north portland greenway
A bridge project in St. Johns that’s part of the North Portland greenway and the 40-Mile Loop has gotten some unwanted attention this week. Portland Parks & Recreation is set to start construction on a new biking and walking bridge between Pier Park and Chimney Park; but removal of a large sequoia tree has sparked an outcry from at least one concerned citizen.
The story broke earlier this week on KATU-TV:
“The bridge would be part of the ten-mile North Portland greenway. Right now, Union Pacific Railroad tracks separate the two parks and the bridge would go over those tracks. But construction plans call for one giant sequoia inside Pier Park to fall in the process.
It is a tough pill to swallow for Dennis Keepes. He has sounded the alarm bells, trying to build enough support to save the tree.”
Two important Portland projects are vying for funding through a grant process being led by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the deadline to offer your feedback is this Thursday, January 31st.
Of the seven projects in the running from Portland and Washington County, I think two deserve a closer look.
PBOT has requested $1.47 million to fund their North Williams Traffic Safety and Operations Project. This is the infamous Williams project that had humble beginnings over two years ago, but then took many unexpected twists and turns. What started out as a straightforward bikeway project with a budget to do only pavement markings and signage has morphed turned into a full-blown capital project that will include new traffic signals, curb extensions, and even the creation of a neighborhood greenway on nearby NE Rodney.
on surface streets (like N. Interstate shown here)
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
The City of Portland Parks & Recreation bureau continues to come under fire for their work on the North Portland Greenway Trail project. PP&R is in the process of designing the route of the paved path that will connect Kelley Point Park north of St. Johns to the Eastbank Esplanade in the central city. However, as we reported last month, many people are disappointed by the chosen alignment in the trail’s southern portion. Instead of staying along the Willamette River and creating a path away from auto traffic, PP&R has focused their efforts on what they consider a “near-term buildable” route on sections of busy, and sometimes narrow surface streets. The route, critics say, fails to live up to the vision and promise of the trail.
Portland Parks & Recreation is holding an open house for the North Portland Greenway Trail alignment project on January 9th. This event will be your chance to view the updated route maps. As we reported earlier this month, there are some big decisions on the table in terms of where Parks planners should focus their engineering and design efforts.
North Portland Greenway Open House
University of Portland, Chiles Center (5000 N. Willamette Blvd)
6:30 to 8:30 pm (presentation at 7:00pm)
Official project website
with using this portion of N Interstate for the
Willamette Greenway Trail.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
The dream for the North Portland Greenway trail project has always been to extend the Eastbank Esplanade to St. Johns along the river. It was envisioned as a path that would be separated from motor vehicle traffic, just like Esplanade and Springwater exist today through the Central City.
Unfortunately, design and engineering of the project is moving forward with the assumption that the “trail” will actually be routed away from river and along busy, narrow, and dangerous roads.
When the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) bureau came out with plans back in September showing the preferred alignment up on N Greeley and Interstate Ave, there was widespread criticism and concern.[Read more…]
“N. Greeley as an alternative to the Cement Road is unacceptable. The trail is to be a Willamette River Greenway Trail, not a tour of a truck route.”
— NPGreenway statement
The alignment for the North Portland Greenway Trail project being proposed by the Portland Parks & Recreation bureau is continuing to draw sharp criticism from activists and advocacy groups.
PP&R is hosting an online comment form to get feedback, and — as the comments to our story yesterday make clear — many people are not impressed that several segments of the proposed alignment use heavily trafficked streets and conventional bike lanes. The idea of a “trail” — or what I prefer to call a path — is that people can expect a dedicated, non-motorized facility away form the dangers and stresses of automobiles.
The City of Portland Parks & Recreation bureau has announced the beginning of the North Portland Greenway Trail Alignment Project — launching a 14 month process similar to the one they’re doing for the Sullivan’s Gulch Project.
When complete, the process will (hopefully) turn a 10-mile long, non-motorized path that will extend the northern end of the Eastbank Esplanade to the Columbia River, from dream to reality.
This is big news for a big project that has been many years in the making. Over six years ago I recall attending the very first public meeting of this project. It was hosted by citizen volunteers calling themselves, “Friends of the Greenway.” That group morphed into the full-fledged non-profit “npGreenway” which is still going strong today. npGreenway did a ton of heavy lifting to advocate for this project and bring it to where it is today.
Local filmmaker Dan Kaufman has released a new video that takes viewers on a trip along the future location of the North Willamette River Greenway Trail. In the video (below), you’ll join the advocates from non-profit group npGreenway who are working towards making the trail — that will eventually connect the Eastbank Esplanade at the Steel Bridge with Cathedral Park in St. Johns — a reality…
It’s an exciting project. Learn more at npGreenway.org.