New piece of South Waterfront Greenway path now open

Looking north. That’s Ross Island Bridge in the background. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

A new section of the South Waterfront Greenway was recently completed. The Willamette Tower development triggered construction of a 700-foot path that closes a gap in the greenway between Old Spaghetti Factory (S Lowell St) and a quarter-mile section completed in 2015 between S Lane and S Gibbs streets.

Along with a 12-foot wide path for cycling and other vehicles, there’s a separate path for walkers. The paths are clearly defined with different colors and a planted median. As with any new greenway development they’ve also fully restored the riverbank with attractive plantings and there are high quality furnishings where you can sit and take in the view.

What makes this section of path so nice is its proximity to Ross Island. When I was out there on Friday I was amazed how many birds I saw and heard.

This completion of this path means all that’s left to complete the greenway is redevelopment of the 30-acre Zidell Yards property. Once that happens, we’ll have a continuous riverfront path from northwest Portland (near the Fremont Bridge) all the way to the Sellwood Bridge.

There’s already a master plan on the books for the Zidell parcel and the land-use review process is moving forward. Once all the permits are approved it will likely be several years before construction begins and we make the final connection under the Ross Island Bridge to existing streets and paths near at the western landing of the Tilikum Crossing.

If you’d like to access this path from the north, head to South Waterfront via SW Moody then take a left to go east on S Whitaker. That will take you to the river and you’ll find this new section if you head south a bit from Whitaker.

For more on this path, see the video below (sorry the last few seconds are cut off). And go ride it when you can!

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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mhl@mlinehan.us
mhl@mlinehan.us
2 months ago

The video cuts off at the end.

I was looking for info on how to access the new section from the north, given the current Zidell grap.

Ken
Ken
2 months ago

Wouldn’t you need to use Curry, because of the one-way system?

qqq
qqq
1 month ago

Too bad it cuts off suddenly, but the part that’s completed is great!

That’s actually quite appropriate for a video about this path.

maccoinnich
2 months ago

I’m reminded of how in 2016 the Oregonian described the northern section as a “pathway to nowhere”. Well, it took another 7 years, and 3 separately built sections, but there’s now one three miles of continuous trial from South Waterfront to the Sellwood Bridge. Hopefully the gap at Zidell gets filled sooner rather than later.

Charley
Charley
2 months ago
Reply to  maccoinnich

Today’s pathway to nowhere may very well be tomorrow’s beautiful and useful riverfront transportation amenity!

dw
dw
2 months ago

Very cool to see. I think this is important for recreation/livability reasons but would still love to see a more direct bike route through this part of town. The current path is needlessly winding and really narrow.

Daniel Reimer
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

100%, not to mention the really poor connectivity from the path to the businesses on Macadam and the rest of the neighborhood.

Happy Guy PDX
Happy Guy PDX
2 months ago

Something positive in Portland. Good to see this!

Fred
Fred
2 months ago

I love how the photo shows the clearly delineated bicycle path and pedestrian walkway – and there’s still a guy walking on the bike path!

Even when bikes finally have their own dedicated paths, people still don’t respect them.

Clark in Vancouver
Clark in Vancouver
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

It’s probably less lack of respect and more just being unaware. People will learn which path is for which activity. Having one be asphalt and the other concrete is a good way to make it really easy and it becomes intuitive after awhile.

VB
VB
2 months ago

Yes! Love to see this. Much safer route for OHSU folks heading south along the river

Jj
Jj
2 months ago

Is the zidell portion poachable?

Charley
Charley
2 months ago
Reply to  Jj

That would depend on how you feel about dragging a bike behind you while swimming.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Charley

No problem!

comment image

Jeff Rockshoxworthy
Jeff Rockshoxworthy
2 months ago

Along with a 12-foot wide path for cycling and other vehicles, there’s a separate path for walkers. The paths are clearly defined with different colors and a planted median. 

Not sure why they always give bikes asphalt and pedestrians cement. Walking / jogging on asphalt is much more forgiving on the knees, so no doubt there will be pedestrians in the “bike” area.

Clark in Vancouver
Clark in Vancouver
1 month ago

I’m very impressed. Good delineation of different modes, pretty scenery, etc. Once you have a complete set of paths the whole length of the river, it’ll become something tourists must do when they visit Portland. Rent bikes and do the river path, then go to Powell’s.

Charles Kuttner
Charles Kuttner
1 month ago

Lovely description and path! It’s so new that there’s not even any goose poop there yet!
I try to do all my riding on car-free paths. I have lost too many friends to drivers.