Although Brooklyn is bordered by the Willamette River, there is no way to access the river directly from the neighborhood. The river runs through, but not to, the neighborhood.
Brooklyn used to have river access, but was cut off from the river when Highway 99E (McLaughlin Blvd) was constructed and subsequently widened. Decades have passed and promises made, but never fulfilled.
We are fighting to re-establish Brooklyn’s historic river access and re-connect our neighborhood.
River Plan / South Reach
The River Plan / South Reach project is the City of Portland’s 20-year plan for the portion of the river that flows through Brooklyn. The project has advanced through the initial drafts and as of June 2020 is at the Planning and Sustainability Commission. After that, it will go to City Council to be adopted.
Its current draft acknowledges the lack of access, and rightly notes that re-establishing neighborhood river access was already overdue before the last 20-year plan. Despite that, it again proposes a “6 to 20 year” timeline for actions related to studying and re-establishing access. Additionally, the plan is a guiding document and doesn’t establish funding sources or firm commitments to follow through on the actions. For our neighbors that have seen this process unfold over many decades, “6 to 20 years” sounds a lot like “20 years” which sounds a lot like “never.”
We’ll need your help to keep pressing for the access that the neighborhood deserves! We’ve already organized and sent hundreds of comments from folks in the neighborhood to the City for earlier phases of the project. Stay tuned for more actions when the project advances to its next phase!