For over a year there has been a heated controversy about the use of the 50 foot wide unimproved public right of way on SW Coronado. On September 15, SW Trails has just sent a letter to the city officials asking for permission to build a trail on this disputed land.Background
The Arnold Creek neighborhood, like much of Southwest Portland, lacks pedestrian pathways and sidewalks, and some people in the Arnold Creek neighborhood like to walk on this route as a safe pedestrian connection to transit stops and Tryon Creek State Park. By walking there they have created a very primitive path thru this woods.
Other people in the Arnold Creek neighborhood want to preserve this area by blocking foot traffic through this area. These neighbors have several objections. One objection is the liability of the owners of adjacent land for injuries that might happen on the right of way.
Several years ago SW Trails successfully lobbied the state legislature to pass a law, statute 105.668, to limit the liability of the neighboring land owners adjacent to trails. The law has several provisos: one says that the liability immunity will be in effect if it is built by “A nonprofit corporation and its volunteers for the construction and maintenance of the trail or the structures in a public easement or unimproved right of way in a city with a population of 500,000 or more.”
Since SW Trails is just such a nonprofit corporation, it is hoped that this offer by SW Trails to build this trail will resolve one of the issues in this controversy. Perhaps with good will on all sides, the other issues in this neighborhood controversy can also be resolved.