— This is a guest article from Brooklyn neighborhood resident John Karabaic.
On Saturday, November 19, 2022, nine volunteers with the Brooklyn Action Corps removed wet, slippery leaves and trimmed low-hanging branches that narrowed the walkway and interfered with users of the SE 9th Street Overpass at SE Powell Blvd. They also removed dirt and vegetation that was narrowing the sidewalk near the TriMet 19 bus stop in front of the south ramp of the bridge.
Since Brooklyn is surrounded on three sides by major urban highways and on one by railroad tracks, the SE 9th Street overpass is a critical piece of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in and out of the neighborhood. Stephen and Irene Bachhuber, along with other neighbors, have been regularly cleaning the overpass and trimming vegetation for years. They’ve led the effort to keep this bridge safe and usable all year round.
Volunteer and BAC Board member Cheryl Crowe was shocked when she discovered that the sidewalk in front of the south ramp of the bridge didn’t have a grass strip next to the bridge ramp. It just had years of accumulated dirt and leaves that made it look like it was planted and made the sidewalk unnecessarily narrow next to an urban highway and bus stop. Volunteers cleaned some of it up, but have more to do. There are some uneven areas of the sidewalk that need to be fixed and we need to remove more vegetation past the bus stop.
On Saturday, the volunteers even made it safe for tall bikes to pass under the trees!
BAC Board member and volunteer Guy Berliner was leading a BAC neighborhood beautification initiative. After helping to clean up, he seeded the slope with a native Pacific Northwest wildflower blend. Next spring, bridge users will see the colorful results of that effort.
If you live in or around the Brooklyn area and want to get involved with similar efforts in the future, visit Brooklyn-Neighborhood.org.