river view cemetery

Here’s the deal on new gate at River View Cemetery

by on July 11th, 2017 at 10:38 am

The closed gate with path to the side for bicycle users to get by.

As several of you may have noticed there’s a new gate at the lower entrance to River View Cemetery just across from the new Sellwood Bridge.

The bad news is it’ll be closed at 4:00 pm from now on. The good news is that it’s intended for motor vehicle drivers and they’ve left a space for bicycle users to walk around it.

We received several emails about the gate last week from readers concerned that the gate was the disaster we had hoped to avert when we reported on this issue last month. As you recall, cemetery staff are in a tough spot. The private nonprofit must balance its desire to maintain public access to their roads while maintaining a safe and respectful environment for their customers. The issue continues to bubble up because the cemetery receives many complaints about people riding bicycles too fast and without respect for others.

After hearing about the newly closed gate we contacted River View Cemetery Executive Director David Noble. He said the gate is now operational and is programmed to open at 6:00 am (specifically for morning bicycle commuters — staff doesn’t show up until 8:00) and close at 4:00 pm daily.
[Read more…]

Disaster averted (for now) as most riders comply with cemetery biking ban

by on June 7th, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Most obeyed it, but still too many did not.
(Photo: David Cushman)

I have good news and bad news about the future of bicycle access in River View Cemetery.

As you might recall from our reporting last month, the privately-owned roads through the cemetery in southwest Portland (between the Willamette River and Terwilliger Blvd at the Sellwood Bridge) were closed to bicycle riders over Memorial Day Weekend. These roads are usually open to bikes because the cemetery recognizes that they provide a much safer alternative to the other roads in the area. Unfortunately many people don’t respect the cemetery for what is — a place for quiet reflection — and use it as a training route and/or speed through without regard for cemetery visitors.

(Note: The route is even a segment on the popular riding app Strava — which encourages people to ride fast to improve their ranking. The segment has been flagged for removal in the Strava system but has not yet been removed.)

With complaints on the rise, River View Cemetery Executive Director David Noble contacted us with a serious warning: If behavior of bicycle users doesn’t improve, he’ll be forced (by the cemetery’s member-owners) to ban bikes completely. In the interim, Noble decided to ban biking during the long Memorial Day holiday. If that ban was disrespected and if the poor behavior continued despite it, a complete ban would have been on the table.

Thankfully, most bicycle riders heeded the ban and there are no plans for a prohibition on pedaled vehicles.

That’s the good news.
[Read more…]

Closure of River View Cemetery bike access looms as disrepectful riding continues

by on May 19th, 2017 at 8:59 am

Hopefully not a sign of things to come.
(Photo: David Cushman)

Bicycles will not be allowed to roll through River View Cemetery this coming Memorial Day weekend (Friday, May 26th through Monday, May 29th).

If that news bothers you, consider this: We’re lucky it’s open to us at all. And if we want it to remain open in the future, we better start riding with more respect.

The historic cemetery that sits on 350 acres of prime real estate overlooking the Willamette River just west of the Sellwood Bridge is a private nonprofit organization that was founded in 1882. Its Board of Trustees generously allows free bicycle access through the property because it provides a safe, direct, and pleasant connection between Sellwood and southwest Portland. The alternate routes on SW Boones Ferry and Taylors Ferry roads are out-of-the-way and very stressful on a bike due to their outdated and car-centric design.

However, despite this amazing gift bicycle riders have been given, far too many people abuse this privilege by riding in a way that fails to show the respect due to this venerable place and the people who visit and staff it.
[Read more…]

Six-week closure of popular River View Cemetery route starts August 12th

by on August 5th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

river view cemetery

Take note: Six week closure coming soon.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A popular bicycle route through River View Cemetery is set to close on August 12th and not re-open until September 27th. Multnomah County officials sent out the traffic alert today, saying the closure is necessary so construction crews can build the new entrance to the Cemetery along Highway 43 that’s coming with the Sellwood Bridge project.

To make room for this work, the road just above the funeral home will be closed. “Unfortunately,” writes County spokesman Mike Pullen, “this work in a very steep area will also close the trail that bicyclists and pedestrians use in the cemetery.”
[Read more…]

Portland’s bike-friendly cemetery

by on April 18th, 2013 at 3:56 pm

River View Cemetery-5

Through this gate is a somber and spiritual place — that
also happens to be a very popular and important bike route.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

River View Cemetery, perched in lush green hills above the Willamette River just south of downtown Portland, is just like any other cemetery in America except for one major difference: it’s bike-friendly. Even though it’s owned and operated as a private business, River View’s board of directors and management have gone out of their way to accomodate people who ride through their 350 acre property on bicycles.

It’s been almost three years since River View installed bike-specific pavement markings and route signs through their property. I rode through the cemetery myself a few days ago and figured it was time to check in with David Noble, the executive director of the River View Cemetery Association.

Before sharing some thoughts from Noble, here are some photos of how the cemetery accommodates people riding bikes…
[Read more…]

Trespassing in Riverview Cemetery could lead to loss of access

by on October 15th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Vandalized gate where someone has illegally
trespassed onto River View Cemetery grounds.
(Photo: River View Cemetery)

Once again, bike access through River View Cemetery could be in jeopardy. The cemetery’s Executive Director David Noble says he suspects that someone has cut through a gate and is riding on the private property after the 11:00 pm closing time.

The cemetery is on private land which is governed by a Board of Trustees. Its owners are aware of its importance as a bike route, and they tolerate public bicycle access despite years of safety concerns (which we first brought to light in 2006). The route itself provides a very popular connection from Highway 43 near the Sellwood Bridge to many destinations in southwest Portland (map).

In November 2009, after the issue flared up again and there was a public outcry over speed bumps installed to slow riders down, the board ruled to maintain bicycle access. They then worked with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) and the community to raise $5,000 and install a fully-signed bicycle route through the cemetery with the aim of keeping bike traffic on specific roads. That, and a series of other measures, showed that River View had gone out of their way to accommodate people riding through on bicycles.
[Read more…]

Fundraising success: River View Cemetery bike route coming soon

by on May 14th, 2010 at 10:23 am

Detail of bike route through
River View Cemetery.

It took less than a month for the community to raise $5,000 to fully sign and stripe a new bike route through River View Cemetery.

The route through the privately-owned cemetery is a popular shortcut through Portland’s southwest hills. Public access is allowed, but that access has been threatened by inconsiderate riding and safety concerns by the land owners.[Read more…]

Advisory: River View Cemetery closed to bike traffic Tuesday

by on April 26th, 2010 at 11:07 am

Tomorrow, (Tuesday, 4/27), a road in the lower portion of River View Cemetery will be close all day to all traffic due to a construction project at the mausoleum. Cemetery GM David Noble says bike traffic will not be able to get through:

“A large crane with its outriggers will be completely blocking the road, as well as the shoulders so there is no way for anyone to even walk their bicycle through to slip by (not that we want them to anyway, since it is a very dangerous construction zone).”

[Read more…]

See the new bike route through River View Cemetery

by on April 21st, 2010 at 4:37 pm

As a follow-up to our story on Monday about a new bike route being signed through River View Cemetery, we’ve received a map of the route.

View the map below and consider helping River View raise the $5,000 to add signs and pavement markings to the route (details on how to donate here). (On a related note, the folks at River View Cemetery recently counted bike trips and found that over 700 people ride through the property each day.)
[Read more…]

Cemetery looks to raise $5,000 to sign safe bike route

by on April 19th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Biking through the cemetery.
(Photo: mumblion/Flickr)

A fundraising campaign has begun to pay for signage of a popular bike route through River View Cemetery.

People on bikes prefer the route through River View because it’s a safe and pleasant alternative from the high-speed auto traffic on Taylor’s Ferry and other major roads nearby.

Cemetery staff have voiced concerns about unsafe bike traffic through their private property for nearly four years. Back in April 2006, they threatened to prohibit bike access if more wasn’t done to curtail inconsiderate and dangerous riding.

The issue did not go away and tensions flared up again last fall after cemetery staff installed speed bumps which some riders blamed for crashes that resulted in serious injuries.[Read more…]