video of herself standing in front of them and urged people to contact ODOT.

I’ve noticed that many things that seem “outrageous” to activists turn out to be “necessary” once they get power. Maybe some of the folks in power are not actually evil, and may, occasionally, actually make the right decisions even if it is not what activists demand (like closing all major arterials to make camping along them safer).

Not an anti-Hardesty (or anti-anything) comment, just an observation.

Phil
Phil
3 months ago

At least this an admission from a city Bureau that it takes more than a strip of white paint to stop cars.

jonno
jonno
3 months ago
Reply to  Phil

Indeed. What we need is citywide boulder equity!

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
3 months ago
Reply to  jonno

Don’t look now, they are working on forming a Boulder Equity Committee right now that’ll take a few years to publish a report that the politicians will ignore.
/s

Security Consultant
Security Consultant
3 months ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

It will only cost $10,000,000 and a new equity tax will be implemented to pay for it.

joan
3 months ago

Until our city creates more housing for people, we aren’t solving the real problems with actions like this; we are just pushing our most vulnerable neighbors elsewhere. Because people are going to go somewhere.

Frank Perillo
Frank Perillo
3 months ago
Reply to  joan

Sorry, these aren’t my “neighbors”. We are not solving real problems with language like that.

X
X
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank Perillo

In the USA one of our freedoms is to not give a damn what Jesus said. So, OK.

I haven’t been in a church for years, maybe since my brother’s wedding, but the Samaritan story is indelible. YMMV

Matt
Matt
3 months ago
Reply to  X

Not sure what Jesus and church have to do with stopping drug addicts and criminals from destroying everyone else’s quality of life.

Security Consultant
Security Consultant
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt

***[MODERATOR: deleted, repetitive]***

soren
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt

drug addicts and criminals from destroying everyone else’s quality of life

Are we talking about homeowners again?

They are definitely destroying the quality of life in this city, ATMO.

Sigma
Sigma
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

I sure hate it when “homeowners” stick a needle in my arm. It’s the worst!

JP
JP
3 months ago
Reply to  Sigma

Wait, are you saying that homeless folks are sticking needles in other people’s arms?

Granpa
Granpa
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

Yeah. Homeowners with their arrogant tidy properties and selfishly paying taxes. Next thing you know they will support local businesses, public schools or become gainfully employed. Homeowners are the worst. /s

Frank Perillo
Frank Perillo
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

I assume you’re just being sarcastic right? If not, I’d say the little experiment in planned anarchy is turning out to be a miserable failure.

Chris I
Chris I
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank Perillo

It’s basically self-parody at this point.

Let's Active
Let's Active
3 months ago
Reply to  joan

More housing for people is a great idea but will take a long time. In the short term I applaud this Parks action to try to take back our open spaces. They are trashed and twiddling our thumbs is only going to make it worse.

Doug Hecker
Doug Hecker
3 months ago
Reply to  Let's Active

Taking back? They haven’t moved anyone from these sensitive areas. Until that happens this is just a good ole Pat in the back from folks who have a poor understanding of what is really happening.

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago
Reply to  joan

Mandatory locked down drug rehab needs to come before housing or job transition services. The area this article is about was being used as an auto stripping and drug sales lot before the boulders were put in place.

X
X
3 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Morris

That is called jail.

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago
Reply to  X

I wasn’t referring to jail since it doesn’t offer drug rehab. On the other hand, jail is a good place for criminals to be housed.

Norman
Norman
3 months ago
Reply to  joan

Oregon ranked last statewide in 2020 for access to treatment for drug addiction. Housing first advocates seem to only want to spend on housing. Housing is expensive. Money would be better spent on mental health, drug treatment, and temporary shelter. What we’re doing right now isn’t working.

fishyfishy123
fishyfishy123
3 months ago
Reply to  Norman

Treatment programs aren’t successful without stable housing.

Norman
Norman
3 months ago
Reply to  fishyfishy123

What treatment programs? Oregon has less acesss to drug addiction programs than any other state- at least as of 2020. All the money gets taken up by housing and it’s not making a dent in the homeless population.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
3 months ago
Reply to  fishyfishy123

And doing nothing isn’t successful either.
I’m so tired of our elected officials not doing anything because they are so afraid what they put forward fails. For them it has to be a perfect solution.
I’d just like them to start working towards something. It doesn’t have to be everything all at once, but it sure has to start somewhere.

Security Consultant
Security Consultant
3 months ago
Reply to  joan

“Cities”, or governments in general, do not create anything but paperwork and taxes. Occasionally they will hire a contractor to fill some potholes, fix a leaking water main, etc. Governments take from tax payers, waste half of it on inefficient day-to-day practices, hiring unneeded bureaucrats, etc, then waste another 40% on lavish pensions, and if you’re lucky, 10% will go toward the intended purpose, but more commonly, that 10% actually will be spent on projects that will make the “problem” much worse than before. Sad reality.

Granpa
Granpa
3 months ago

Public schools, fire departments, safety enforcement through zoning & building standards, clean air and water, police, the courts & penal system, transportation system, professional licensing, food safety, civil rights, national defense and social safety nets. I contend that government does provide many services which are important.

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent)
Editor
Reply to  Granpa

… scientific research–decades of NIH-funded RNA research–but of course, much more than just that.

Tommy C
Tommy C
3 months ago

Classic horseshoe theory, you’ve gone so far radical-left that you’ve would up indistinguishable from the libertarians. Not at all shocking when absolutism like “abolish police” and “end history” get promoted as valid, realistic ideas. Now we’re supposed to dump civilization and live a fantasy version of nomadic hunter / gatherer? Save your keystrokes.

Caleb
Caleb
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommy C

I don’t at all support what Security Consultant said, but horseshoe theory applied to the polity is pure false conflation. If you weren’t aware, there are both left and right libertarians, but they aim for different ends.

Michelle Loffler
Michelle Loffler
3 months ago

My recollection is that Kaiser paved that piece of dirt and over their curb as a courtesy; it’s not part of an official path.

ActualPractical
ActualPractical
3 months ago

Saw a car right on the eastbank esplanade north of omsi gate. By far the 2nd most surprising thing on my ride though! Someone decided to dump wet paint all over the west side of the steel bridge. I was too busy looking forward to seeing cherry blossoms to notice. “Got” to spend an hour cleaning my bike when I got home

As always, still a great day when I can ride, but, sadly, not something I’d bring the kids on.

fishyfishy123
fishyfishy123
3 months ago

Ugh, yeah I hit that paint today too – rode all the way to Hawthorne bridge on the grass to get it off my tires. The cherry blossoms were even better slowly biking between the two rows of trees though!

Deborah
Deborah
3 months ago

I encourage folks here to check out the campaign of Sharia Mayfield. She is running for Multnomah County Chair. All the others running for that position have failed to house people sufficiently, during our eight years of declared homeless emergency, and none of them will commit to requiring people to move into available shelters when they are available. All of the others running opposed using Wapato as homeless shelter. Now it is a shelter (run privately) and successful.

In conversation with Sharia, she is smart, clear, honest and compassionate. She is also firm and, talks about legal tools that would allow us to civilly commit people who are in need of mental health care. In my opinion, she’s the best to lead Multnomah County, which has the most money and the major responsibility to house people. (The city is a partner in this, but most of the money from your taxes is located in the Multnomah County purse.)

All of the other Multnomah County Commissioners are willing to wait until we have “housing first” which will take 10-20 years. None of them have a sense of urgency. (Meiran is a little better actually, but not firm enough and not willing to stick her neck out.)

https://votemayfield.com/

Security Consultant
Security Consultant
3 months ago
Reply to  Deborah

Website says she has worked for police de-certification, criminal defense, criminal appeals, employment discrimination, construction defect defense, cannabis business law, and civil rights.

That type of thing is the problem – we don’t need more of that – we need police certification, criminal prosecution, construction defect prosecution, illegal alien prosecution, drug crime prosecution, and a whole lot more.

Less molly-coddling please! Let’s solve some problems, not make them worse!

Watts
Watts
3 months ago

You say criminal defense, appeals, fighting against discrimination and for civil rights as if they are bad things. I do not concur.

Caleb
Caleb
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Agreed. Security Consultant appears to lack the knowledge that prosecutorial misconduct exists and is widespread.

pdx_van_life
pdx_van_life
3 months ago

A cheap tow chain and van/truck will push those rocks aside in 15-20 minutes.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
3 months ago
Reply to  pdx_van_life

So nothing should be done then if it’s not a 100% perfect solution?

Please do enlighten us on what YOU would do??? What’s your PERFECT solution?

pdx_van_life
pdx_van_life
3 months ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

The perfect solution would be to remove the rocks so that my neighbors can camp along the trail.

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago
Reply to  pdx_van_life

Yeah, no. We’ve had enough of addicts setting up drug camps, bike chop shops, car stripping operations and leaving used syringes, feces, broken glass, and burned out stripped cars all over our MUPs and other public spaces.

Security Consultant
Security Consultant
3 months ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

PERFECT solution? Vote out the political party that is causing the decay.

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago

I agree. That’s why I never vote for Republicans.

Lazy Spinner
Lazy Spinner
3 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Morris

Isn’t this the very crux of the problem? One party (the one in power) does nothing but wring their hands, fretting every little detail of a proposed solution so that perfect becomes the enemy of good and nothing gets done.

The opposition party has fast become dominated by heartless sociopaths that wish to employ cruelty as the only “solution” to complex social issues or think that taxing the “haves” less will somehow magically assist the “have nots”.

This is why Portland and the State of Oregon are fundamentally broken.

John
John
3 months ago
Reply to  pdx_van_life

Yep. I’ve seen “campers” on the SE Springwater actively remove the boulders as well as cut the chain/lock on the bollards. Our collective public space is unsafe and an absolute shitshow.

HJ
HJ
3 months ago

The cars on paths are a major problem. I fully support any action that will eliminate it. Boulderpalooza? Sounds good. It sucks that parking space to access these facilities gets messed up, especially for those of us who live in areas that make driving to them the only sane choice, but it’s a problem I’m willing to put up with to get the cars off the paths. We have to have somewhere safe to ride and these cars are extremely dangerous and in my experience are only being used to fuel activity such as drugs, prostitution, and theft. Yes, I have witnessed all of this first-hand. I for one am beyond tired of dealing with our once lovely infrastructure becoming downright dangerous.

Doug Hecker
3 months ago
Reply to  HJ

The boulders don’t stop people from driving on the path. They literally can do that in multiple locations without and issue. Folks act like people can’t move boulders… lol. Especially single file ones. Not realizing what people can do is the same reason the city, county, and state are in the position they are in. They think one way and the people they are trying to reach think much differently.

Matt S.
Matt S.
3 months ago
Reply to  Doug Hecker

Sounds like the city needs to use larger boulders.

Doug Hecker
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt S.

Or just let people drive on the trail in exchange for Division upgrades? Lol.

James Conelrad
James Conelrad
3 months ago

Look at the photos. Allowing homeless people to do whatever they please to any public property is having serious impact everyone’s quality of life. I’ve already given up on riding the 205 path because of trash, debris, blockages and hostile behavior. Also hate having to inhale second-hand smoke from a meth pipe or pills being burned on tinfoil. Off-street trails in Portland are incredibly sad.

JJ Cutler
JJ Cutler
3 months ago

Perhaps we should discuss how Jonathan Maus is now censoring the BikePortland forums. You can no longer describe an obviously stolen bike as stolen or insinuate that a huge pile of disassembled bikes being destroyed in a squalid camp is anything less than just good people doing good things with their own property. It’s a laughably obvious political agenda of disinformation and doublethink.

It’s time for cyclists to turn away from BikePortland as a voice for positive change. Maus has made it clear that he is fine with the activities that are destroying our cycling and walking infrastructure. It’s a baffling and offensive position to take, and it wasn’t always like that.

Remember when this sort of thing was rare? Contrast the above with this article from 2017:

https://bikeportland.org/2017/07/11/rider-calls-police-after-being-forced-off-i-205-path-by-truck-driver-234385

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent)
Editor
Reply to  JJ Cutler

We try hard to provide a platform which presents a range of opinions and discussions, and which facilitates informative exchanges between our readers. All comments pass through a moderator. We step in when comments become toxic, hurtful, or otherwise would inhibit the lively exchange of ideas. More art than science, I’m sure we don’t always get it just right.

With elections coming up we have to be extra vigilant because it is easy for one person to dominate the site with a single issue that suits their needs. That’s a disservice to our readers.

I don’t moderate the Forums, but I imagine it is the same standard. I think BP does a pretty good job of passing the mic around.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago

We step in when comments become toxic, hurtful, or otherwise would inhibit the lively exchange of ideas.

And you generally achieve one of the most positive and open comment boards around. I don’t agree with every decision, but I think overall y’all are doing a great job.

soren
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

most positive and open comment boards

The comments on this piece are hardly that. Imagine how someone who has been or is housing insecure might feel from the cesspit of malevolence and intolerance up-thread.

Granpa
Granpa
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

As someone familiar with the cool flush of liquid flowing up the arm as chilled saline and red blood cells replace my just sold plasma i will chime in. I lived in a van, got hassled by locals and got out of that life. This someone, rather than pedantic moralizing, can separate unfortunate houselessness from criminal behavior. The posters on this thread don’t see “leave no trace” campers but, bemoan the loss of public amenities to criminals. Of course not all homeless are criminals but it is willful ignorance to deny that criminals are well represented in homeless camps. Society must help lift up those who want better but those who don’t, society should treat them according to the law.

soren
3 months ago
Reply to  Granpa

Society must help lift up those who want better…

I see little evidence for this kind of empathy in these comments. Moreover, there is no real safety net in the USA so the idea that this society is kind and empathetic is simply not true. It seems to me that the response of most ‘murricans to those who need “lifting up” ranges from “get out of my neighborhood” to FYIGM.

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent)
Editor
Reply to  soren

Thank you for your comment Grandpa. I agree with you. I know three people (at least) who are “housing insecure.” One of them is an acquaintance, a “leave no trace” man who has camped in the woods for as long as I’ve been here, which is 20 years. People hire him for odd jobs, he seems to do OK, and he’s living how he wants to.

Another acquaintance always lived on the margin, but a stroke left him unable to make money the way he used to. He got a lot of help from people who knew him–a big name attorney worked pro-bono to release his retirement money, another man helped him understand is finances, I paid for motel rooms a couple of times, as well as his heart medicine for a few years. He’s now in subsidized housing, but it took a lot of people helping (including city services and non-profits) to finally get him there.

Another man, a friend of mine, has always managed to find a cheap apartment and car, but he is one illness away from everything falling apart. The illness happened last fall, people helped.

So yes, Soren, our social safety net is abysmal, but many people aren’t heartless, many do help when presented with a specific situation. But we probably agree, private charity does not make up for a public safety net.

Policy? well seems like a lot of people have trouble with abstraction. I had a bigot for a freshman roommate, yet for all her bigotry in the abstract, she was the one who was friends with, and sophomore year chose to be roommates with, a shy Black woman, and a woman from Puerto Rico. Go figure.

Sigma
Sigma
3 months ago

Thank you for those details, Lisa. Unfortunately, nuance does not fit into Soren’s worldview that he alone is the paragon of virtue, and everyone else is responsible for all of the world’s problems.

soren
3 months ago
Reply to  Sigma

I live in the USA so I am far more to blame for the world’s problems than most human beings.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

I live in the USA so I am far more to blame for the world’s problems than most human beings.

Just as I don’t blame individual Russians for their government’s actions, you are only responsible for the choices you make. Inherited, collective, and other forms of non-individualized guilt have no place in the modern world.

soren
3 months ago

private charity does not make up for a public safety net

I think the idea (mythology) of “private charity” in the USA undermines support for a social safety net.

Serenity
Serenity
3 months ago

No, many people aren’t heartless. Many will help, or at least try to help.

Watts
Watts
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

Imagine how someone who has been or is housing insecure might feel from the cesspit of malevolence and intolerance up-thread.

I would hope that such a person might realize that the malevolence and intolerance aren’t for those “unfortunate houselessness” (to use Granpa’s phrase) who find themselves on the street, but for those who victimize others and destroy everything around them.

Most of us see these as distinct groups. I suspect people living on the street do too.

Caleb
Caleb
3 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I think you’re correct, Watts, but I also agree with soren, because commenters wielding that malevolence and intolerance so often don’t specify their targets and therefore can give the impression they don’t consider or aren’t aware of the “unfortunate houseless”. I say that thinking not only of this thread, but many others, as well.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

Ah yes, the Avatar of tolerance has spoken.

Caleb
Caleb
3 months ago

I don’t know what you mean by this comment. Would you please explain?

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
3 months ago
Reply to  Caleb

It nested very poorly. Was a response to Soren.

Caleb
Caleb
3 months ago

I knew it was a response to Soren, so your answer hasn’t helped me understand your comment at all.

soren
3 months ago
Reply to  Caleb

Personal attacks are the last resort of those who have deeply held beliefs that are unsupported by logic or evidence.

dwk
dwk
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

I agree, why do label all homeowners with a broad disparaging brush Mister Pot?

soren
3 months ago
Reply to  dwk

That was sarcastic mirroring of similar broad brush labeling of houseless people up thread. It’s revealing of bias that some objected to my broad brush stereotypes but not to those I was imitating.

Steve Hash
Steve Hash
3 months ago

Be homeless, TBH I don’t care why, there is plenty of help available. Just stop stealing my stuff, keep the MUPs clear and clean up after yourself.

TJ
TJ
3 months ago

Cars (operated by housed or houseless — idk/idc) have gummed-up large sections of the Peninsula Crossing Path with a greasy, chunky muck after even a light rain. The special slop is not so bothersome with clearance (expect juicy skids without fenders). However, the path is a potential show stopping mess via short reach caliper road bikes. I get Portland in March, but paved neighborhood MUPs should be short reach friendly.

My take is cars just don’t work on the paths — not for path users or for folks camping. Maybe if cars accessed path and were parked until dry conditions. What does not work: multiple trips from mud to path, special deliveries, u-turns, sliding on-and-off path to pass another car, ditching stolen cars, and open access for non-campers who enjoy the simple pleasures of joyride mudding (’cause that is for sure happening).

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago
Reply to  TJ

Cars, motorcycles, atvs, other motor vehicles, and drug camps don’t belong on our MUPs or other public spaces period. They should removed immediately and prevented from returning.

Jer
Jer
3 months ago

The root is clearly hate policy and wealth inequality, these “issues” are symptoms. Nothing good will happen unless the people with influence choose to cultivate health and well being for everyone. Also people are addicted to cars, of course they want to drive them literally everywhere. America, land of the drive-thru, where even bicycle infrastructure is designed for motorists convenience first. haha WTF.

soren
3 months ago
Reply to  Jer

Nothing good will happen unless the people with influence choose to cultivate health and well being for everyone.

In this anocracy the “people with influence”* have no incentive to “cultivate health and well being for everyone” because they benefit enormously from the status quo.

*For example: homeowners in Portland.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
3 months ago
Reply to  soren

Just curious…do you own a home?

soren
3 months ago

If I did, I would feel a modicum of shame over participating in a rigged housing system that prioritizes rent seeking over shelter.

Bryan Morris
Bryan Morris
3 months ago
Reply to  Jer

Baloney. The root problem is drug addiction, pure and simple.

Matt
Matt
3 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Morris

Exactly. And this is why our MUPs are lost forever.

Serenity
Serenity
3 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Morris

Drug addiction is root problem? Of everything, you mean? I see. How did you come to that brilliant conclusion?

soren
3 months ago
Reply to  Serenity

Heartlessness.