Can we create a better route between Kenton and Piedmont?

Hi everyone! First time posting here.
I love almost everything about living in Piedmont…except that Kenton is right over there and yet such a hassle to bike to. Getting to Kenton on foot or by bike is indirect, unpleasant and possibly dangerous when using Lombard or Columbia, The Slough trail adds so much distance, making it impractical for pedestrians, and is not well lit for traveling in dark hours.

Does anyone know if there are plans in the works that address this? or if not, how to advocate for creating a more direct, and safe connection between these neighborhoods? (and if anyone wants to join me?)

I feel like there is physical space to squeeze a short connecting path in somewhere under I-5 near the train tracks. It would just involve negotiating some sort of easement with businesses that are tucked in there (or the railroad?) It’s hard to really know exactly what’s in that area without trespassing, but I have done plenty of wishful peeking.

It would be such a boon to both neighborhoods. Convenience for Piedmont residents to get to park/library/businesses in Kenton, more business for Kenton business district, safer routes for Kentonites to bike/walk eastward, improved walkability for all…

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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I always find myself running into the freeway when trying to get over there. Then I struggle to find a quiet street to cross I-5, run into a major street, and cross using that (Rosa Parks or Killingsworth usually). I’d rather have more quiet streets to cross on, but there’s only 1, and the 2 ped xing bridges aren’t easy to find if you’re not familiar with the area.

We should bury I-5 through here and build more multi-use paths across parks capping the freeway.


That’s not an awesome place to ride – this is exactly the sort of place I think about when people complain that bike lanes on slow moving streets are too terrifying.

I don’t make that particular crossing very often, but when I do, I always take Lombard. I’m not a fan of those MUP crossings – some can get seriously sketch and I refuse to take them. I suspect your proposed path near the tracks would suffer from this as would adding another MUP bridge over I-5.

That would be a tricky area to fix. Lombard is in a good location to cross but even with signals, bike lanes, and reduced speeds I suspect most people people would find it too intense because of the conflict points. But bike lanes and reduced speeds would definitely help.


I ride that area often and use Bryant Bridge crossing for I-5 and Concord Fenwick for Lombard crossing. I find these streets some of the most stress free in Portland but that’s just my experience and I understand that others may have different experiences.
After posting I took a more detailed look at google map and see that if you’re in the north part of Piedmont Bryant could be out of your way. Just curious have you tried riding along the tracks?

I think it depends on what time you ride. When there are people around, Bryant bridge is fine though it’s slow. But I won’t touch it late at night or other times when it is desolate. I imagine it would seem pretty far out of the way for anyone willing to take a path near the tracks.


No, I haven’t scoped it out. I’m tempted because the tracks are accessible from Albina, but I didn’t want to trespass on RR property.
I live near the Lombard and Albina intersection. I love the Bryant street bridge if I’m going at all South, but if Kenton is my destination, I’ll use the Lombard sidewalk to cross I-5 rather than going that many more blocks out of my way than Lombard already is!

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I’ve ridden the RR from Farragut Park under Vancouver to a Brewery there. A short section, I know. I also regularly ride the RR row from St Johns bridge to Swan Island. Never had any trouble. Not sure if you’re familiar with OMTM, but several of their rides have been known to follow RR tracks for short distances. I’ve even heard of folks riding the RR tracks from Sellwood Bridge to Lake Oswego passing through a tunnel. Probably frowned upon by RR but take a friend and give Piedmont to Kenton a try. I recommend mountain bike tires as the rocks along tracks can be large.

Take a close look at the Columbia Lombard Plan the City of Portland is working on right now

One of the projects would build a new bike/walk bridge over I-5 on N Winchell

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It’s a risk though. As an example of railroad trespass, people have been using River Street private road aka “Cement Road” and usually fine but encounter can be bad.

Union Pacific opened that road very briefly to the general public when they crashed their train into the overpass and knocking Going Street overpass out of use in 2019.