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.”
Here’s the KATU segment video:
Apparently that story spurred enough concern with other residents that, according to the Willamette Week, the City has decided to deploy a professional mediator to settle the situation.
Here’s a snip from the Willamette Week story:
“We’re under direction from the mayor’s office that we make sure everyone understands the process,” says Parks Bureau Spokesman Mark Ross. He says the mediator has been brought out “for the two people who are adamant that they don’t want to see the tree cut down under any circumstances.”
Given the range of controversies bike-related projects often encounter, it’s unfortunate that it has come to this. The City plans to cut the tree down this week — that is if they can resolve the opposition first.