Why Do Cyclists Wear Rubber Boots?

Winter 2009.

When I’m riding eastbound on the south bank of the Willamette River Path, heading towards the Knickerbocker Bridge,  there’s a funny sign that sticks out of the river just past the railroad underpass. I use that sign as an informal way to track the height of the river. In the summer, you can see a lot of the pole below the yellow sign itself. Even when the river is running pretty high in the winter, you can usually make out at least the top of the sign. Well, we’ve been having rather a lot of rain this June. This Friday morning on the way to work, I rode under the railroad trestle and noticed something new:  my little sign was totally underwater.

And then I noticed that the path was underwater, as well. Here’s how it looked around 9:30 on Friday morning:

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Water lapping at the South Bank river trail

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Row, Row, Row Your Bike…

Today's flooding looked like this flooding from March 30th, except that the trees have leaves now.

The Chambers underpass on the Fern Ridge Bike Trail was flooded again at 6pm today.  The picture on the left  is actually of the Chambers underpass flooding a few months ago, but it was pouring while I was there today and I didn’t want to get my camera out.  I figure if you’ve seen one Chambers underpass flood, you’ve seen them all.

According to a commenter, the last time the Chambers underpass flooded, the West 11th and Beltline underpasses also flooded.  Bike path flooding tends to leave behind lots of slick mud and debris– such as broken glass and sticks— so be extra careful on your morning commutes.

I didn’t see the flooding until 6pm, so I was unable to report it to the City Maintenance Hotline (682-4800):  they are only open from 8 am to 5 pm.  It would have been nice to give them an early heads-up so that they could have cleared the path for the morning commuters.  Unlike the City’s leaf program website (currently suspended), there are no after-hours options for reporting debris issues.

This is how I may have to start getting to work if this stupid rain doesn't quit.

However, they do have a 24 hour pothole reporting form which I’ve begun using when the hotline is closed to report maintenance and debris (such as glass in the bike right-of-way).  I don’t know if doing this is effective, but if we all start doing it maybe something will change.

Was there flooding on your ride today or recently?  Let us know using our recently-fixed comments form!

Lake Franklin: Creating Beachfront Property in Glenwood

Every so often in Oregon, it’s been known to rain. And when the rain comes, Lake Franklin arises from the misty landscape.

Franklin Blvd in the guise of a placid pool
Low tide with automobiles.

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City of Eugene plans to fix Amazon Path flooding, Fern Ridge Bike Path

The "Amazon Puddle" with its native inhabitants

While using the term “flooding” may be a bit of an overstatement, use of the term “puddle” certainly seems inadequate.  The “Amazon Puddle” is more than just a puddle – not only in literal size – but also as symbol of a project that, to some, seems to have gone a bit awry. However, and please excuse the little bit of editorializing on my part, it is important not to  “miss the path for puddle,” so to speak.

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