(*Note: This map is a work in progress and includes several sections that are incorrectly labeled.)
A retired Portland Parks and Recreation planner has just gifted the transportation community something very, very special.
If you’ve ever tried to secure funding for a trail or path project, or advocate for one, you can relate to the dizzying array of acronyms and information that comes with it. What starts as an exciting idea to create a new bike path, can end up leading you down a rabbit-hole of application deadlines, funding parameters, and clunky government websites. It’s enough to cause premature burnout in even the most hardened advocrat.
Jim Sjulin knows this feeling well. As a retired Parks employee and current volunteer with 40-Mile Loop Land Trust, he’s ferreted his share of funding pots. I was impressed with Sjulin’s excellent work to fund remaining gaps on the Marine Drive bike path, but his latest effort is on a whole nother level.
At the Quarterly Trails Forum hosted by Metro on July 14th, Sjulin shared a spreadsheet with information on every government funding source available for trail projects in Oregon. To the uninitiated, that might not sound like a big deal. But once you browse the document, it’s scope and value become apparent.
When we shared the news of improvements coming to the NE Marine Drive last month, many of you were disappointed that nothing was being done on the section between I-5 and 33rd Avenue.
A commenter named Kristin shared that, “Though there’s a ‘bike lane’ through that section, it’s crazily overgrown and very narrow in spots, making the fast truck traffic even scarier.”
“We understood that this was more forward momentum than we have seen in many years.”
— Jim Sjulin, 40-Mile Loop Land Trust
Marine Drive is a gem in our cycling network and a thorn in our cycling socks at the same time. For as great as it is in some spots — and as valuable as it is as an east-west connection between St. Johns and Troutdale — it remains neglected and riddled with dangerous gaps that prevent it from being a truly great route for cycling.
If you love/hate riding on Marine Drive, we’ve got two bits of great news: There’s a new advocacy effort afoot to close the gaps, and the City of Portland has just put real money on the table to close a few of them by next summer.