What’s next for the Springwater Trail? Filling in the gaps

Three Bridges opening celebration

The Springwater Corridor Trail is
a major commute thoroughfare
and recreational facility.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Springwater Corridor Trail is the closest thing Portland has to a bicycle superhighway.

When the trail is complete, you will be able to walk, run, skate, or ride your bike from the Steel Bridge all the way out beyond Gresham without ever sharing the road with a motorized vehicle. For now, only two major gaps remain, both in inner Portland, where you must exit the trail and wind through city streets.

The southern gap routes you through quiet, residential streets in Sellwood from SE Umatilla close to the river to SE 19th. The northern gap, from the current trailhead at SE Ivon to the beginning of the Eastbank Esplanade at OMSI, is by far the worst of the two, crossing through a major construction zone and the entrance to a gravel depot, creating a safety hazard and a signage and enforcement conundrum.

So what is the current status of these gaps?

Read more

The SK Northwest saga is over: Property owner gives up on trail fight

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

“We look forward to working with SK Northwest and the City as the development moves forward.”
— BTA’s metro-area advocate Emily Gardner

After a protracted legal battle that first came to light back in April of 2006, a Willamette riverfront property owner whose parcel lies in a key gap between two popular trails has relented and agreed to allow a trail to be built on their property.

The news comes from the BTA’s metro-area advocate Emily Gardner via the BTA Blog (emphasis mine):

Read more

BTA: Appeals court says SK Northwest must build trail

portland spirit at end of esplanade

A trail to nowhere, for now.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The BTA reports great news in the ongoing saga of SK Northwest and their battle against building a key piece of trail across their property on the Willamette Riverfront just south of OMSI.

The BTA’s Michelle Poyourow writes on their blog that the Oregon Court of Appeals has struck down SK Northwest’s latest appeal.

According to Poyourow, SK Northwest’s next move could be to try and get their case heard by the Oregon Supreme Court. But, she writes, “the Supreme Court gets to choose which appeals it hears and which it declines.”

Read more

SK Northwest tries again for Springwater development

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Proposed development area.
Click to enlarge graphic

SK Northwest, a Portland-based retailer of jet-skis and personal watercraft, has submitted another proposal to develop a key parcel of Willamette riverfront land.

The proposal was submitted to the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) on March 1st and once again, it does not include plans for a trail.

You might recall the long and winding saga of this company’s attempts to develop land on the Willamette riverfront just south of OMSI. I’ve covered the story extensively since breaking the news almost one year ago.

Read more

City denies Springwater development appeal

[Scan of appeal decision mailed out Saturday]
Editor’s note: Lines drawn by my daughter 😉

The City of Portland Hearings Office* has denied the land use appeal of Shawn Karambelas. Karambelas is the business owner who wanted to develop a parcel of land just south of OMSI without including plans for public trail access on the waterfront.

Read more

Update on SK Northwest hearing

portland spirit at end of esplanade

[Looking south at current
end of Esplanade path.]

Yesterday was the public hearing on the SK Northwest development case. Unfortunately I wasn’t there but here’s a report from what I’ve heard and read so far.

According to Evan Manvel of the BTA there were about 45 people there which is “significantly more than these hearings usually get.”

The BTA showed up to support the City’s ruling against the development and to, “deflect some arguments put forth by the applicants.” Here’s more from Evan’s post on the BTA Blog:

“The developers argued that the trail wasn’t a transportation facility, because it’s managed by Portland Parks rather than PDOT. They argued that they….weren’t impacting public access to the river and hence should not be required to improve such access. They also argued that bicyclists much prefer bike lanes to off-street paths.

Read more