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PBOT seeks cash for Hawthorne, Vision Zero, outer Halsey, and a new Springwater connection

PBOT seeks cash for Hawthorne, Vision Zero, outer Halsey, and a new Springwater connection

 Concept drawing of SE Hawthorne upgrades. View is looking east from SE 6th Ave.(Graphic: PBOT)

Concept drawing of SE Hawthorne upgrades. View is looking east from SE 6th Ave.
(Graphic: PBOT)

A seasonal fix to Naito Parkway isn’t the only thing on the bureau of transportation’s fall budget wish list. With a total of $8 million in General Fund dollars up for grabs, PBOT is lobbying for several other exciting projects.

Three projects caught our eyes in PBOT’s official Fall Budget Monitoring process request (PDF here). Scroll down for details on each one of them…

Outer Halsey Safety Streetscape Project ($2,900,000)

NE Halsey in east Portland

Existing conditions on NE Halsey around 142nd. The project would add buffered bike lanes, sidewalks, and more.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In what appears to be the largest infrastructure project ever requested by PBOT under the banner of their commitment to Vision Zero, the agency wants $2.9 million for Halsey Boulevard. The project would redesign the streetscape from 122nd (a designated high crash corridor) east to 162nd (near the Gresham border). Between 2005 and 2014 there have been 18 reported serious injury crashes and one fatality on this two-mile stretch of road. Much more funding is needed to accomplish everything PBOT would like to do here, but this $2.9 million would be a good down payment.

Specifically, the project calls for filling sidewalk gaps, narrowing existing vehicle lanes to make room for buffered bike lanes, improved crossings and a reduction of the posted speed limit from 45 mph to 35.

Vision Zero outreach and education ($900,000)

(Chart: PBOT Vision Zero Task Force)

(Chart: PBOT Vision Zero Task Force)

Furthering their commitment to Vision Zero, PBOT also wants to bolster their ability to communicate with the public around safety. They want funding for three new projects: $200,000 for targeted outreach around drunk driving; $200,000 for a Safe Routes to School traffic safety program in local high schools, and $500,000 to build small projects that are flagged through the city’s 823-SAFE citizen complaint line.

With 62% of all Portland fatalities involving intoxication, PBOT wants to start a Safe and Sober Streets program focused on downtown Portland. The effort will, “provide people with free rides and the option to pre-pay for Saturday morning parking. Downtown is the focus because Oregon Liquor Control Commission data shows that area has a high concentration of bars and restaurants that overserve.

A new program to target teenage drivers in high schools would include: safe driving advertisements that reach young people through Facebook, Pandora, and other web-based media; and working with student leaders to promote safety in schools through competitions, events and other promotions. A traffic safety pep rally perhaps?

We’ve covered the 823-SAFE hotline many times over the years. It’s an excellent way to communicate with PBOT and flag safety hotspots. The city says there are over 1,000 pending requests in the system right now and with the $500,000 they’d bew able to, “prioritize those community requests based on PBOT’s safety data analysis for Vision Zero.” And better yet, once projects were green-lighted they could actually be built.







Major fixes to SE Hawthorne Highway ($2.6 million)

New bike lane on Hawthorne Bridge viaduct-11

Existing conditions on SE Hawthorne looking east from 6th. (Compare to lead image)

As first reported in The Oregonian yesterday, this project would allow PBOT to update the design of Hawthorne to meet today’s demands. Specifically the project would build a separated bikeway, bus transit improvements that would allow drivers to jump the signal queue and access stops via islands. Island bus stops are preferred over curbside stops because they help avoid the bike/bus leapfrogging that plagues many of Portland’s busy streets. Another important piece of this project would be traffic signal improvements on the entire corridor from the Hawthorne Bridge to Ladd Ave. Signals can help distribute traffic and separate modes so that there are fewer drivers tempted to make right turns in front of others.

PBOT makes the case for these upgrades by pointing out that this section of Hawthorne between SE Grand and Ladd avenues is “an important bikeway and transit corridor between the region’s economic hub (downtown) and the highest bicycle and transit use residential areas of SE Portland.” Hawthorne carries over 7,000 daily bike and transit trips. When those mix with ever-increasing amounts of auto traffic, it creates a stressful environment. PBOT calls this area “one of the city’s highest bicycle crash corridors,” with 55 reported bike crashes between 2004 and 2013.

Interestingly, PBOT has also set aside $500,000 in this project to add a traffic signal to the ramp from northbound Naito that feeds onto the Hawthorne Bridge. “A signal here would reduce vehicle delay at this location and create more regular, predictable and less stressful vehicle traffic flow for automobile traffic accessing the Hawthorne Bridge,” PBOT writes in the project description. This location also happens to be the personal crusade of local citizen activist Josh Chernoff. For weeks now he’s been posted near-daily photos and videos of people who illegally place their cars on the crosswalk that acts as the entrance onto the bridge path for bicycle riders and walkers. His latest video (below) illustrates how broken this intersection is and why i needs to be fixed:

Connect the paths: Trolley to the Springwater ($300,000)

17th-path

The new path between Sellwood and Milwaukie is almost done!

By the end of next month the City of Milwaukie will have finished building a key segment of the Trolley Trail — a separated path that runs from the Sellwood neighborhood to downtown Milwaukie on 17th Avenue. That’s great news by itself, but unfortunately the terminus of this new path will stop tantalizingly short of the start of the legendary Springwater Corridor path (see map). Thankfully PBOT is on the case. With this project they’d widen the trail and the western sidewalk of 17th between St. Andrews Drive (end of Trolley Trail) and SE Linn Street where there’s a new median refuge island crossing treatment. People could then connect to the Springwater via Linn.

springwattrolleymap

While competition for city general fund dollars is fierce and PBOT isn’t likely to get all this stuff funded, it’s good to see that they’ve got these projects shovel-ready. There are other funding opportunities on the horizon.

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

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Street Roots’ Israel Bayer on moving Springwater camps: ‘Do it surgically’

Street Roots’ Israel Bayer on moving Springwater camps: ‘Do it surgically’

israel bayer

Nonprofit newspaper director Israel Bayer.
(Photo: Street Roots)

As the day approaches for a so-called “sweep” of everyone camping along the Springwater Corridor, one of Portland’s leading housing advocates is offering a counterproposal.

Instead of pushing everyone in these informal camps “back into the neighborhoods and downtown,” Street Roots Executive Director Israel Bayer wrote in a column Thursday, the city should (a) increase “organized camping” and (b) “surgically” target only people who are causing problems, not everyone else around them.

“If there are bad actors, get them out of there,” Bayer wrote. “If people are having an environmental impact, give them an ultimatum. Clean your camps up, or be swept.”

“Outside of that, dispersing hundreds of people into the city is absolutely ridiculous and inhumane and won’t actually solve anyone’s problem,” Bayer goes on. “It certainly won’t help people on the road to recovery or being able to access housing.”







A couple other passages from the column:

Is the Springwater Corridor really unsafe for both the community and people experiencing homelessness?

I would never attempt to say that anyone feeling unsafe isn’t true. No question, it’s a delicate situation. Saying that, it’s not like people experiencing homelessness were safe with or without the Springwater Corridor.

People experiencing homelessness certainly won’t be safe after the corridor is swept. It’s not a kind world out there. …

So, what do we do today? Do we need more shelters?

No, we do not. We need to maintain the shelters we have, but adding more shelters doesn’t get us anywhere.

For one, shelters are expensive. Number two. I would bet the farm that the vast majority of people on the Springwater Corridor wouldn’t access a shelter.

So, what do we need?

Housing. It’s something we can all agree on.

Bayer closes with a call for people to vote yes on November’s affordable housing property tax issue that would “build or acquire” about 1,300 rent-subsidized apartments for low-income people in the city.

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

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Oregonian: Mayor Hales plans complete removal of camps along Springwater path

Oregonian: Mayor Hales plans complete removal of camps along Springwater path

mohawk craig

“Mohawk Craig,” a resident of a Springwater Corridor camp, in January.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

“You can’t stay here any more.”

After months of telling park rangers and police to avoid issuing that order to people living in tents along the major Portland biking path, Willamette Week and The Oregonian are reporting that Mayor Charlie Hales plans to order a sweep of the length of the corridor within city of Portland boundaries (the eastern border is SE Jenne Rd/174th).

Here’s more from Hales in a video created by The Oregonian:

Dropout Ride – July

Hales tells The Oregonian that, “The Springwater is going to have to be off limits. We’re going to try to accommodate homeless people in the short term here and there.” Pressure to remove people from the lands around the Springwater has built in the past year as business owners, other residents, and environmental advocates have raised concerns about the impacts of the camps.

“Unfortunately, for people on the streets, our public parks are one of the only places left to go,” Street Roots editor Israel Bayer tells Willamette Week. “Until we have massive investments in affordable housing stock I don’t see the situation changing.”

Yesterday we excerpted a recent article on the local poverty news site Poor for a Minute. A modified version of that article also ran yesterday in Willamette Week, observing that the camp may have become the largest in the United States. Those articles also observed that camps of more than six people are forbidden under the urban camping policy brokered over the last year by Hales and his staff.

This major announcement comes as the camp on the Springwater has swelled significantly in recent months. This is due in part to an increase in police resources that have been spent to drive the camps outside of the downtown core.

Asked what will happen if people try to camp on the Springwater area to camp after the sweeps are completed (around August 1st), Hales told The Oregonian, “That’s the last resort. Criminalizing homelessness and sending people to jail because they’re camping in the wrong place is not our first, second or third choice.”

Read more in The Oregonian.

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

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Views from campers about the future of the tent city on Springwater path

Views from campers about the future of the tent city on Springwater path

trail motion

The Springwater Corridor near SE 82nd.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

It’s been a week since someone living on the Springwater Corridor survived a gunshot and months since it became maybe the largest single tent camp — tent suburb? — in Oregon.

Consciously tolerated by the city government under an uneasy compromise brokered by Mayor Charlie Hales and his (now former) chief of staff Josh Alpert, the encampment has gotten more and more complicated as it’s become a more common place for people without a roof to look for refuge. It’s also gotten harder for people biking on the Springwater to ignore. With Alpert gone from the city as of July 1, the camp’s future is newly uncertain.

Thacher Schmid (who I should disclose is also a personal friend of mine) is a freelance reporter based in Portland, writing in this case for his own website. He rode his bike to the camp last week and spent a few hours talking to people there about their lives and the city’s efforts to reduce, manage and regulate homelessness.

We found the post full of surprising details and definitely worth a read.

Depending on how you define a “camp,” the bicycle trail and footpath area between SE 82nd Ave. and the Beggar’s Tick wildlife refuge at 111th Ave. is possibly the largest homeless camp in the city of Portland, perhaps even all of Oregon.

It promises enormous challenges for any police officers, park rangers, advocates, officials or neighbors who would try to “sweep,” relocate or re-house these hundreds of campers.

It also suggests that the geography of poverty is a crucial aspect of the situation: for all intents and purposes, in Summer 2016, along the Springwater Corridor, the place is the people and the people are the place.

The people, Schmid writes, have definitely been affecting the place.

Furniture, including heavy items like dressers, are set to within inches of the Springwater Corridor itself in some places, suggesting how much work campers have put into their homes. Soccer ball sized rocks delineate pathways filled with wood bark leading to shared campsites, and some tents are lovingly cared for, with immaculate gardens featuring five-foot sunflowers nearing bloom.

Among other people, Schmid interviews the camp’s “self-appointed spokesperson,” a “highly intelligent, 34-year-old, self-described ‘hipster’ and laid-off aerospace steelworker” who goes by “Crash Anarchy,” identifies their gender as “your answers may vary” and wears a Guy Fawkes mask during the interview.

“We’re going to get kicked out next week,” Crash said. “They will lock people up when they come.”

Tom Alvarado, a customer at Cartlandia and local who often bikes down the corridor at perhaps a slower rate than the constant stream of Spandex-clad flyers, is sure the Springwater situation is becoming more precarious. Alvarado says recently he’s had to stop and basically ask permission from campers to bike through crowds blocking the path. He’s seen piles of feces on the trail itself for the first time in the last few days.

“It’s crazy,” Alvarado says. “It’s apocalyptic down there. It sucks all around: it sucks to be homeless, but it sucks to be someone who pays rent and deals with it.”







Several other people talk about how they landed there.

“It all started with a little vacation,” Blaga explained, sober as a judge and munching on a burrito. “It,” as in: car accident, lower back pain, lost job, waiting for an insurance settlement, car thefts, wallet stolen.

Schmid, who recently went deep into Hales and Alpert’s new policy for legalizing and regulating small tent camps in an article for the Northwest Examiner, asks people there what they think.

Asked about Alpert and Hales’ Safe Sleep policy, and the possibility that Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler will be less tolerant of camping, Crash said that would be “awful.”

“The only reason we don’t have to be afraid to fall asleep is because we have each other,” Crash said. “Shuffling people up and down the bike trail and giving them exclusions is not fixing the problem.”

Safe Sleep allows for a maximum of 8 structures or individuals in a single campsite, so Camplandia is certainly not allowed under Safe Sleep or any other city policies, past or future.

Schmid’s report about people living on the Springwater is the first on his new Medium site about local poverty, called “Poor for a Minute.” If the subject interests you, check it out.

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

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Alleged shooting by fellow camper sends Springwater resident to hospital

Alleged shooting by fellow camper sends Springwater resident to hospital

trail motion

The Springwater Corridor in January.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A man living on the Springwater Corridor survived an early-morning “non-life-threatening gunshot wound” Tuesday near the path just east of SE 82nd Avenue, police said.

A news release from the Portland Police Bureau said the suspect also lives along the path, parts of which have become an informal home for people living in tents as local home prices have continued to climb.

The release said police “located and detained a person of interest in the shooting” but did not describe the detainee as the “suspect.”







Here’s the full release:

On Tuesday July 5, 2016, at 3:06 a.m., East Precinct officers responded to the report of a shooting on the Springwater Trail just East of Southeast 82nd Avenue.

Officers and medical personnel arrived and located the 48-year-old male suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. The victim was transported by ambulance to a Portland hospital for treatment.

Officers learned that the victim and suspect both reside along the Springwater Trail.

Officers searching the area have located and detained a person-of-interest in the shooting.

Assault detectives and Criminalists from the Forensic Evidence Division are responding to continue the investigation.

Updates will be released later today.

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

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Precision Castparts will hold community meeting on air quality tonight

Precision Castparts will hold community meeting on air quality tonight

Precision's factory in southeast Portland. (Photo: South Portland Air Quality)

Precision’s factory in southeast Portland.
(Photo: South Portland Air Quality)

A major industrial metal parts manufacturer with a factory just a few hundred feet away from the Springwater Corridor biking path is holding a meeting tonight (5/25) to talk about air quality.

Precision Castparts Corporation will host a community meeting from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas (12566 SE 93rd Avenue, it’s unclear why they’re having it four miles from the community that’s impacted).

Pollution concerns have dominated headlines in Portland for months now. It started when a researcher discovered unhealthy levels of toxic pollutants coming from a glass factory in southeast Portland. The issue became a major topic in the Portland mayoral campaign, has led to a class-action lawsuit and has galvanized local activists. Dozens of people rallied and testified at the state capitol yesterday to put the issue in front of lawmakers. Also yesterday the Oregon Environmental Council published a new report about dirty air from diesel truck engines which they say causes up to 460 premature deaths each year.







Graphic showing emissions near the Springwater from researcher Alex Bigazzi at Portland State University.

Graphic showing emissions near the Springwater from researcher Alex Bigazzi at Portland State University.

Air being emitted from Precision Castparts factory on SE Johnson Creek Blvd is another front in the battle. Recent research from Portland State University has shown that the air around the Springwater path is some of the worst in the city.

According to Jacob Sherman with advocacy group South Portland Air Quality, “Neighbors have been putting a ton of pressure on Precision to improve their environmental footprint and tonight the company is hosting their own meeting to communicate what they are doing, and to answer community questions and concerns.”

SPAQ asked the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to monitor PCC’s emissions back in March and the results are now available. SPAQ calls them “disturbing”:

“It is troubling that concentrations of arsenic, hexavalent chromium, and nickel were over health-based benchmarks. Arsenic was measured at four times the ambient benchmark, hexavalent chromium was measured at 1.2 times the ambient benchmark, and nickel was measured at 1.6 times the ambient benchmark.”

And although the Oregon Health Authority says there’s, “no indication of an immediate health threat,” Sherman isn’t buying it. “This statement ignores the potential long term health impacts facing nearby residents,” he wrote on the group’s blog.

Five years ago Precision came under fire from neighbors after their factory emitted a toxic cloud of hydrochloric and nitric acid that caused respiratory injuries for two firefighters and forced evacuations nearby. Now the company is on the hot seat again after being named in an air quality probe by the Oregon State Senate.

Sherman said he sees bicycle riders as a critical stakeholder in these discussions given the popularity of the Springwater path and its proximity to the Precision Castparts factory.

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

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Legislators’ bicycle town hall on Springwater path will focus on camping issues, safety concerns

Legislators’ bicycle town hall on Springwater path will focus on camping issues, safety concerns

Springwater path near Cartlandia 82nd and Harney-1.jpg

The Springwater Corridor near 82nd.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Several Oregon state legislators will host what they’re calling an “interactive bicycle town hall” on May 14th to learn more about conditions on the Springwater Corridor path.

Interactions between path users and people who live in camps adjacent to the path reached a boiling point back in January. Since then there has been a broad community effort to address the issue. In April, local author and nonprofit director Joe Kurmaskie said he would cancel his youth summer bike camps due to concerns over the unruly and dangerous behaviors of some of the Springwater campers.

The issue was back in the headlines again this week when local news stations reported on a major operation by the Portland Police to move people out of the camps and pick up trash and personal belongings.





Oregon State Representative Jeff Reardon (D-Happy Valley) is leading the bicycle town hall. According to an email sent to his constituents, Reardon will be joined by State Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) and Representatives Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland), Carla Piluso (D-Gresham), Jessica Vega Pederson (D-Portland), and possibly others.

“We will be exploring the trail to observe the living conditions of the many campers,” Reardon stated in his email. “As we ride along, I hope to learn more about the interactions between those who camp along the trail and those who have homes or businesses near the trail, and those who use it for recreation.”

Everyone is invited on the ride. It will start at 9:00 am at SE Foster and 104th and is scheduled to loop back to the starting point an hour later. Expect comments from the legislators and an opportunity to share your ideas and ask questions.

Here’s more from Reardon:

I know that conditions are very poor for all concerned: campers, local homeowners/renters, business owners, and those who use the area for recreation. I want to hear more from my many friends and neighbors. But here’s the bottom line: I also hope that each of you will help with ideas for solutions. Solutions that will benefit all of us. I’ll gladly ensure your message – and your suggested solutions – are shared with city, county and state officials.

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

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Nonprofit puts youth bike camps on hold due to Springwater safety concerns – UPDATED

Nonprofit puts youth bike camps on hold due to Springwater safety concerns – UPDATED

kurmaskielead

Kurmaskie (in rear with cowboy hat) and
campers last summer).
(Photo courtesy Joe Kurmaskie)

Portland author Joe Kurmaskie says he feels conditions on the Springwater Corridor path have gotten so bad that he might be forced to cancel his popular teen summer bike camp program.

Kurmaskie, who turned 50 this year, is known for his “Metal Cowboy” books that describe his many adventures while bike touring through the United States and around the world (including two cross-country journeys with his wife and five children). He moved to north Portland in 1998 and now lives in Sellwood. For the past four years he’s run the “Camp Creative: No Child Left Inside” summer camp for 9-13 year olds in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation. The camp is completely bike-based and the main route used to access activities is the Springwater Corridor. This year Kurmaskie says he’s decided to put the camp on hold because of an increase in unruly and unsafe behavior from people he’s encountered along the path.

“It’s at the point where I’m not being a responsible camp director if I put kids out there.”
— Joe Kurmaskie

The amount of people living and spending time along the Springwater — a 21-mile linear park that runs from downtown Portland through Gresham — has been growing for years since people were forced off the streets near the central city. In the past several months the camps have swelled as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has allowed outdoor living as part of his efforts to tackle the homeless crisis. We reported on safety concerns along the path near SE 82nd back in January.

“I’m not trying to be alarmist. I don’t scare easily. I’m a guy who’s taken his family across the continent twice,” Kurmaskie said in a phone interview this morning.

“It’s a very difficult and unique problem to address because of the size of the population and some of the pockets and people who may be bad actors.”
— Joshua Alpert, Chief of Staff for Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

Kurmaskie added that his concerns about safety on the path have grown since a woman was sexually assaulted last month. Kurmaskie says he’s also experienced several “troubling” incidents in the past few months including: when someone jumped out of the bushes and caused him and his two boys to have to swerve; when someone threw a glass bottle over his head; and when a man rode up behind him with sharpened sticks in his hand.

“When someone rides up behind me and has ‘Wolverine-style’ sticks duct-taped to their hands swings out towards me, like, ‘Move out of my way I’ve got Wolverine hands!’,” Kurmaskie said. “It’s at the point where I’m not being a responsible camp director if I put kids out there. I can’t wait, with good conscience, for something bad to happen this summer. I can’t do the activities we want to do with the kids if I’m always looking over my shoulder and on security detail.”







Springwater path near Cartlandia 82nd and Harney-2.jpg

Springwater path near SE 82nd Ave.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

About three months ago, as Kurmaskie began preparing curriculum for this summer’s camps (which are supposed to start in June), he emailed Mayor Charlie Hales’ office to share his concerns. Kurmaskie said he never got a response. “Since I didn’t hear anything back, I’m in desparate mode.”

Mayor Hales’ Chief of Staff Josh Alpert, who said they receive about 300 to 400 phone calls and emails a day about the Springwater and related issues, told us this morning that, “Our goal is to have nobody sleeping on the Springwater corridor.” But Alpert said the problem won’t be solved by Portland alone. “It’s bigger than we have the capacity to address.”

CRC Rally-107

Kurmaskie at a rally in 2009.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Alpert said the city has initiated a process with Oregon Consensus to convene all cities and agencies that share jurisdictional responbilities for the Springwater. After meeting with them Friday, Alpert said, “They’re putting a plan together to move forward fast with early summer as an end date for this process.”

For the Mayor’s office, the Springwater is being treated as a separate concern than the issue of people camping outside in other parts of the city. “From our standards, the Springwater is a completely different situation so we’ve put it into a separate process. It’s a 21-mile trail in the middle of wooded areas… It’s a very difficult and unique problem to address because of the size of the population and some of the pockets and people who may be bad actors.”

In February there was a deadly shooting in a Seattle-area homeless camp known as “the Jungle.” Alpert said they’ve taken lessons from that incident. “We decided not to go in and start moving people,” he said. “Particularly when we know that there are a variety of people with a lot of challenges in that area.”

Despite the public’s concerns with conditions on the Springwater, Alpert says he feels the Mayor’s approach is working. “It just takes time to have a visible change.” He said they are continuing to enforce against criminal behavior while working towards a plan to move people out of the Springwater Corridor area.

Asked to respond to people who say they are too afraid to use the path, Alpert said, “People should use their judgment. We’re working as fast as we can to restore it to public access and to make it as safe as it can be.”

Kurmaskie, who’s known by neighbors as “the bleeding-heart liberal who helps the homeless” because he gathers supplies for people he’s met along the Springwater and has become what he calls “an informal case-worker” for two homeless men, said he knows the solutions to these problems aren’t easy. He chalks much of it up to “escalating rents and the ridiculous playground for the rich we’re turning Portland into.” “I don’t want to see us just sweep everyone out… We have to address housing and mental health for everyone in our community.”

“I don’t have any quick answers,” he added. “But we’ve got to address this head-on rather than just moving people around and making the entire city an open camp.”

UPDATE, 4:18 pm: The Parks bureau initially deferred to Alpert when I asked them for a comment this morning. But I’ve now heard from them again. Here’s an update from Parks spokesman Mark Ross:

“Our staff will be calling Joe, if they have not already, to see if he’s interested in talking about potential alternatives. As I understand it, the camps are not held until August; so there should be ample time to look at options, if that is something that he is interested in.

The conversation would be a welcome starting point; and potentially include holding camps at other sites, or holding them as planned. Our staff at Sellwood [Community Center] says they had never heard about his concerns until today when he posted on social media.”

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

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Arrest made in Springwater path sexual assault case

Arrest made in Springwater path sexual assault case

spring-lead-600x416

Highland Drive and the Springwater path.

Gresham police have arrested a man suspected in the sexual assault that happened on the Springwater path last week. 50-year-old Thomas Peacock, a Portland resident, was brought into custody today near the entrance of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (adjacent to the Springwater path in Sellwood).

The Gresham PD said they were acting on tips they received from the public. Detectives found Peacock had an outstanding arrest warrant for a homicide charge.

The incident struck home with BikePortland readers because the woman was cycling prior to the assault and had stopped to change a flat. Peacock approached the woman under the guise of helping her with the repair.






Peacock will be booked into Multnomah County Detention Center on his outstanding parole warrant, Rape in the first degree, Kidnapping in the first degree, Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the first degree and Robbery in the first degree.

Gresham PD detectives are asking that if anyone had similar encounters with Peacock, are encouraged to contact the Gresham Police tip line at (503) 618-2719.

This isn’t the first crime on the Springwater we’ve reported on. There was a fatal shooting in June 2014 and we shared a series of assaults in the fall of 2012.

See a photo of Peacock and learn more about the case via KOIN.

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

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Gresham PD: Woman sexually assaulted while bicycling on Springwater path

Gresham PD: Woman sexually assaulted while bicycling on Springwater path

spring-lead

View from Springwater path looking westbound at the SW Highland Drive overpass.

The Gresham Police Department reported on Sunday that a 22-year-old Portland woman is recovering after she alleged she was sexually assaulted Friday afternoon (3/18). The suspect is still at large.

Here’s how police describe the incident:

At 4:20 p.m. on March 18, police were called to Walmart in the 3900 block of W. Powell Blvd., where the victim ran to call 911. She had been riding her bicycle westbound on the trail when her tire went flat. While changing the tire, the woman flagged down a man riding a dark colored mountain bike and asked for his help.

The man talked with her for a short time before threatening to kill her with a knife if she screamed. He then forced her into a wooded area to the south of the trail and sexually assaulted her.





spring-overhead

Aerial view with Springwater path and Walmart in the upper right.

The suspect is described as a bald white man in his 40s, “medium build,” approximately 6-feet to 6-feet-two-inches tall and clean shaven. He was wearing a red jacket, blue jeans and a dark colored backpack.

If you saw anything related to this case, please call the Gresham Police tip line at (503) 618-2719.

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

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The post Gresham PD: Woman sexually assaulted while bicycling on Springwater path appeared first on BikePortland.org.