Dear npGreenway members, Friends and North Portland neighbors,
The npGreenway (aka Friends of North Portland Greenway Trail) Core Group has agreed to work with the City of Portland and the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) on the design and construction of the Willamette River Greenway Trail on what we refer to as the Albina Yards alignment (see red line on map below) between N. Going Street and Lower Albina. The Core Group’s letter to the City of Portland and UPRR is attached (below the map).
It was not easy to give up our vision of a near-river side alignment on the existing private (UPRR) AshGrove Cement Road/North River St. alignment. But we are convinced that the prospects for the latter (blue line on Attachment #1) are slim to nil (see UPRR’s memo as Attachment #3), while the former we expect to be expedited by our partners, City of Portland and UPRR.
The UPRR’s willingness to surrender more than one-half mile of active rail line within the city for a multi-purpose trail is unprecedented and offers a Greenway Trail alignment, we believe, that better serves all of north Portland. We also appreciate the commitment from PBOT staff to pursue funding in the near future term for the Albina Yards section of the trail with a TIGER grant and other funding.
We feel that if designed and constructed correctly, it will:
1. Connect to the adopted Greenway Trail alignment on Swan Island at North Basin Avenue and Going Street, crossing the UPRR tracks utilizing the existing Going Street bridge and offer fine views of the rail yard, Lower Albina and the city skyline;
2. Connect with the existing Greeley bike lanes offering bike commuters from north Portland a safer alternative to the existing bike lanes on the four lane, high speed and unprotected stretch of North Greeley between Going and North Interstate; and
3. Avoid the complex design and legal challenges of a North River Street/Cement Road alignment and instead carry trail users to and through the historic Lower Albina district to the Eastbank Esplanade.
While the Albina Yard option (red line) will be costly (see Attachment #4), its costs are in line with those associated with a build out of the AshGrove Cement Road/North River St. alignment (blue line) and with the original, and for us unacceptable, City of Portland option on the east side of Greeley.
To insure that the Albina Yard’s Willamette River Greenway Trail alignment fulfills the users expectations, we need your active support (letters, emails and active participation) in the support for funding and in critical design phase of the project, We wish to especially thank you all for your work on this segment of the trail and look forward to our continued and mutual work on this project in the future. As the project progresses we will keep you posted and ask for your assistance.
Please join your ‘Core Group’ in this effort.
Thank you for your past support in getting the trail as far along as it is and for your future support.
npGreenway Core Group
- Francie Royce, Co-Chair Joe Adamski, Secretary Shelley Oylear
- Curt Schneider, Co-Chair Sarah Angell Babs Adamski
- Pam Arden, Treasurer Beate Hoelscher Lenny Anderson