Welcome to the Comment of the Week, where we highlight good comments in order to inspire more of them. You can help us choose our next one by replying with “comment of the week” to any comment you think deserves recognition. Please note: These selections are not endorsements.
Last week, the Portland Bureau of Transportation released plans to more appropriately route truck traffic accessing the Union Pacific Annex Yard, just east of the Brooklyn neighborhood. The rerouting comes in response to the deadly crash last month involving a semi-truck at 26th and Powell.
The comments in response to our story illustrate one of the strengths of the BikePortland comment section: knowledgeable readers commenting about what they know first-hand. I spent almost an hour with a satellite map following along.
Without wanting to detract from the seriousness of the problem, much of my interest came from the fact that I used to spend a fair amount of time in this neighborhood over a decade ago, but I haven’t visited it in a long time. So Andrew’s comment pulled me back into the area. Another commenter had me trying to figure out his route to the Winterhaven School. And entrance and egress to the rail yard consumed me for several minutes.
In another words, Andrew’s comment, and the thread of responses it initiated, were interesting.
Here is what Andrew wrote:
Insane that they don’t mention anything about how Gladstone between the Annex and 26th is a Safe Route to School and a city bikeway. The city doing anything other than closing the annex completely is a total abandonment of safety for every vulnerable road user. Elementary students from the Brooklyn Neighborhood use Gladstone to get to school at Grout, and it’s the only bikeway going southeast from Brooklyn as well.
The annex does not need to exist to fully serve the rail yard, they have full access to the entire regular freight transport network via Holgate and Harold entrances. They have plenty of other routes – and just elect not to take them due to how UP choses to run the yard operations. It’s insane to suggest that we just have to keep that area of the yard open – it doesn’t serve a single industrial client directly anymore and is only used to shortcut trucks onto Powell (via 26th and Gladstone).