On Saturday amid heavy rains and flash flood warnings, the BTA, Oregon Department of Transportation, TriMet, and a handful of dedicated East County residents turned out to celebrate the official reopening of the I-205 multi-use path.
Clackamas County Commission Chair Lynn Peterson, ODOT Region 1 Director Jason Tell, and BTA Executive Director Scott Bricker cut the ribbon as a rainbow broke through the clouds. Photo by Elliot Scott, Alta Planning + Design.
The I-205 path is one of the region’s most well-used bike trails, and planners recognized it as an important north-south trail connecting the Columbia River with Clackamas County. However, while it was suitable for recreational use there were serious barriers for commuters. Trail users faced long crossing distances and high-speed traffic at several major arterials without any facilities to aid crossing. Some sections were unlit and others visually unappealing, causing many users to feel uncomfortable riding or walking after dark and in the winter months.
When TriMet began construction on the new Green Line, transportation planners, public agencies and neighbors saw an opportunity to improve biking and walking connections to nearby businesses, neighborhoods, and public services. These improvements represent a step forward in bringing transportation options to underserved communities.
In comments before the ride, elected officials emphasized the significance of new ARRA-funded lights and landscaping improvements in making the path feel safe, comfortable, and attractive to users. East County resident Jim Chasse spoke on behalf of everyone who lives, works or rides near Lents and Clackamas County when he expressed his excitement about finally having access to a real transportation corridor.
Volunteer opportunity: help plant trees on the new path
Local nonprofit Friends of Trees, in partnership with Metro and ODOT, will be planting trees along the new path as part of a regional program to increase habitat connectivity, cut down on stormwater runoff, and enhance trails to encourage walking and biking. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit the website or contact Greg Tudor at 503-282-8846 ext. 12.