Cycling

Metropolis’s concrete obstacles limit entry to Columbia Slough path

(Photographs: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

UPDATE, 1/14 at 4:14 pm: The Parks bureau says they obstacles have been moved and the trail is evident.

Two massive concrete obstacles positioned on the Columbia Slough path close to Portland Worldwide Raceway limit entry to a preferred bike route and have raised security considerations.

“These obstacles must be referred to as widowmakers.”
— a reader on Instagram

I first noticed these Thursday afternoon and went again as we speak for a re-assessment. One is positioned proper close to the highest of the small hill close to east of the railroad overpass and Columbia Wastewater Remedy Plant. The opposite one is positioned on the threshold of the chain-link fence simply west of the North Denver Avenue entrance close to Portland Worldwide Raceway (PIR).

Whereas I’ve simply confirmed with Portland Parks and Recreation they’ve been positioned to forestall individuals from driving automobiles on the trail (a difficulty that has develop into extra frequent these days), additionally they limit entry by different varieties of mobility gadgets like wheelchairs and adaptive bicycles. A large bicycle with a trailer additionally couldn’t round it, so the path is successfully closed to many customers. One other situation is that neither of the obstacles have reflective materials on them and can be very arduous to see at night time — particularly since this path just isn’t well-lit. There are additionally no indicators to warn path customers to decelerate and anticipate a barrier.

The obstacles are method too heavy to maneuver with out specialised tools.

“These obstacles must be referred to as widowmakers,” shared one reader after I shared a picture on Instagram. “I do know that’s an apparent reply they don’t need automobiles driving down these paths. However with not having any reflective gadgets or any sort of illumination on these obstacles I’d think about using this path at night time could possibly be treacherous and deadly.” One other reader mentioned, “I used to be so shocked coming across the nook and needed to slam on my brakes.”

Some persons are completely satisfied to have one thing that retains drivers away. “If it retains us from having to take care of individuals driving automobiles down there, I’m completely satisfied to not get run over whereas utilizing the trail,” learn one other remark.

The slough path is managed by Portland Parks and Rec. The bureau lately adjusted a barrier that had closed the Thurman gate entrance to Forest Park “>when an adaptive bicycle consumer complained that his trike couldn’t match by means of.

PP & R Public Data Officer Mark Ross confirmed a couple of minutes in the past that Metropolis of Portland employees positioned the obstacles on the Slough path to, “Deter unlawful automobile entry on the trail.”

He added that, “Parks & Recreation employees are transferring them apart for now because the blocks might not be seen by cyclists or different path customers in dim mild. We’re contemplating different choices/modifications. We additionally need to make sure that individuals utilizing mobility gadgets can entry the trail. Our priorities are security and path accessibility for applicable use.”

Ross has assured me that, “They’ve both already been moved or are being moved proper now.”

We’ll preserve monitor of this and ensure Parks will get this proper. Please share your experiences and any updates you see within the coming days.