Springwater Corridor: ‘Avenue of Terror’

Cyclists are worried the situation could escalate

One of numerous homeless camps along the Springwater Corridor in East Portland, Jan. 15, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — What is supposed to be a multi-use trail for cyclists, joggers, and walkers that connects Boring to downtown Portland, has now been nicknamed “The Avenue of Terror” by some users.

The Springwater Corridor has seen an increase in homeless camps along the trail, especially between I-205 and SE 82nd Avenue, which has forced some cyclists to change their travel habits.

Michelle Blackwood no longer uses the Springwater Corridor on her daily, 26 mile bike commute from Portland to Gresham. She’s among many cyclists who no longer feel safe using the trail as a growing mass of tents and tarps pop up.

“I’m afraid. I have talked about rightfully arming myself. Nothing seemed like a good idea,” said Blackwood.

One of numerous homeless camps along the Springwater Corridor in East Portland, Jan. 15, 2016 (KOIN)
One of numerous homeless camps along the Springwater Corridor in East Portland, Jan. 15, 2016 (KOIN)

Cyclist Stefan Lemmer said he now avoids this specific section of trail on his 22 mile ride home after work because he got into an altercation with a group of homeless people.

“One guy tried to block me and grabbed my bike,” said Lemmer, who feels he got lucky. “Fortunately, two people came with their dogs and then said ‘Can we help you?’ and they let go.”

Riders and joggers are also concerned about piles of trash, human feces and broken glass that litter the trail. Lemmer is also concerned about the possibility of theft.

“I see so many homeless people with boxes full of bike parts. You know exactly that they stole it somewhere.”

When KOIN 6 News asked Portland Parks and Recreation what they plan to do to make this area safer, they said they are working on it. Officials said they are focused on a plan to help people get into shelter.

 

 

 

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