Let me start off by saying that I live adjacent to the 205 MUP; my home is not directly up against the path but it might as well be. It’s close enough that I utilized the 205 MUP for almost every ride I did, north, south or east of my place.
I’ve used it for daily commutes, to access Gateway Green, to bike camp at Milo McIver. I used to love cranking out a quick Springwater > Trolley Trail > 205 MUP when my legs needed a stretch. It’s also helped me lead several bike-curious friends out to Boring for a deeper exploration of our trail system.
And now that is gone. Our leaders have made it clear that the burdens of homelessness, drug abuse, vandalism, illegal dumping and environmental degradation will be borne not only by the working class communities along the path but also by the cyclists, walkers, joggers and light rail commuters.
This image was posted by a user on reddit today, it shows NE 105th near the Clark Rd underpass. It is not an outlier; this is merely one of many such abused places on the MUP. Yeah, that’s a full-sized moving van, sitting in a pile of trash and dumped appliances, in the middle of our “Platinum” bike infrastructure:
In 2021 I mostly stopped using the path. Even though it’s the sole car-free route in and out of my neighborhood, it is no longer safe. It is no longer pleasant, nor is it even passable, much of the time. Now when I think about going for a ride I purposely avoid using the MUP. Instead I weigh the crappy alternatives, like our discontinuous and incomplete Greenway network, trying to avoid PBOT’s admitted “difficult connections” at every major arterial. On numerous occasions, I considered the risk and hassle of trying to (for instance) snake through 87th & Powell at rush hour… and decided not to ride at all.
It’s a bummer. My mileage is down; so is my happiness. And I’m not the only one avoiding the 205 path. Witness the huge increase of cyclists riding parallel streets like 92nd. Even though it has high vehicle counts, high vehicle speeds, incomplete bike lane striping and poor lighting… people find it preferable to dealing with the out-of-control disaster in the 205 camps: hostile “campers”. Constant avoidance of glass and debris. Uncontrolled fires burning off and on the path. Unregistered, uninsured vehicles being driven on the path by unlicensed drivers, parking in greenspace. Stolen cars being stripped… just about everywhere.
We have lost the 205 path, at least from Marine Drive to the Clackamas County line. The city has deemed this outcome acceptable. Never again will I lead a ride of timid friends out to Boring if it involves a 205 connection (and the Portland parts of the Springwater aren’t much better). It’s an embarrassment and an outrage. Or at least it should be. We’re never getting this path back and I see nothing on the policy horizon that will change this.
Rest in peace.