historic columbia river highway
Along with an announcement today from the U.S. Forest Service (see below) that Multnomah Falls has begun a phased re-opening comes news that the last section of the Historic Columbia River Highway closed due to Covid-19 precautions is now open.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has officially re-opened the Historic Highway between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth. This means the entire highway and State Trail between Troutdale and The Dalles (minus the five-mile Mitchell Point section that requires riders to use I-84) is back to its pre-pandemic status. Keep in mind many of the trails and other recreation sites remain closed.[Read more…]
“That was the wrong decision and we are in the process of removing two stretches of that guardrail now.”
— Rian Windsheimer, ODOT Region 1 director
We’re still trying to learn more about why the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) installed three sections of guardrails in the paved shoulder of the Historic Columbia River Highway south of Interstate 84 last week. These guardrails narrow valuable space used by many bicycle riders and their dangerous placement increases odds of stressful passes and collisions.
The fact that ODOT did this without any public notice and on one of the most important and valuable cycling routes in the state is unconscionable and just the latest example of the agency’s negligent stewardship of our transportation system. We’ve reached out to ODOT leadership for further comment and clarification but haven’t heard back.
Since our story posted on Monday, we’ve read dozens of comments expressing grave concerns and outrage. Now homeowners who live along the road where the guardrails were installed are defending the project, saying the guardrails are necessary to thwart illegal campers and to make the road safer for drivers.[Read more…]
The Oregonian reported earlier this week that a jury has awarded more than $9 million to a couple who were hit by a truck driver while biking on I-84 in the Columbia River Gorge.
According to The O, the collision happened in 2016 when Eric Moutal and Andrea Newman (both from Vancouver, BC) were biking to Portland on the westbound shoulder of the Interstate about seven miles east of Cascade Locks (near Wyeth Trailhead at mile post 52). Eric suffered severe injuries to his leg.
When I read about this case, two big things stood out to me.