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Another person has managed to drive onto the I-205 path

Another person has managed to drive onto the I-205 path

"It's not my fault"

“It’s not my fault”

In 2013 someone managed to get their car partway across the Columbia River on the I-205 multi-use path. Now it has happened again.

Three years ago a woman drove until the path narrowed so much that her car got sandwiched between the path barriers. This time the person driving the car realized her mistake (partly due to bicycle riders who had stopped to talk to her) and didn’t get very far. The driver looked flummoxed and seemed to have just made an innocent mistake.

Some people…

A video posted by Spencer Hubble (@pdxspencer) on

Local resident Spencer Hubble was apparently riding the 205 multi-use path when he came upon the car. It appears she entered the path by turning left onto the path at this location. Hubble was clearly amused to see her there.







What strikes me is something I’ve noticed a lot lately- overly lax infrastructure that allows a large amount of dangerous activity. This is part of the reason I’m a fan of grade-separated bike infrastructure, even if it’s just a few inches of curb next to a cycle path.

While it wouldn’t stop every driver, it’d certainly be more difficult to argue “I didn’t know” if there was a bollard or a curb in the way. Then again, at some point people who operate vehicles — especially large ones with powerful engines and made out of steel — need to learn how to use them responsibly.

Journalist Lizzy Acker reached out to police and didn’t receive a response. In the 2013 event the driver wasn’t even cited.

– Ted Timmons, @tedder42

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The post Another person has managed to drive onto the I-205 path appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Should the I-205 path be named after onetime Portlander Woody Guthrie?

Should the I-205 path be named after onetime Portlander Woody Guthrie?

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The not-so-memorably named I-205 Multi-use Path.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

There’s an intriguing idea at the bottom of The Oregonian’s nicely written piece today about folksinger Woody Guthrie’s ties to Portland.

The article (which is actually the last from former transportation reporter Joseph Rose, who’s headed to a job on the East Coast) focuses on the 30 intensely creative days the Oklahoma-born folksinger spent in a 400-square-foot apartment in Lents in spring 1941. It’s two blocks from the trail, and still available for rent today.

Guthrie was visiting for a one-month gig with the Bonneville Power Authority, which paid him $266.66 to write 26 songs promoting hydroelectric power on the Columbia. They turned out to include some of his enduring classics about the people who helped win World War II by industrializing the West Coast: “Roll On, Columbia,” “Grand Coulee Dam,” “Oregon Trail” and “Pastures of Plenty.”

Here’s a recording of his Grand Coulee Dam:

Now in Washington and Oregon you hear the factories hum
Making chrome and making manganese and white aluminum
And there rose a flying fortress now to fight for Uncle Sam
Spawned upon the King Columbia by the big Grand Coulee Dam

Late in the article, Rose quotes ROSE Community Development Corporation director Nick Sauvie, who sees an opportunity for commemorating Guthrie’s visit by naming East Portland’s most important north-south bikeway in his honor.

Sauvie hopes the city or the state renames a street or landmark in Lents to recognize the neighborhood’s role in the Guthrie legacy.

For years, he has lobbied the Oregon Transportation Commission to change the name of the car-free I-205 Multi-use Path a couple blocks from the apartment to Woody Guthrie Trail.

The state has been resistant, saying it rarely names transportation routes after people and, besides, those people must have made a lasting and significant contribution to Oregon. Guthrie’s wildly productive 30 days in Portland don’t fit neatly into that criteria, the bureaucrats say.

Sauvie disagrees.

“A lot of people already call it the Woody Guthrie Trail,” Sauvie said. “The ‘I-205 Multi-use Path’ doesn’t exactly drip off the tongue.”

Just last week, a friend of mine who works in Lents (a few blocks from Guthrie’s old place, it turns out) said he didn’t want to use the 205 path to get there because it’s close to the freeway. That’s true enough — but I’ve never heard him talk about avoiding the east-side MAX lines because of their equal proximity to freeways. (Not to mention avoid driving on a freeway because of its proximity to a freeway.) So it’s easy for me to imagine that a biking-walking path named after an Interstate highway might have a branding problem.





I called Sauvie to learn more.

“There was actually a push maybe four years ago,” Sauvie said Monday. “I actually talked to a couple people like Jefferson Smith when he was in the legislature and Randy Leonard when he was in city council. There wasn’t a lot of interest in kind of carrying that ball forward, and I got busy with other stuff. But I’ve got a pretty good list of people who were interested in that idea.”

Among the potential backers, he said, are labor leaders, who respect Guthrie’s role in the Depression-era labor movement; local researchers studying Huntington’s disease, the neurological disorder that would kill Guthrie in New York City 26 years later; and Peter Yarrow, the frontman of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary that drew on and covered Guthrie’s music.

The Woody Guthrie Trail, in fact, already has a Facebook page with 800 fans.

That’s enough to make it 40 times more popular (on Facebook, at least) than Interstate 84, whose namesake Thomas Harry Banfield is remembered today mostly for having run the Oregon Department of Transportation just before the freeway era.

Sauvie forwarded an email from Shelli Romero of the Oregon Department of Transportation, which controls the I-205 path. She said the state can only name one of its transportation routes after a person in a situation that meets all four of these criteria:

1. The person must have been deceased for at least a year
2. The facility is long enough with defined endpoints
3. There is demonstrated statewide support
4. The person made a lasting and significant and historic contribution to Oregon

Sauvie, whose nonprofit develops affordable housing in the Lents area, thinks the case can be made.

“It was really amazing work in a month’s time to write 26 songs, and I really think the songs are some of the best things I can think of that really evoke the Northwest,” he said. “It’s really striking how some neighborhoods get a lot of attention and have a lot of assets and investment. There’s conversely a lot of neighborhoods that don’t get a lot of attention and what attention they do get is bad. I think it’s really important to celebrate the history and the contributions that all of Portland have brought to the community.”

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

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Photos of ODOT’s new Division Street undercrossing on I-205 path

Photos of ODOT’s new Division Street undercrossing on I-205 path

New and smooth.
(Photos: Joe Hamilton)

Thanks to a newly built undercrossing of SE Division, people on bikes have one less stop to make while riding on the I-205 path. ODOT put the finishing touches on their $750,000 I-205 Shared-Use Path Division Undercrossing Project earlier this month and they’re hosting a “celebratory gathering” this morning to show it off.

As we shared back in October 2012, the new path takes riders and walkers down near the MAX light rail tracks under Division Street. South of division, the path begins at the MAX station and it re-joins the I-205 path at the intersection of SE Caruthers and 93rd. The project was originally planned for 2009 to coincide with the construction of TriMet’s Green Line MAX project. ODOT received a federal stimulus grant for path improvements but the funding ran out before the undercrossing was completed.

Reader Joe Hamilton sent us some photos of the new path…

View looking south at the start of the new path segment.

Looking south where it goes under Division.

Looking south as you emerge from under Division.

Looking north at the underpass.

Looking north for the MAX station. The at-grade Division crossing is on the left.

This is a great improvement over the existing crossing of Division which required path users to push a button to activate a “rapid flash beacon” and then wait for people in cars to stop.

Have you ridden this yet? What do you think?

Ride takes closer look at I-205 path, the ‘Grandaddy of MUPs’

Ride takes closer look at I-205 path, the ‘Grandaddy of MUPs’

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A Pedalpalooza ride explored the I-205 path last night.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

When it comes to our region’s multi-use paths (known by wonks as MUPs), it’s not a stretch to call the I-205 path the “Granddaddy” of them all. Built by the Oregon Department of Transportation with money from our heralded “Bicycle Bill” (that mandates 1% of new highway funds go toward bicycling), the first section of the path opened in the 1970s and it was “completed” in 1982. Today the path connects five cities, ten neighborhoods, and stretches 16.5 miles from the Clackamas River in Gladstone to Vancouver, Washington.

Last night, staffers from ODOT and TriMet led a Pedalpalooza ride (sponsored by the Women’s Transportation Seminar) that gave attendees a chance to learn more about the path’s past, present and future.

Before we got rolling, it was fun to hear the reasons why each person showed up on a weekday evening for a wonky tour of the I-205 path. “This was the closest Pedalpalooza ride to me tonight,” said one guy. Another guy said, “I do all of the wonk rides.” We were also joined by a a married couple named Michael and Wendy. Wendy shared that they live just one block off the path. “I love having this path next to our house,” she said, “because I could re-learn how to ride a bike without cars scaring the crap out of me.”

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Michael and Wendy. They live one block off the path and they love it.

We began at the Gateway Transit Center where TriMet active transportation planner Jeff Owen shared his agency is working with the Portland Bureau of Transportation on the East Portland Access to Transit project. Among other things, that effort will result in more bike parking at Gateway as well as a new bikeway that will connect east Portland, through the transit center, and onto the I-205 path.

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TriMet’s Jeff Owen.

We then rolled north for a stop at the future site of the Gateway Green bicycling and activity park. Neighborhood activist Linda Robinson has been working to make that project a reality since 2006. She told us they’ve now gotten the green light to start building; but they need to raise money. A fundraising campaign is set to start later this summer. (Stay tuned for more).

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Linda Robinson, yellow shirt, leads a discussion about Gateway Green.

From Gateway Green, we rolled south and it didn’t take long before we saw just how bad many parts of the I-205 path are. The crossing of NE Glisan St. is atrocious. The path narrows and then is directed into a crosswalk that goes across six lanes of chaotic auto traffic. Then it’s up onto a sidewalk before the path starts again. I hoped we would stop at this intersection to discuss this glaring gap; but the ODOT staffer on the ride — Transit and Active Transportation Liaison Jessica Horning — conveniently kept riding. The only thing Horning said about the Glisan crossing is that, “We have partnered with PBOT to tried and figure out a solution.”

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One crossing south of Glisan is another unfortunate intersection: Burnside. Here, riders must cross two sets of MAX tracks at an awkward angle while avoiding large metal bollards and then ride up onto another sidewalk before rejoining the path on the opposite (east) side of I-205. We didn’t stop to talk here either.

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Then it was onto yet another less-than-great crossing: the SE Stark and Washington couplet. Here the path is once again routed into a crosswalk then onto a narrow sidewalk before rejoining the path. We didn’t stop to talk about this section either.

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Finally, at SE Yamhill, Horning stopped the group to have a chat. She pointed out something rather interesting: two diamonds in the path just north of Yamhill are some of the oldest automated bicycle counters in the country. Horning shared that these inductive loops (which sense the metal in your bike and count each one that rolls over) were installed in 1982. They provided data for a few years, but then in the late 1980s, Horning said they fell victim to politics during a period of waning ODOT support for cycling and they were turned off. The good news is, they were turned back on about year ago and are once again providing accurate bicycle counts. So far, the highest date on record is August 19th 2012 when 592 bicycles rolled by. On average there are about 250 bicycles counted on this section of the path.

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From Yamhill we continued south to the crossing of SE Division where we got an up-close look construction of the new undercrossing. This new section of trail will give folks the option of avoiding Division Street altogether and it’s slated to be done by this fall.

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Also at the Division stop, ODOT community affairs staffer Shelli Romero told us about new wayfinding signage ODOT has installed to make the path a bit easier to navigate

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At the SE Powell MAX station we heard about TriMet’s public art program and bike parking. Jeff Owen explained that for $25 per six months (and a $50 key deposit), you can gain access to any of the bike lockers at MAX stations all along the Green Line. As we stood under the “Money Tree” sculpture by Valerie Otani, Owen explained that there each Green Line stop has work from a different artist and each piece is meant to evoke something about the area’s cultural history.

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Our final stop on the ride was one of the most egregious gaps on the path. It’s not as dangerous or clunky as Glisan; but the “horseshoe” route the path takes just north of Flavel (and south of the Springwater Corridor intersection) is really unfortunate. Instead of just hopping over Johnson Creek to reach the Flavel MAX Station on the other side, the path heads east to the signal at SE 92nd and Flavel before turning back (west) to the path (via a sidewalk) at the MAX station. We heard from ODOT facilities manager Basil Christopher that at least there’s something being done about this gap. ODOT has gotten a bridge project on the state’s official project list. The list hasn’t been finalized and public support is still needed to help make sure the funding comes through.

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At the beginning of the “horseshoe”.
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ODOT’s Basil Christopher.
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View looking north from Flavel MAX station.
The little yellow spot in the background is a person riding on the path.

The I-205 path is a crucial connection for our bike network. In east Portland, where most of the roads are uncomfortable for cycling, it has even more value. Unfortunately, even though it’s been around for 30 years, unacceptable gaps and dangerous spots still exist. There’s also quite a bit of glass and trash in many spots. Yes, progress is being made, but it seems like there could be more urgency to make this path a real — and fully connected — bicycle corridor.

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A woman who was riding on the path, stopped to pet this dog in an adjacent backyard.
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Tons of potential.

Hopefully at future Pedalpalooza rides, we’ll get to explore all the great new improvements that have been made. Until then… let’s keep pushing to make it better!

WSDOT adds bollards to keep drivers off I-205 bike path

WSDOT adds bollards to keep drivers off I-205 bike path

This should do the trick.
(Photo: Bob Kofstad/Washington DOT)

Last month, a woman driving a medium-sized sedan somehow managed to travel nearly two miles on the I-205 bike path before she panicked and a passerby on a bike called 911.

And it turns out this was the second such incident in the past few months. That’s what I heard today from Washington Department of Transportation spokeswoman Abbi Russell. I contacted WSDOT a few weeks ago after a reader told me that bollards had gone up at the entry to the path on SE 23rd Street. I was finally able to confirm that today with the man who put them there.

Bob Kofstad is the WSDOT maintenance supervisor for Area 1 which covers Vancouver. He told me during a phone call today that he still doesn’t know what exactly happened with that woman back on April 21st; but it caused him to visit the site and replace the bollards. “They’ve been missing for a few years,” he said, “and in the last 3-5 months we’ve had a couple cars go down that trail.”

The reason Kofstad says WSDOT hadn’t replaced the missing bollards sooner is because they kept getting stolen by metal thieves. “So we came up with a different design,” he explained, “We took a plastic fence post and filled it with concrete.”

Here’s another photo from a wider angle that was sent in by reader Eric Lanners:

(Photo: Eric Lanners)

The path is meant to have three bollards, but Kofstad says they replaced only the two on the outside. “It’s enough to keep the cars out, but we understand going through a narrow passage isn’t the best thing for bikes. The safety of bikers is what we’re worried about.” He estimates the path is 8-10 feet wide and the bollards narrow it down to about 6 feet.

If you ride on this path and you have feedback for WSDOT, or if you need to report any other incidents, contact Abbi Russell via phone at (360) 905-2058 or via email at russela [at] wsdot [dot] wa [dot] gov.

Riders discover woman driving car on I-205 Bridge bike path

Riders discover woman driving car on I-205 Bridge bike path

Steven Basden calls police after talking with a woman who drove her
car up onto the bike path in the middle of the I-205 bridge.
(Photo: Paul Anderson)

On Sunday around 10:30 a.m., Half Fast Velo teammates Steven Basden and Paul Anderson were pedaling along on the Glenn Jackson Bridge/I-205 bike path when they made a suprising discovery: a woman in a car was headed right for them.

“She was panicked so I called 911.”
— Steven Basden

For those of you not familiar with the area, the Glenn Jackson Bridge connects Oregon to Washington across the Columbia River and there’s a biking and walking path that runs in the middle of the north and southbound freeway lanes.

Basden said at first the woman (who was driving a small Chevrolet sedan) started to pull over to let them pass, “But we made here stop.” Here’s more from Basden:

“… all of a sudden we see a car coming at us heading southbound around Government Island area. The woman, along with 2 kids in car… thought she could make it off on the South end until we explained construction had the lane restricted and told her about all she could do was reverse it all the way back up.”

Basden said the woman was “panicked” so he opted to call 911. He waited until a Portland Police Bureau officer arrived before continuing on his ride.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, the woman mistakenly drove onto the path from the Washington Side of the river. PPB Sgt. Pete Simpson says there was no damage and she was not given a citation. “Apparently she got confused… and got on the bike path.” To help get her off the path, several officers walked in front of her and she slowly made her way off on the Oregon side.

When asked why the woman wasn’t given a citation, Sgt. Simpson said, “Officers exercised discretion with someone who clearly made a mistake.”

I was curious how easy of a mistake this would be to make, and I’m not familiar with this area myself, so I spent some time on Google Maps. Thankfully, Google has taken their Streetview bike on this path. From what I can tell, she must have entered the path via SE 23rd Street (there’s a fence up that would have prevented her from accessing the path directly from Highway 14). The path itself is about 10-12 feet wide, which is the same width of many vehicle lanes in Portland. At the SE 23rd entrance, Basden said the metal bollard that is normally in the middle of the path had been removed (it’s also not there in the Streetview images).

Here are a few images to give you a sense of what the woman driving the sedan would have seen:

The entrance on SE 23rd looking from the path toward the street

The path is surrounded by trees

Here’s the path alongside Hwy 14

Here’s the path as it begins its climb up to the freeway level

And here’s what it looks like where the woman eventually stopped and met with police

If the woman entered the path at SE 23rd as I expect, she would have traveled nearly two miles on the path before Steve Basden and Paul Anderson stopped her. Below is a map showing where she might entered and where she stopped…

Basden said he thinks the path could have better signage and adds that this isn’t first time this has happened to him. We’ve heard about it in the past as well. Back in 2007, we reported on a man who claimed a full-sized Nissan truck drove up onto the path as he rode home from work at night. The man on the bike claimed he was hit by the truck; but the PPB never pressed charges after the driver plead innocence.

Readers who sent me the story and our followers on Twitter have reacted with shock and surprise that the woman drove away without consequence.

“I can’t believe she wasn’t cited,” wrote reader Paul Deming. “Either she is lying or she is so cognitively impaired that she should have her license revoked. I wonder if I could get away with the same excuse if I got pulled over for biking on 205?”

Another reader, Bob McKibben, emailed us to say, “How can the police not cite the driver? How I ask you? That is nuts. She is a danger to all and should not be driving anything anywhere! Where she was is very hard to get too with a vehicle from either end. Unbelievable! The bicycle community needs to make a point here.”

But Eric Lanners shared via Twitter that he likes the PPB’s decision. “You don’t always need consequences to learn… glad to see portland [sic] police don’t just see there job as implementing consequences but teaching and learning.”

Others have pointed out the irony of the situation after a letter to the editor was printed in The Oregonian yesterday from a man angry at people who ride bikes on arterial streets. “And where are the police to at least educate these rude, inconsiderate people, or ticket them?” wrote Gary Gorowski from southeast Portland, “I say get these radicals off the arterials by ticketing them. And reduce the frustration for the people in cars.”

Riders discover woman driving car on I-205 Bridge bike path

Riders discover woman driving car on I-205 Bridge bike path

Steven Basden calls police after talking with a woman who drove her
car up onto the bike path in the middle of the I-205 bridge.
(Photo: Paul Anderson)

On Sunday around 10:30 a.m., Half Fast Velo teammates Steven Basden and Paul Anderson were pedaling along on the Glenn Jackson Bridge/I-205 bike path when they made a suprising discovery: a woman in a car was headed right for them.

“She was panicked so I called 911.”
— Steven Basden

For those of you not familiar with the area, the Glenn Jackson Bridge connects Oregon to Washington across the Columbia River and there’s a biking and walking path that runs in the middle of the north and southbound freeway lanes.

Basden said at first the woman (who was driving a small Chevrolet sedan) started to pull over to let them pass, “But we made here stop.” Here’s more from Basden:

“… all of a sudden we see a car coming at us heading southbound around Government Island area. The woman, along with 2 kids in car… thought she could make it off on the South end until we explained construction had the lane restricted and told her about all she could do was reverse it all the way back up.”

Basden said the woman was “panicked” so he opted to call 911. He waited until a Portland Police Bureau officer arrived before continuing on his ride.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, the woman mistakenly drove onto the path from the Washington Side of the river. PPB Sgt. Pete Simpson says there was no damage and she was not given a citation. “Apparently she got confused… and got on the bike path.” To help get her off the path, several officers walked in front of her and she slowly made her way off on the Oregon side.

When asked why the woman wasn’t given a citation, Sgt. Simpson said, “Officers exercised discretion with someone who clearly made a mistake.”

I was curious how easy of a mistake this would be to make, and I’m not familiar with this area myself, so I spent some time on Google Maps. Thankfully, Google has taken their Streetview bike on this path. From what I can tell, she must have entered the path via SE 23rd Street (there’s a fence up that would have prevented her from accessing the path directly from Highway 14). The path itself is about 10-12 feet wide, which is the same width of many vehicle lanes in Portland. At the SE 23rd entrance, Basden said the metal bollard that is normally in the middle of the path had been removed (it’s also not there in the Streetview images).

Here are a few images to give you a sense of what the woman driving the sedan would have seen:

The entrance on SE 23rd looking from the path toward the street

And here’s an image sent to me by ODOT Transit and Active Transportation Liaison Jessica Horning that shows the entry to the path:

The path is surrounded by trees

Here’s the path alongside Hwy 14

Here’s the path as it begins its climb up to the freeway level

And here’s what it looks like where the woman eventually stopped and met with police

If the woman entered the path at SE 23rd as I expect, she would have traveled nearly two miles on the path before Steve Basden and Paul Anderson stopped her. Below is a map showing where she might entered and where she stopped…

Basden said he thinks the path could have better signage and adds that this isn’t first time this has happened to him. We’ve heard about it in the past as well. Back in 2007, we reported on a man who claimed a full-sized Nissan truck drove up onto the path as he rode home from work at night. The man on the bike claimed he was hit by the truck; but the PPB never pressed charges after the driver plead innocence.

Readers who sent me the story and our followers on Twitter have reacted with shock and surprise that the woman drove away without consequence.

“I can’t believe she wasn’t cited,” wrote reader Paul Deming. “Either she is lying or she is so cognitively impaired that she should have her license revoked. I wonder if I could get away with the same excuse if I got pulled over for biking on 205?”

Another reader, Bob McKibben, emailed us to say, “How can the police not cite the driver? How I ask you? That is nuts. She is a danger to all and should not be driving anything anywhere! Where she was is very hard to get too with a vehicle from either end. Unbelievable! The bicycle community needs to make a point here.”

But Eric Lanners shared via Twitter that he likes the PPB’s decision. “You don’t always need consequences to learn… glad to see portland [sic] police don’t just see there job as implementing consequences but teaching and learning.”

Others have pointed out the irony of the situation after a letter to the editor was printed in The Oregonian yesterday from a man angry at people who ride bikes on arterial streets. “And where are the police to at least educate these rude, inconsiderate people, or ticket them?” wrote Gary Gorowski from southeast Portland, “I say get these radicals off the arterials by ticketing them. And reduce the frustration for the people in cars.”

See what ODOT has in store for new I-205 path undercrossing

See what ODOT has in store for new I-205 path undercrossing

Detail of plans for
new undercrossing.

As we shared last week, the Oregon Department of Transportation is in the final stages of planning for a new undercrossing on the I-205 multi-use path where it crosses SE Division. ODOT staffers report a solid turnout at their open house on Tuesday night where they unveiled the design and asked for public comment.

In case you missed the open house, I just received the official rendering of the design. ODOT is showing two views of the undercrossing.

The aerial view shows how it will connect with the existing path…

And a view from the new path itself (looking south) gives you an idea of what it will look like while riding…

ODOT also promises that the new path will offer “efficient connectivity” to the existing path, ample lighting, and good visibility/sight lines.

ODOT Community Affairs staffers Shelli Romero says the estimated project completion time is summer 2013.

ODOT set to build undercrossing for I-205 path at Division

ODOT set to build undercrossing for I-205 path at Division

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is set to unveil their plans to build a new undercrossing on the I-205 path at SE Division Street. An open house for the project will be held on October 9th.

According to ODOT, the new portion of the path will provide an alternative route under SE Division, in addition to the existing crossing. ODOT has also partnered with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and they plan to install a new, rapid-flash beacon at the existing street-grade crossing.

The new undercrossing will split from the existing path about 360 feet north of Division Street, cross under Division next to the MAX Green Line, and reconnect with the path at the north end of the Division Street MAX stop. “The new route will offer path users a non-stop connection through Division, without the need to wait for the signal at the Division Street crosswalk,” reads an ODOT statement.


The project was first promised as part of TriMet’s MAX Green Line construction back in 2009. As part of that project, ODOT received a stimulus grant to add lighting along the path, and they had planned to do the undercrossing, but according to ODOT Public Policy and Community Affairs Manager Shelli Romero, the funding, “didn’t quite reach.”

Romero told me via phone this morning, that they have now gotten the required funding together, “In an effort to make good on that [promise].”

ODOT also took the opportunity to respond to community and police concerns that the existing crossing treatment for the path up on SE Division was inadequate. Currently, there’s a zebra-striped crosswalk, median islands, and button-actuated overhead “walk” signs that flash when someone is trying to cross. As part of this project, PBOT plans to upgrade that crossing treatment to include rapid flash beacons. This is still short of a traffic-signal, but these beacons are much more effective at encouraging cross-traffic to stop. (A similar beacon was recently installed on SW Barbur Blvd.)

The project is set for construction this year. ODOT will share design drawings and other information at the upcoming open house.

    I-205 Shared-Use Path Division Undercrossing Open House
    Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 5:30-7:30pm
    East Portland Community Center, Multi-Purpose Room 2 (740 SE 106th Ave)
    Project website (nothing up there yet)

ODOT set to build undercrossing for I-205 path at Division

ODOT set to build undercrossing for I-205 path at Division

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is set to unveil their plans to build a new undercrossing on the I-205 path at SE Division Street. An open house for the project will be held on October 9th.

According to ODOT, the new portion of the path will provide an alternative route under SE Division, in addition to the existing crossing. ODOT has also partnered with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and they plan to install a new, rapid-flash beacon at the existing street-grade crossing.

The new undercrossing will split from the existing path about 360 feet north of Division Street, cross under Division next to the MAX Green Line, and reconnect with the path at the north end of the Division Street MAX stop. “The new route will offer path users a non-stop connection through Division, without the need to wait for the signal at the Division Street crosswalk,” reads an ODOT statement.


The project was first promised as part of TriMet’s MAX Green Line construction back in 2009. As part of that project, ODOT received a stimulus grant to add lighting along the path, and they had planned to do the undercrossing, but according to ODOT Public Policy and Community Affairs Manager Shelli Romero, the funding, “didn’t quite reach.”

Romero told me via phone this morning, that they have now gotten the required funding together, “In an effort to make good on that [promise].”

ODOT also took the opportunity to respond to community and police concerns that the existing crossing treatment for the path up on SE Division was inadequate. Currently, there’s a zebra-striped crosswalk, median islands, and button-actuated overhead “walk” signs that flash when someone is trying to cross. As part of this project, PBOT plans to upgrade that crossing treatment to include rapid flash beacons. This is still short of a traffic-signal, but these beacons are much more effective at encouraging cross-traffic to stop. (A similar beacon was recently installed on SW Barbur Blvd.)

The project is set for construction this year. ODOT will share design drawings and other information at the upcoming open house.

    I-205 Shared-Use Path Division Undercrossing Open House
    Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 5:30-7:30pm
    East Portland Community Center, Multi-Purpose Room 2 (740 SE 106th Ave)
    Project website (nothing up there yet)