Hit-and-run in Waterfront Park shows disturbing lack of conscience

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Shared path Waterfront Park-1

Paths are for slow riding.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Reader Spencer B (not that Spencer B) shared a disturbing story with us earlier this month. A man riding a bike in Waterfront Park just south of the Steel Bridge, rode his bicycle into another person and just kept on going.

Here’s what happened, via an email from Spencer:

This morning while riding to work I witnessed an accident where the cyclist hit and knocked over a pedestrian and just kept going. I stopped to check on her. She was a 70ish woman who was probably from out of town and doesn’t know the dangers of the Esplanade in the morning.

Read more

As festival season begins, Naito’s bike lanes are walkers’ only refuge

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
bike+passing+stroller

Not the best place for a stroller.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland unless noted)

Another summer is on the way, and the story is familiar: Waterfront Park has become such a success that people on foot are spilling onto the bed of Naito Parkway, the five-lane street that runs beside it.

During festivals like the Cinco de Mayo event that wrapped up Tuesday, the park is fenced off by barriers that are typically dragged right up to the curb, forcing the many people walking to the festival to use the bike lane — and forcing the many people biking on Naito directly into car traffic.

But though the problem isn’t new, more people seem to be wondering this spring if something could be done about it.

Read more

As full waterfront loop reopens, here’s an endless GIF of riding Portland’s gem

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Keep on trucking.
(GIF by Will Vanlue)

After a year of seismic upgrade work to the firehouse just north of the Hawthorne Bridge’s east landing, Portland’s Eastbank Esplanade is fully open once again.

Though the detour was less than a city block, it’s been a long construction period for the ring that’s sometimes referred to, along with Waterfront Park, as Portland’s “inner loop.” Just south of the Hawthorne, the Esplanade was also closed near OMSI for much of the last year as part of TriMet’s work on the new Tilikum Crossing bridge.

Read more

City will install signs in Waterfront Park to discourage unsafe riding

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Shared path Waterfront Park-1

The path in Waterfront Park is no place
to be riding fast.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland

With the BTA’s Bike Commute Challenge in full swing and warmer than usual weather sticking around, there’s a lot of bike traffic in and around downtown Portland these days. Especially on the Waterfront Park path, which is also popular with joggers, tourists, walkers, and lots of other types of users.

Concerns about unsafe passing and crowded conditions have spurred the Portland Parks Bureau to partner with the Bureau of Transportation to install signs encouraging faster bike riders to use Naito Parkway and all others to ride slowly and use caution when the path is crowded. They’re calling the path a “Pedestrian Priority Zone.”

Here’s a first look at the new signs:

Read more

PSU grad students want to ‘Activate’ Waterfront Park

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Waterfront Park is typically considered a bright spot in Portland’s urban planning legacy. And it should be. After all, it used to be an urban freeway known as Harbor Drive that was closed in 1974. In its place is the tree-lined park we now enjoy and that has become one of the city’s best public spaces.

But how can take Waterfront Park from good to great? How can we make it a more attractive and accessible place for all Portlanders? Those are some of the questions being asked by a new project dubbed “Activate the Waterfront“.

The effort is being led by Watermark Planning, which is six graduate students from Portland State University’s vaunted Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning program (MURP). They’ve partnered up with city agencies (including Portland Parks and Recreation and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) to develop a Downtown Portland Waterfront Activation Plan. The project is a six-month endeavor that will fulfill the student’s degree capstone requirement.

Read more

More on Waterfront Park biking issue

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Spring on Portland's waterfront-101

The path in Waterfront Park.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Early last Friday morning, a man was kicked out of Waterfront Park for 30 days by a Portland Police officer because he was riding in the park at 4:30 am (the park is closed from midnight to 5 a.m.). The incident has sparked an interesting debate about how the Portland Parks Bureau deals with park facilities that have paths used as transportation corridors within their boundaries.

Unlike other popular multi-use paths that are inside Parks-managed properties (like the Eastbank Esplanade and the Springwater Corridor), the path that runs through Waterfront Park is not technically considered a transportation corridor. The official reason is because it was not funded with federal transportation dollars (the two examples above were funded through the FHWA’s Transportation Enhancement grant program).

Read more

Is it illegal to ride in Waterfront Park after hours? — UPDATED

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Notice of Exclusion written to
Matt Cleinman for trespassing
in Waterfront Park.
Larger version (90kb jpg) –

At 4:30 am this morning, a Portland Police officer issued a Portland man a notice of exclusion and warning for trespassing because he was riding his bicycle through Waterfront Park while the park was closed.

Matt Cleinman, a 25-year old resident of Northwest Portland was biking home from work when he came upon a Portland Police Officer who he says was “rousing homeless folks” under the Burnside Bridge. Cleinman, who told us he is very concerned about “criminalizing homelessness” says he then stopped his bike to ask the officer what was going on.

Read more