The bike and pedestrian path that runs along the north side SW Garden Home Road was built in approximately 1965. Prior to development of the walking path along Garden Home Road, children and others had to walk on the road, dodging cars and endangering their lives. It is remembered that one child was killed on SW Oleson Road.
Today, the safety path runs from SW 92nd east to SW Oleson Road. Sidewalks are provided through the business area from SW Oleson Road east almost to the junction with SW Multnomah Blvd. No path exists on SW Garden Home Road east of SW Multnomah Blvd.
The Garden Home Gazette 1960, the PTA newsletter, expresses concern about the safety of school children walking on Garden Home Road. They wanted “a path one mile long from Oleson Rd. to 92nd, five feet wide, consisting of 4 inches of gravel.”
Lou Herder reports in the Gazette of 1962 that voters are asked to approve a levy for highway improvement which….is necessary to build a path along Garden Home Road.
In 1963, the Garden Home Traffic Safety Committee, Local School Committee, PTA Board and school officials all worked to “obtain relief from the hazardous road condition.” A County objection often repeated was that “The County does not build pathways.” Residents first surveyed all the properties along Garden Home Road and asked 10 homeowners to sign a voluntary relinquishment for a 50 foot right-of-way. By 1964 the County decreed that it be a 60 foot right-of-way for 27 families with the assurance that this would not become a 4-lane road. Whitford Park residents were concerned to hear plans to take Garden Home Road straight through to Scholls Ferry.(1)
“County engineer McKinstry displayed a map showing 60’ right of way and how the county proposed to utilize it this way: 24’ paved roadway, 10’ shoulders on each side of the roadway, 4’ for ditch area on each side and a 4’ space for utility poles on each side of the roadway.”(1)
Patty Gazeley recalled, “It was a great time of what pulling together in a grass roots effort could do—and that to me is the greatness of Garden Home, people working together to better the community.”
(1) Report to the 350 petitioners signing the petition to the County Board of Commissioners, 1964, provided by Marge Ross
Garden Home Citizens’ Action for Safety Path
This remarkable four page document was developed by Marge Ross, the Garden Home School PTA editor of their newsletter, The Gazette. It describes the actions and meetings beginning in the 1960s to create a safety path along SW Garden Home Road from SW 65th to SW 92nd street. The diligence and commitment of the Garden Home families to attend the many meetings, make contacts, sign petitions, etc. is notable! We extend our thanks to all those parents from the 1960s who worked so hard for our safety path along Garden Home Road.