New path from Sellwood Bridge to Willamette Park opens Tuesday

New path from Sellwood Bridge to Willamette Park opens Tuesday

Patch connection (white) just north of the bridge.(Graphics: Multnomah County)

Patch connection (white) just north of the bridge.
(Graphics: Multnomah County)

Multnomah County announced today that the new multi-use path being built as part of the Sellwood Bridge project would open on Tuesday, June 14th.

The new path on the west side of the bridge will be 14-feet wide and head north to connect with SW Miles Place and Willamette Park. This will come as very welcome news to everyone who has experienced the detour that put bicycle riders on a narrow sidewalk of SW Macadam.

The new path currently connects only to the north side of the Sellwood Bridge. A connection to the southern path of the bridge remains closed until the County finishes a new bridge that will take riders and walkers up to the deck.

Here’s more from the County:

Signs will direct trail users to access the trail from SW Miles Place. At first, some southbound trail users may access the trail from SW Macadam via the Macadam Bay driveway, because the current path is on the SW Macadam sidewalk, which will now end at the driveway. Eventually, trail users will get used to the new alignment from Willamette Park to the bridge.

Users of the new trail will need to yield to construction vehicles where the trail crosses the construction road just north of the bridge. There is also four-way stop where the trail intersects with the Macadam Bay driveway. When the historic trolley service returns in 2017, trail users will need to yield at the trolley crossing.







The path (on the right with yellow arrow) as it passes a Freeman Motors. Highway 43 is on the left.

The path (on the right with yellow arrow) as it passes a Freeman Motors. Highway 43 is on the left.

The northern terminus of the new path is SW Miles Place, a small residential street. In 2012 there was discussion about restriping the street to accommodate the increase in bicycle riders expected with the new path and bridge.

Before the new bridge opened about 300 people per day used the westside path. A consultant hired by the County in 2013 estimated that that number would increase to 900-1,200 users perday once the bridge opens. That same consultant said bridge crossings by people on bike and foot could reach 9,000 per day by 2035.

According to Pullen, there are no changes planned for SW Miles Place. Concerned about collisions and safety, people who live on the street successfully lobbied the City of Portland to not install any new pavement markings such as striped bicycle lanes or sharrows. The Portland Bureau of Transportation will monitor traffic on the streets and will reconsider design changes if warranted.

This is the second bit of good news this week for the Willamette Greenway Trail. On Monday we reported that automobile manufacturer Tesla agreed to pave a path across a parcel they’ve purchased for a new showroom in South Waterfront. Because of a code exception, the company wasn’t legally required to do so.

The new path opens Tuesday and the bridge from the path up to the south side of the main bridge deck will open by the end of October.

Update 6/13: It’ll be open by noon on Tuesday 6/14.

Update 6/14: It’s now been re-closed for a few more weeks due to remaining cleanup work.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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