The Power of One

It’s not uncommon for us to find unsafe conditions as we are out riding our bikes. Maybe we grumble and whine, then forget about it. Member Dave McQuery has once again demonstrated the skill of gently and kindly speaking out to actually get results.

PROBLEM:

July 20, while on a ride that included the Wy’East Way Path just west of Civic Drive in Gresham (along the MAX tracks), Dave found that construction had necessitated a detour which was dicey at best for pedestrians and not at all inclusive of the needs of anyone on wheels.

DESCRIPTION:

On July 22, Dave sent a concise email to multiple recipients and provided bullet points as follows: 

  • No provision has been made for bicyclists, who are one of, if not THE major users of the path
  • Provisions, even for pedestrians, are minimal, at it would be easy to step off the curb and twist an ankle, especially in the dark
  • There were three of us riding together, and all of us had to dismount to cross that barrier
  • The woman riding the recumbent trike (see the second photo) had to not only climb off the bike, but we had to help her CARRY the bike across the barrier
  • The “detour” would be virtually impassable for anyone in a wheelchair, especially a big electric powered one.
  • The “detour” directs bicycle traffic across the MAX platform. In my view, this is inherently unsafe for riders as well as persons waiting for or exiting a train.

PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE:

Dave took multiple photos which he shared in his email. Some are included here.

RESULTS:

Ashley Graff, Assistant to the City Manager of Gresham, replied the next day and promised to investigate and get back to him, which she did.

On July 23 Ms. Graff responded in part:

Thank you again for alerting the City to the unsafe conditions on the Wy’East Way Path near Civic Drive. An asphalt ramp onto the Max platform will be laid very soon to smooth the transition – the City, Tri-Met, and the contractor are working together on this. The City will also be placing signage and communicating on social media about the detour.

Typically, when contractors need to close a path for construction, they submit a plan to the City in advance so the City can review/approve it and communicate to the public. In this case, that requirement was not met, so again, we appreciate you reaching out. We expect this detour to be in effect through the end of September.

There was a little more back and forth, perfecting the solution, but this shows that results can be had by clearly stating the problems, showing the difficulty, and finding the right person!

Thanks, Dave, for being a professional pain in the neck (his words, not mine!).

Ann Morrow, Vice President