The latest chapter in our chronicle of vehicular violence and the threat of people intentionally driving their cars into vulnerable road users comes from just across Portland city limits in Gresham. And what’s even more cause for concern this time around is that it involves an employee of the City of Gresham Transportation Division.
According to a story published yesterday in The Gresham Outlook, Gresham TD Field Operations Supervisor Doug Holley is under investigation for having a large sticker in the window of his personal vehicle that read, “All Lives Splatter: Nobody Cares About Your Protest.” The sticker included an image of an SUV running over people.
Here’s more form the Outlook: [Read more…]
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office announced a 24-month prison sentence to the man who killed 21-year-old Robert Esparza in 2016.
According to a statement released this afternoon, 75-year-old Alex Jacoby was driving his Corvette nearly 80 mph when as raced down NE Glisan Street in the early morning hours. Esparza was in a marked Gresham-Fairview Trail crossing prior to the collision.
“During the investigation, the East County Vehicular Crimes Team learned that moments prior to the crash,” reads the statement, “The defendant had aggressively challenged two other drivers to a street race. When he was unable to convince those other drivers to race, Jacoby sped off at a very high rate of speed.”
Multnomah County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kirsten Snowden, who prosecuted this case, said Esparza would not have been hit if Jacoby was driving the speed limit of 40 mph.
A 23-year-old Portland resident has been arrested due to his role in the death of a bicycle rider on Sunday evening.
Gresham Police have charged Kurtis Linn with DUII, Reckless Driving and Manslaughter in the 2nd degree. According to The Oregonian, Linn was driving his Chevy Blazer at nearly twice the speed limit and after consuming two drinks at a local bar prior to the collision.
Linn says he was racing another auto user and lost control of his car, then slammed into another car before he struck and killed Albert Sawdon who was bicycling in the bike lane.
The family of Robert Esparza will be on the Gresham-Fairview Trail late afternoon Sunday to call attention to bicycling awareness, organ donation and Esparza’s life.
Esparza, 21, was hit by a Corvette on Sept. 24 of last year while biking through the marked crosswalk near 200th and Glisan at 3:30 a.m. The alleged driver was Alex Jacoby. Esparza, a 2013 Gresham high school graduate, had been on the way to his shift as a welder for medical equipment maker CAPSA Solutions.
Esparza’s sister Janelle Ramirez said in an interview Thursday that she and her family will set up a table, bottled water, cookies and pictures of her brother from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Facebook event here.) She expected other family members, friends and supporters to be there or stop by too, though no particular speech or moment is planned.
“I kind of just thought we could talk to people as they approach if they’re interested,” Ramirez said. “I just want a way to recognize him.”
Here’s a sign that support for carfree urban spaces is growing: The main organizer of Gresham’s first-ever open streets event is its chamber of commerce.
Gresham is Portland’s eastern neighbor. On Sunday June 18th, from 10am to 2pm, the city will host what they hope becomes an annual Father’s Day tradition: an event they call Sunday Parkway. Inspired by Portland’s similarly named events that began nine years ago, the Gresham version will offer a relatively carfree, 8-mile loop with three “pit stops” where people can enjoy food, live entertainment, activities and more.
Here’s how they describe it:
Feel comfortable, safe and enjoy walking, strolling, bicycling and rolling along the city’s beautiful trail system and historic downtown… Slow down, play on our trails, connect with your neighbors, meet new friends and have fun on the trail…
Gresham Chamber of Commerce CEO Lynn Snodgrass told us she thinks it’s completely natural for her group to spearhead this event. She sees it simply as a way to have fun and promote the beauty of her city.
The City of Gresham is more worried about the potential impacts of illegal camping along a path than they are about the benefits of closing a major gap in the 40-Mile Loop.
After Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis* announced his opposition to the Troutdale to Gresham Master Plan last week, Metro has decided to postpone a scheduled planning meeting for the project and they will not move forward with planning in Gresham. The news was first reported by the Gresham Outlook.
“While I have always been a fan of recreational amenities and I enjoy running regularly on the trail, I cannot in good conscience support this proposal at this point in time,” Bemis shared on his Facebook page last week. “There are far too many chronic issues currently extending along the entire trail alignment.”
Filling a six-mile gap between Troutdale and Gresham would put a serious dent in the “40-mile Loop” — a trail concept that’s been in regional planning dreams for well over a century. And Metro is creating a plan to do just that.
But where some see an historic opportunity for a new, low-stress place to walk and roll, others see a perfect place for people who live outside to pitch tents and build encampments. [Read more…]
The Gresham Police Department reported on Sunday that a 22-year-old Portland woman is recovering after she alleged she was sexually assaulted Friday afternoon (3/18). The suspect is still at large.
Though it’s possible to get between central Gresham and the Springwater Corridor by bike lane, there’s never been a truly comfortable link between the two, or first-rate bike connection between Gresham’s central business district and the dense Rockwood area. That’s about to change.
Gresham is building a wide new paved path alongside the MAX tracks between the Cleveland Avenue station, at the eastern end of the Blue Line, and the Ruby Junction station where many TriMet trains stop their runs to go out of service.