Esplanade path gets national recognition

Esplanade path gets national recognition

High water on the Willamette-22-21

The Esplanade path deserves the attention.
– Scroll down for more photos –
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s Eastbank Esplanade got some major national props this week after being named one of the “Top urban bike paths” in the United States by USA Today.

The third-largest newspaper in America named 19 paths (I’m so glad they didn’t call them “trails”) to their list. Factors they kept in mind while making their selections included:

  • commuting arteries that give cyclists direct access to business districts while avoiding city traffic and making few street crossings.
  • separate from traffic for all or most of its length.
  • Does the path offer exceptional views of, and access to, the city?
  • Is it good for recreational riders and tourists?
  • Does the city take pride in it?

I think it qualifies on all but that first one.

And here’s what the USA Today had to say about our beloved Esplanade:

Named the country’s best biking city by ‘Bicycling Magazine’ in 2012, Portland boasts one of the densest networks of dedicated bike paths, greenways, and ‘bike boulevards’ around. For a one-two punch of Portland’s best, take the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade along the Willamette River and switch to the Springwater Trail Corridor. The highlight of the 1.5-mile esplanade is a 1,200 foot ‘floating walkway’—the longest of its kind in the U.S. according to Portland Parks and Rec.

In honor of this recognition, I figured I’d delve into our photo archives…

Annual BAC facility tour-25

Annual BAC facility tour-21

Bicycle Advisory Committee facility tour, September 2012.
high water on willamette-3-2

Rainy day in May 2011.
High water on the Willamette-6-5

Mini Bike Winter Party-1

Mini Bike Winter after-party February 2011.
Transport Your Activism Ride-4The Transport Your Activism Ride in September 2010.

Last (and cold) sunrise of 2010-2

An icy morning on the last day of 2010.
High water on the Willamette-13-12

That one time in May 2011 when the Willamette had such high water the floating portion was actually uphill!
BTA New Year's Day Ride-11

BTA New Year’s Day Ride January 2010.
Esplanade scene

Summer scene, June 2010.
OR Bike Summit - Ride-4.jpg

Safe Routes conference VIP ride-72

A bike tour stop during the Safe Routes to School National Conference in August 2009. (That’s former BTA Executive Director Scott Bricker on the bench.)
Tour of Tomorrow

Oregonian political reporter Jeff Mapes (L) and former Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder in July 2007.
Breakfast on the Bridges - May 08-4.jpg

Breakfast on the Bridges, May 2008.
OR Bike Summit - Ride-3.jpg

April 2008.
Bike to Blazers

Bike to Blazers ride, April 2005.

We’re lucky to have the Esplanade. Now we need a lot more paths just like it criss-crossing the entire city. It’s almost 10 years old now (built in November 2004) and it leaves me wondering… When will we ever tackle a big, signature project like this again?

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